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F5 Supports Financial Services Firm’s Oracle Solutions, Helps Eliminate Downtime

South African financial services leader implements secure, optimized communications network with customers and partners while dramatically reducing IT management costs

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that ooba, a leader in the South African financial services market, has deployed the F5® BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM®) solution to improve application performance levels for the Oracle solutions its business efforts depend on. ooba uses BIG-IP LTM to perform load balancing, transparent failover, and optimization (such as caching and compression) across its deployments of Oracle’s E-Business Suite, Oracle Portal, the Oracle SOA Suite, and the Oracle Application Server.

“Without these applications, we don’t have a business,” said Dominique dHotman, Manager of Enterprise Architecture at ooba. “Our core business of mortgage origination—as well as our new services such as insurance—requires fast, reliable, and secure communications with customers and business partners. F5 is a critical enabler of these services. The ease-of-use and reliability we gain with F5 allows us to deploy new solutions and modify existing configurations much quicker and in a far more predictable fashion than with other products we considered.”

ooba Improves Application Performance, Reliability, and Manageability with F5 and Oracle

Formerly known as MortgageSA, ooba began looking for an application delivery platform three years ago as it expanded beyond its core home financing business to also offer real estate listings, insurance, and other services. Because customers want to finalize their transactions quickly, application uptime and performance are critical. Similarly, application security is also a primary concern due to sensitive data such as income levels and credit history reports.

As it rolled out web-based applications to provide these services, ooba found the Linux-based load balancing solution it had developed internally was both difficult to scale and failed to deliver the required performance and reliability benchmarks.  For example, the firm’s search portal, which customers use to find homes and provides most of ooba’s prospects, must operate 99.999 percent of the time, yet it and other key applications initially experienced downtime of 15-20 percent per month.

The company considered web caching technology from one vendor that improved performance, but did not support the HTTPS protocol ooba needed for security. Other vendors required significant changes to the IT environment before solutions could be properly evaluated. By contrast, “Installation and deployment of F5’s BIG-IP LTM was virtually effortless. We were up and running within a day, with no major changes in the network. And we experienced immediate and dramatic improvements in reliability, performance, and speed,” added dHotman.

BIG-IP LTM enables ooba to:

  • Provide fast, reliable, and secure application access to customers and business partners
    The F5® solution reduced server overhead by 20 percent and eliminated the 10-15 percent downtime ooba had been experiencing across its business-critical web portals and applications.
  • Simplify IT administrators’ management of application services
    The intuitive web interface and pre-defined application templates provided by F5 allow IT administrators to make impactful changes across the application delivery environment. With the BIG-IP system, the time to implement updates has fallen from an average of three days to less than an hour.
  • Implement a single application delivery platform that can be scaled to meet future needs
    The scope and deployment flexibility of the F5® BIG-IP LTM allows it to be used across ooba’s infrastructure of Oracle and web-based applications in a service-oriented architecture model. In addition, because BIG-IP solutions operate on F5’s unified TMOS® architecture, new services and capabilities can be added as business priorities evolve.

“F5’s working partnership with Oracle really helps us as a joint customer because there are many proven certified configurations that are available to us,” said dHotman. “This alleviates the need for trial and error on our end because we know that solution interoperability has been extensively tested and documented.”

F5/Oracle Customers Report Higher Scalability and Improved Performance

TechValidate, an independent research organization, recently analyzed data collected from customers that have deployed F5® BIG-IP® and Oracle solutions in concert. Mirroring the results seen at ooba, TechValidate’s research illustrated the value BIG-IP solutions bring to Oracle solution environments.

Recent survey results show:

  • 71% of IT organizations consider the local load balancing methods of F5 BIG-IP solutions important to the performance, availability, and security of their Oracle deployment (Source: TechValidate. TVID: 3CC-4CD-5DE)
  • 40% of IT organizations gained better end-user experience or improved application performance by deploying F5 BIG-IP solutions with Oracle (Source: TechValidate. TVID: 582-0FE-14D)
  • 39% of IT organizations reduced OpEx by 10% or more for their Oracle environment using F5 BIG-IP solutions (Source: TechValidate. TVID: 47E-6D2-26A)

F5 Networks to Exhibit at COLLABORATE 10 Oracle Community Conference

F5 will be exhibiting at COLLABORATE 10: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community, taking place April 18–22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Visit F5 Networks at Booth #2141 and go to www.f5.com/news-press-events/events for additional information about F5’s presence at Collaborate 10 and other industry events.

For more information about F5’s BIG-IP solutions, please visit www.f5.com/products/big-ip/.

About ooba

ooba, formerly MortgageSA, pioneered mortgage origination in South Africa and now offers homebuyers help in finding, financing, insuring, and purchasing goods and services for their homes. It provides home financing as a mortgage broker and operates South Africa’s premium online property search portal, as well as home insurance and credit card services.

About TechValidate

TechValidate is a trusted third-party service that verifies the usage, configuration, and benefits of technology products and services. The company directly interfaces with business and technology end users to collect and validate information about their deployments. TechValidate’s promise to the end-user community is to provide unbiased, verified information about the usage and benefits of technology products and services. More information is available at www.techvalidate.com.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), focused on ensuring the secure, reliable, and fast delivery of applications. F5’s flexible architectural framework enables community-driven innovation that helps organizations enhance IT agility and dynamically deliver services that generate true business value. F5's vision of unified application and data delivery offers customers an unprecedented level of choice in how they deploy ADN solutions. It redefines the management of application, server, storage, and network resources, streamlining application delivery and reducing costs. Global enterprise organizations, service and cloud providers, and Web 2.0 content providers trust F5 to keep their business moving forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

F5, BIG-IP, Local Traffic Manager, LTM, and TMOS are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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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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