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F5 Unlocks True Potential of ‘On-Demand IT’

New BIG-IP release helps extend enterprise data center architecture to the cloud through holistic ecosystem supporting the dynamic nature of applications and data

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today introduced its BIG-IP® Version 10.2 software to help extend enterprise data center architecture to the cloud, and enable enterprises and service providers to realize the potential of ‘On-Demand IT’ through a dynamic services model. To help customers unlock the power of ‘On-Demand IT,’ F5 is detailing a comprehensive approach that integrates disparate technologies for application delivery, security, optimization, data management, and infrastructure control—all critical technologies needed to realize the true flexibility and agility of virtualization and cloud computing solutions. Today’s announcement builds on F5’s strategy to unify application delivery and data services within its rich solution portfolio.

Harmonizing Enterprise Virtualization and Cloud Computing Projects to Maximize Value

The true benefits of virtualization and cloud computing projects are achieved when organizations move beyond addressing single initiatives—such as data center consolidation, green IT, IT/business alignment—and move toward a holistic architecture that integrates these initiatives and creates new, more efficient ways of implementing technologies in concert with one another.

“The cloud is evolving as the next generation of IT,” said Erik Giesa, VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at F5. “Whether a business is planning to deploy a private cloud or take advantage of external public cloud services, it needs to put its enterprise requirements first and leverage an integrated architecture for on-demand mobility, orchestration, and automation. F5 is committed to helping customers utilize their existing infrastructures, while extending and reusing them to enable a common cloud architectural model—regardless of where IT resources actually reside.”

Extending Unified Application Delivery, Access Control, and Optimization into the Cloud

F5’s holistic approach, which integrates multi-vendor solutions into a unified whole, is the cornerstone of its dynamic services model. For example, F5’s delivery of a virtual Application Delivery Controller (ADC) platform in combination with physical ADCs gives customers the unique ability to seamlessly extend their current operational model into multiple data centers, hosting providers, and cloud environments on demand, while utilizing the same trusted configuration, features, and control that they have developed over years of application delivery deployment.

With F5’s unified application delivery architecture, enterprise customers can easily implement centrally managed security enforcement policies that provide user access according to specific IT requirements and business needs. And F5’s new BIG-IP Edge Gateway™ solution enables enterprise customers to simplify the management of application services—such as access, security, and optimization—within a dynamic services model that leverages both traditional data center and cloud computing environments.

“Many IT organizations won’t even consider moving applications into the cloud if it means giving up visibility and control. This creates a significant challenge for companies that want to leverage the value of a public cloud, but manage it as if it were their own,” said Pat O’Day, Chief Information Officer at BlueLock. “With the F5 solution, they can take all the context and control that they currently have in their existing infrastructures and apply it to applications that they move into the cloud, which allows them to take advantage of the cloud in a very non-threatening way. The F5 solution essentially neutralizes the layer 2/3 network configuration differences between the customer data center and the cloud data center, so the cloud just becomes an additional resource—an extension—of their private data center.”

Enhancing the Value of Application Delivery with Integrated Partner Solutions

F5’s vision of a dynamic services model is further buoyed by its ongoing collaboration with technology partners like Microsoft, VMware, and Gomez. These partnerships help integrate virtualization management and end-user performance monitoring and management solutions within an overall dynamic control plane. This collaborative approach provides customers with the tools they need to improve the end-user experience for joint customers, and gives enterprises leveraging virtualization and cloud models the means to reliably measure real-time performance levels for tracking SLAs.

“Application Delivery Networking plays a vital role in unlocking the power of cloud computing,” said Parag Patel, VP, Alliances, VMware. “VMware vSphere™ complements BIG-IP to help enable customers to implement private cloud computing today. Whether it’s provisioning application and networking resources automatically on-demand, or automatically migrating virtual machines over distance, VMware and F5 deliver solutions that enable the kind of flexibility necessary for cloud projects to succeed.”

“The notion of a dynamic services model that acts as the ultimate, final layer of virtualization between users, the applications, and data provides immense flexibility and control to the enterprise,” said Tom Meusel, Vice President of Worldwide Channels at Gomez, the Web Performance Division of Compuware. “For Gomez, it provides a way to integrate with the infrastructure and not just the application, allowing our services to be applied across any web application, anywhere in the world, even as these web applications are created and moved on demand.”

Additional Quotes

“Alaska Airlines continues to set a high bar in our industry for leveraging technology to increase efficiencies and better serve our customers—internal and external constituents,” said Wayne Seward, Sr. Systems Architect at Alaska Airlines. “Cloud computing promises solid benefits, but before embracing this environment it’s critical to have a unified architecture to integrate disparate technologies that will allow us to extend traditional enterprise data center requirements to the cloud, with no compromises on control. F5’s vision of enabling a dynamic services model builds on its holistic view of application delivery and is designed to help enterprises safely leverage cloud services driven by business needs, and not just technology.”

“The fact that we can create a virtual ADC may not be new, but the F5 solution is different because it consistently applies application templates, security, and availability configurations across all instances of applications and data,” said Nick McClure, Lead Systems Programmer at University of Kentucky. "That’s true even when the virtual ADC moves beyond the datacenter and become an integrated component of an overall physical and virtual data center architecture. This solution provides flexibility of choice in providers, reduces switching costs by not locking organizations into one provider’s technology, and still ensures ultimate control of applications and data.”

“With FusionStorm’s broad set of technology solutions for enterprise data centers and our rapidly growing cloud and managed hosting services business, F5’s vision and product portfolio resonate well with FusionStorm’s practice,” said Vince Conroy, CTO at FusionStorm. “We need to help enterprises simplify and bridge the transition to enterprise cloud computing architectures on their terms. F5’s new 10.2 release enables unification of multiple vendor solutions for a dynamic services model and extends existing application delivery services to clouds, such as FusionStorm’s offering. Working with F5, we can help our customers seamlessly and safely extend their current, proven operational models to the cloud with minimal disruption—leveraging their configurations and maintaining the control they require for application delivery.”

“Cloud environments promise to finally allow IT departments to take advantage of on-demand services and dramatically lower computing costs, said Zeus Kerravala, SVP of Enterprise Research at Yankee Group. “However, cloud computing comes in many different flavors, and organizations need to understand how to put various components of a cloud model together to optimize performance and address specific business priorities. An Application Delivery Controller is a key piece to the puzzle, as it helps customers leverage their existing infrastructure and integrate cloud services into the current architecture where it will yield the highest returns.”

Availability

BIG-IP Version 10.2 will be available in April. To learn more about F5’s BIG-IP solutions including the associated product and feature modules, please visit www.f5.com/products/big-ip/.

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, and Edge Gateway 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.

VMware and VMware vSphere are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. The use of the word “partner” or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.

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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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