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F5 Networks' BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager is Definitive Performance Leader in Competitive Testing

Real-world, repeatable testing criteria shows F5's sizable performance advantages over high-end Application Delivery Controllers from Cisco and Citrix

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the results of comprehensive testing comparing F5's BIG-IP® LTM 8800, Cisco® ACE 8GB, and Citrix® NetScaler® 12000, with BIG-IP LTM demonstrating significant performance advantages over the competition. In conjunction with these results, F5 is proud to introduce the industry's most transparent and robust performance testing guide for Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs).

With the release of both the results and testing methodology, customers can holistically evaluate the performance of multiple vendors' offerings using test definitions and evaluation criteria available in the public domain. Due to the nature of many performance tests, vendors can claim "superior" performance in a given scenario by staging evaluations that report desired results, making a true apples-to-apples comparison difficult to obtain. In addition, ADC vendors often categorize performance differently, leading to a competitive landscape where highly varied definitions and performance claims often cannot be compared at face-value. With the release of repeatable and verifiable testing guidelines, as well as the specific testing configurations, F5 aims to set an industry example for ADC performance evaluations moving forward.

"We are pleased with F5's use of our newest and most advanced Layer 4-7 testing platform-the High Performance CPU Module-in their tests," said Rob Piconi, COO at Spirent® Communications. "Spirent TestCenter delivers high-performance testing productivity during every stage of product development and service creation, enabling customers to accelerate time-to-market and reduce operational and capital expenses. With Spirent, F5 was able to accurately simulate application performance scenarios and measure precise results in a lab environment."

To differentiate real-world results from less substantiated claims, F5 has put forth a "how to" guide for creating performance testing methodologies that can be used to compare multiple products with the exact same test definitions and evaluation criteria across a number of common customer scenarios. Using these guidelines, F5 measured results for various response sizes, HTTP request-counts, and types of traffic, including L4, L7, SSL, HTTP compression, and HTTP caching. This broad range of test parameters ensures that prospective customers can make informed decisions based on their application optimization and availability requirements without the effect of vendor bias, selective reporting, or conflicting performance definitions.

"F5's willingness to share their testing methodology and configurations represents a significant step toward unbiased performance testing," said Zeus Kerravala, SVP of Enterprise Research at Yankee Group. "Open and repeatable testing helps customers and prospects-as well as IT press and other industry experts-separate the marketing hype from real results, enabling them to select products that ensure optimized and reliable application delivery."

Testing Result Highlights

Performance results in each of the following categories were produced according to the testing guidelines found at DevCentral:

  • SSL TPS: BIG-IP 8800 delivered more than 48,000 new SSL TPS-an unparalleled industry result-and an advantage of more than 70% over Citrix NetScaler, and nearly a 4x advantage over Cisco ACE.
  • L7 Requests Per Second: BIG-IP 8800 delivered over 700,000 L7 inspected requests per second-another unmatched industry figure-providing more than an 8x advantage over Citrix NetScaler and Cisco ACE.
  • L4 Throughput: BIG-IP 8800 delivered near line-rate 10 Gbps throughput, demonstrating an advantage of more than 25% over Cisco ACE, and over 2.5x beyond Citrix NetScaler.
  • HTTP Compression Throughput: BIG-IP 8800 delivered over 4 Gbps of compressed throughput, more than 2.5x beyond what Citrix NetScaler achieved. Cisco does not support HTTP compression.

"There are a lot of vendors that tailor performance testing environments to their advantage, or focus solely on individual statistics as opposed to a comprehensive view of application delivery," said Jason Needham, Director of Product Management at F5. "By conducting these tests in an open, real-world environment with transparent methodology, we are able to offer undeniable proof of each claim. We have superior technology that offers performance that other vendors can't compete with, and Spirent's industry-leading testing system bears witness to that."

The analysis was conducted using 10 High Performance CPU cards on Spirent TestCenter, with each card capable of over 5 Gbps of stateful traffic; over 150,000 TCP connections per second; over 1.5 Gbps of SSL traffic; and over 16,000 SSL sessions per second.

Complete results of the performance tests can be found at:

For additional details and downloads related to the performance testing methodologies and the actual test configurations, or to post questions and discuss the performance testing with the F5 user community, please visit F5's DevCentral at

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast and available for everyone, helping organizations get the most out of their investment. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications, F5 optimizes applications and allows them to work faster and consume fewer resources. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability-all on one universal platform. Over 10,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information, go to

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This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.