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F5 Networks Unveils the Most Comprehensive Management Solution for Local and Global IP Network Traffic Devices

iControl Services Manager allows customers to save time and money by providing simple management, security policies and control over F5 traffic management devices

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Application Traffic Management solutions, today announced iControl™ Services Manager (iSM), a comprehensive network management tool that improves the effectiveness of the network infrastructure by providing centralized administration of F5 devices. It makes configuring and managing multiple F5 devices easy by allowing administrators to roll-out changes across many devices or objects -- reducing overhead and saving time.

"At T-Systems CSM GmbH we're always looking for ways to streamline our operations, keep costs down and provide the highest Quality of Service to our customers," said Thomas Wende, Senior Systems Consultant at T-Systems -Web Hosting Factory in Kiel, Germany. "With iControl Services Manager as a single point of contact for our network devices, we expect management time to be reduced significantly. Having clear visibility into the network configuration and traffic flow will enable us to better communicate issues with senior management, other company divisions, partners, and customers."

The software provides enterprise customers with the benefit of faster configuration changes and back-ups, enhanced user permissions, auditable change-logs, reporting, monitoring and alerting through a central graphical user interface. And, since F5 device interaction and data collection is encrypted, the network and configuration is completely secure. These capabilities are all enabled using F5's unique iControl API which provides the flexibility to enhance iSM more rapidly in the future.

"Most datacenter IT organizations are overloaded by the proliferation of network devices and objects in the enterprise today," said Ron Schmelzer, Senior Analyst at ZapThink, LLC. "Enterprises are constantly striving to reduce the workload of their IT staff by increasing efficiencies, reducing the complexity of working with network devices and objects, and keeping the network configuration secure. F5 helps to meet these goals by providing a flexible, configurable, secure, and distributed management software based on iControl that provides significant administrative benefits over alternate management technologies such as SNMP."

iControl Services Manager software easily installs onto a low-end server and transforms that device into a self-contained management appliance that integrates many helpful features into its secure architecture:

  • Centralized Management - A central interface reduces the complexity of interacting with F5 devices and objects. Administrators configure, install and manage F5 devices from one management console and can group devices or objects for better usability and faster access.
  • Configuration Management - Traffic management changes are made without logging into multiple boxes. iSM offers full archive and restore device configuration, providing fast recovery from configuration errors.
  • Enhanced User Management - Utilizing iSM as a secure proxy, administrators can delegate granular responsibilities and audit changes. Users can only view devices or objects upon which they have been granted permissions. iSM's comprehensive change tracking' identifies changes that could be causing errors, reducing time to resolve problems.
  • Monitoring, Reporting and Alerting - iSM uses advanced algorithms to create alerts (e.g. e-mail, SNMP) based on thresholds or status changes, providing fast awareness of critical issues. It also monitors capacity and object statistics, allowing for better network awareness for capacity planning.
  • Security Focused - The integration of multiple security functions enables customers to provide quick user authentication and the ability to utilize existing enterprise directories. All users are securely authenticated and all user sessions are over secure https connections.

"Our enterprise customers have told us that they need to reduce time and labor spent on device management," said Erik Giesa, Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing at F5 Networks. "With consolidated interfaces and resource conserving features, iControl Services Manager is the ideal solution for customers seeking time-saving methods to deploy and manage F5 devices in their network. And, it's the only traffic management product in the industry offering complete end-to-end security including secure client authentication, auditing, and encrypted interaction with F5 network solutions."

Pricing and Availability

iControl Services Manager is available March 25, 2003, with a list price starting at US$1,995. iSM is available for download or on a pre-packaged CD that transforms a low-end server into a powerful, self-contained management appliance. iSM can provide control for up to 24 devices (F5-ISM-24). Minimum system requirements: PIII 1 GHz, 1GB RAM, 30GB HD. To download a free 30-day evaluation copy of iSM, visit www.f5.com/products/iSM/evaluation.html.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the industry leader in Application Traffic Management, enabling enterprises and service providers to optimize any mission-critical application or Web service, providing secure and predictable delivery of application traffic in an unpredictable environment. Through F5's unique open iControl™ API, third party applications and network devices can take an active role in shaping network traffic, delivering application aware networks that allow customers to direct traffic based on their exact business requirements. Our solutions optimize the availability, security and speed of mission-critical servers and applications, including enterprise applications, Web services, mobile IP applications, Web publishing, content delivery, e-commerce, caching, firewalls and more. F5's solutions are widely deployed in large enterprises, the top service providers, financial institutions, government agencies, healthcare, and portals throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has offices throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. F5 Networks is located on the Web at www.f5.com.

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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.

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