Press Releases Archive   Search Press Releases
Press Release

F5 Networks Delivers on Promise of Integrating Enterprise Applications with the Network

F5's iControl API Continues to Play Vital Role in the Successful and Secure Delivery of Enterprise Applications; iControl Partners Drive Over a Third of F5 Product Sales Last Quarter

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Application Traffic Management products, today announced that the Company continues to lead the market with its unique iControl™ API (Application Programming Interface), which makes it possible for applications to programmatically interoperate with F5 network devices. F5's iControl API affords F5 customers, partners and 3rd party developers tangible benefits and enables them to overcome numerous cost and technology barriers associated with secure and reliable enterprise application delivery. A strategic component of F5's business model, the iControl API is acknowledged by industry and financial analysts as a concrete differentiator for F5.

Three years ago, F5 visionaries recognized that generic network infrastructure products would not support the demanding and evolving needs of enterprise applications. To address this problem, F5 introduced iControl, an open standards-based SOAP/XML API. This move has revolutionized the networking industry by allowing applications to influence the behavior of the network. Ultimately, customers benefit through increased automation and flexibility, reduced costs associated with troublesome manual processes, and heightened return on their technology investments.

iControl Milestones

Embraced by leading application vendors. Through iControl, dozens of leading enterprise application vendors, including BEA Systems, Mercury Interactive, Microsoft, Oracle, and Veritas, have enabled their products to communicate with F5's products in an automated fashion to improve the availability, security, scale and performance of their applications.

Revenue growth driver. In less than two years F5's product revenue driven through joint sales efforts with enterprise application vendors has grown from approximately five percent to 37 percent.

Active developer community. In response to the over 2,200 individuals worldwide requesting the iControl SDK, F5 launched DevCentral, an online community that serves as a forum to share best practices for iControl development. In just 7 months, DevCentral has been embraced by over 850 active developers and enterprise customers who have developed and deployed over 250 applications using iControl. DevCentral membership continues to accelerate with rapid adoption by enterprise developers and consultants.

"VERITAS OpForce™ is a leading server provisioning software that enables customers to rapidly build, operate and optimize their new servers," said Brenda Zawatski, Vice President, Product Marketing, VERITAS Software. "A VERITAS and F5 partnership can help customers design and deploy real-world dynamic provisioning solutions. The joint solution will enable automated creation of server pools thereby speeding deployment of new servers and optimizing IT resource utilization for planned and unplanned events. Together the two companies can help customers increase data center efficiency with enhanced application availability."

"The ultimate goal for traffic management devices is to provide a common secure, reliable and powerful delivery service that can be exploited by applications in the data center," said Peter Firstbrook, Senior Analyst, The META Group. "A prerequisite to create an infrastructure service is a well-documented API and development tools. APIs enable software developers to create applications that can exchange application health and performance information with network devices and manipulate traffic management functions based on standard software development protocols such as Web services."

How Are Customers and Partners Using iControl™

F5 customers and partners continue to develop innovative applications that deliver sizeable cost savings. For example, customers have developed iControl applications to automate the application update and distribution process across multiple servers in the data center; eliminating the tedious and manual intervention required. Significant time savings of over 70%, along with development cost payback as low as 21 days, have been reported by some customers. Additionally, through the iControl API, customers and partners have instrumented application components that instruct BIG-IP devices to adjust traffic flows to servers hosting application components that may be overloaded or error-prone. The result: superior application performance and availability due to more intelligent management of traffic.

F5 and BEA Systems have developed a Web Services Availability Manager Control for BEA WebLogic Workshop™. This unique solution allows developers using BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1 to build applications utilizing statistics and functions exposed by F5 devices to proactively expand or contract network resources to meet Web Service availability or performance requirements. This allows BIG-IP to distribute the increased user traffic over a wider array of resources increasing overall Web service availability and performance.

"When F5 launched iControl, we delivered a solution that addressed a problem that no other networking vendor could solve," said Jeff Pancottine, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at F5 Networks. "Unlike our competition, F5's products are highly flexible so applications can easily communicate with them via iControl through standard software development protocols, such as Web Services. Web Services, based on SOAP/XML, communicate on common terms with the application infrastructure and offer development speed, cost, and interoperability advantages over traditional, inflexible approaches such as SNMP."

iControl - Looking Ahead

Solution Developer Program - Solution Providers, Developers, and Integrators worldwide are rapidly adopting the iControl API for niche and major solutions, based on direct customer demand. F5 plans to roll out a 'go-to-market' program to help solution developers capitalize on their iControl development efforts.

Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) 10g - Through iControl, Oracle has integrated the BIG-IP solution with its OEM 10g product. Through the OEM management console, customers will be able to configure and manage their Oracle applications as well as their BIG-IP devices. They will also be able to extract statistics from BIG-IP devices and run historical performance reports to help size applications, identify bottlenecks, etc.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks keeps IP-based traffic flowing and business information always available to any user from any device, anywhere in the world. Our products ensure secure and reliable access to servers and the applications that run on them. F5 also provides tools to automate communications between applications and the network, eliminating tedious, manual processes.

As the pioneers of intelligent load balancing, F5's continued innovations help businesses optimize and protect their IT investments. Our mission is to ensure the availability, scalability, performance, and security of IT resources that enterprises require to successfully do business. Over 6,000 enterprises and service providers rely on F5 solutions to keep their businesses running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information go to

# # #

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.