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F5 Networks Expands Application Ready Network to Include Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

F5's BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager helps optimize end-to-end performance of unified communications technologies from Microsoft; Helps ensure users experience optimal performance and reliability from their communications tools

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that it has expanded its Application Ready Network™ for Microsoft to include Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. F5's Application Ready Network provides Microsoft customers with high availability, scalability, and performance for their unified communications environments.

"Unified communications is a key enabler of the Anywhere Enterprise," said Zeus Kerravala, SVP of Enterprise Research at Yankee Group. "Office Communications Server 2007 is a critical building block toward the realization of true unified communications, and we expect this product to migrate into a capability that will serve as a vital component of business process transformation. By expanding its Application Ready Network to include Office Communications Server 2007, F5 is helping accelerate and optimize this transformation."

F5's Application Ready Network is a holistic application network architecture and infrastructure designed specifically for enterprise applications such as Office Communications Server 2007, an integrated server component of Microsoft unified communications. Using F5's BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager ™ (LTM) device, the Application Ready Network intelligently directs network traffic among server computers running Office Communications Server 2007 to provide high availability and scalability. It also helps mitigate potential networking and infrastructure issues to help ensure that users experience optimal performance and reliability from their communications tools. In large-scale, enterprise deployments the BIG-IP LTM device provides IT departments with the ability to scale out server farms to distribute users across multiple front ends, greatly increasing system capacity. Finally, with more than a dozen enhancements to the transmission control protocol (TCP) stack, BIG-IP LTM increases overall network performance by reducing latency and optimizing bandwidth, as well as client-to-server connections. And to augment F5's offerings, the company has also produced detailed, best-practices documentation on deploying F5's BIG-IP LTM to enhance Office Communications Server 2007 environments.

With the BIG-IP LTM device, Microsoft customers will be able to take advantage of a robust, reliable hardware load balancer-a requirement for Office Communications Server 2007 Enterprise Edition deployments consisting of more than one front-end server. F5 has conducted extensive testing of the BIG-IP LTM device with Office Communications Server 2007 in both the F5 test labs and Microsoft test labs in Redmond, Washington. These tests are an extension of F5's continuing work with Microsoft's unified communications portfolio, which includes a comprehensive test design simulating a real-world environment using F5's entire Application Delivery Networking product portfolio and Office Communications Server 2007's direct predecessor, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005.

"Microsoft is pleased to be working with F5 to deliver a streamlined communications experience to our customers," said Yancey Smith, Group Product Manager, Unified Communications Group at Microsoft Corp. "It is reassuring to know that F5 has spent years testing BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager with Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005 and Office Communications Server 2007 in their own test labs and in Microsoft test labs in Redmond to provide hardware load balancing for scaled communications solutions."

"We're pleased to be able to support Microsoft's vision for unified communications," said Jim Ritchings, VP of Business Development at F5. "Through our close collaboration with Microsoft, we've been able to bring our experience in high availability and application optimization to the table to extend the benefits of the Application Ready Network to companies as they adopt Office Communications Server 2007."

To read a comprehensive guide detailing best practices for deploying F5's BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager with the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, please visit:

About the Interop Vendor Alliance

Formed in 2006, the Interop Vendor Alliance is an industry-wide group working to identify and share opportunities to better connect people, data and diverse systems through better interoperability with Microsoft systems and to jointly market interoperability solutions of its members. Founding members include AMD, BEA Systems, Business Objects, CA, The Carbon Project, Centeris Corporation, Citrix Systems Inc, GXS, IP Commerce Inc, JNBridge, KERNEL Networks, Levi, Ray & Shoup Inc, Microsoft Corporation, NEC, Network Appliance, Novell, Q4bis, Quest Software, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Software AG, SugarCRM, Sun Microsystems, Symphony Services, Xcalia, and XenSource. Additional information about the Interop Vendor Alliance can be found 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 16,000 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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