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F5's FirePass Controller Delivers Enterprise-Ready Secure Remote Access Solution and Dramatically Reduced Total Cost of Ownership

New release of F5's FirePass Controller is the clear choice for enterprise organizations that require superior scalability, reliability and performance; Offers broadest web application interoperability, and simplified and enhanced policy management

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Traffic Management, today announced a powerful upgrade of its award-winning FirePass® Controller. The new release of F5's popular Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) solution increases its lead over competitive products and addresses the expanding application access requirements of enterprise organizations. Today's announcement of FirePass Controller encompasses: (a) Enhanced performance and doubled capacity; (b) Breakthrough usability improvements; (c) Unique client-side trust management; and (d) Added integration for the enterprise infrastructure.

"SSL VPNs have grown from pilot projects to production solutions, and companies are relying on them to enhance productivity," said John Girard, Vice-President, Mobile and Wireless Security, Gartner, Inc. "Scalability, performance, and management are top priority issues for 2005."

The latest FirePass release provides enterprises with new powerful features, plus a variety of capabilities not found in competitive products. For example, F5's solution includes unique protection against web application layer attacks and delivers the SSL VPN market's first graphical interface for defining complex policies. This tool dramatically simplifies management and lowers Total Cost of Ownership for customers.

"FirePass has enabled Coast Capital Savings to offer a greater number of users access to corporate resources and lower its TCO by dramatically decreasing support calls and reducing the need to perform remediation due to viruses," said Andrew Banman, Systems Engineer at Coast Capital Savings. "We look forward to implementing many of the new FirePass features such as the Visual Policy Editor which offer simplified management and will help our businesses drive TCO down further by automatically enforcing security policies on remote workstations."

Highlights of the new version of FirePass Controller include:

Superior Policy Management and Ease of Use - FirePass Controller offers the industry's first Visual Policy Editor to simplify management and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). It provides a template-based, graphical policy management capability to define, audit and manage end-point security policies. In addition to providing intelligent access policy control of groups and domains, the FirePass Controller now allows administrators to define varying security policies for end-points (depending on trust relationships) to distinguish trusted PCs and laptops from other end-points such as kiosks. Its streamlined Installer enables fast 30 minute setup.

Best End-point Security - FirePass Controller has a new client integrity feature, which has the ability to determine the presence of such items as signature updates for anti-virus software, personal firewalls, operating system patches, registry settings and file integrity--before allowing a user to login. In addition, the FirePass product's unique Protected Workspace feature ensures security when working from untrusted clients. It supplies a visual keyboard to defeat sniffers, preventing access when a session ends, and obstructing tools such as the Google Desktop Search tool from indexing or caching important information on a client device during a remote session.

Peak Performance - FirePass Controller provides the highest performance of any SSL VPN product in the industry. FirePass is the only product in its category to include support for dynamic server side caching of web application content for improved web application access performance. FirePass has an encryption co-processor that will greatly improve SSL performance by processing encryption operations for all SSL payloads (not just key exchanges like other products). FirePass also has performance enhancing data compression for all access modes that will benefit all applications--specific and general use--and has been shown to increase file transfer performance by up to 60%.

Broadest Interoperability - With advanced web application support and interoperability and a much wider variety of web applications (including those based on HTML, Javascript, Flash and Java), the FirePass product enables access from an even broader array of client devices than previously provided. The new version offers superior enterprise interoperability by providing broad application support for email, web portals, network file services, terminal services, CRM and other key enterprise applications. FirePass Controller also offers integration with existing network and management infrastructure such as Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, RSA Secure ID, Netegrity and others. FirePass is ICSA certified and one of the first products to achieve certification for the VPNC's (Virtual Private Network Consortium) SSL Portal and SSL Exchange interoperability testing.

Highest Scalability - FirePass Controller offers unmatched scalability with features such as built-in load balancing, an important capability that products such as the Juniper 5000 Series platform do not provide. With the new FirePass release, enterprises can cluster multiple appliances to support tens-of-thousands of additional sessions without requiring an external load balancer. FirePass Controller places no limits on the number of users supported.

F5's award-winning FirePass Controller enables enterprises to provide secure remote access to network resources using any web-enabled device and over a range of access networks, regardless of location. With FirePass Controller, organizations benefit from superior performance and scalability, easy management, and the most advanced application security. It also offers the industry's only open Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Developer's Kit (SDK) to reduce the total cost of ownership through increased automation. And, with a F5 solution, customers can be ensured of complete business continuity by deploying F5's global traffic management product with F5's SSL VPN solution. FirePass Controller has achieved the 'Product of the Year' award in the Enterprise VPN category by ( and has been named the 'Hot Pick' based upon a review by Information Security Magazine (

"Clearly, enterprise organizations are widely adopting SSL VPN technology and actively moving from pilot projects to enterprise-wide rollouts to secure access to corporate resources for employees, partners, and suppliers," said Jeff Pancottine SVP and General Manager, Security Business Unit, F5 Networks. "This release of FirePass focuses on enterprises' expanding requirements and truly leverages our extensive expertise in working with large global organizations."

Pricing and Availability

The FirePass product is available now, with base pricing starting at US$9,990 (list). FirePass 4100 and 4000 customers can purchase a 1000 concurrent user license add-on to increase their current concurrent user capacity to a larger limit. The Anti-Virus and Personal Firewall Inspection Module is US$995 (list). Existing F5 customers with current maintenance agreements and hardware platforms can take advantage of all the capabilities in the new release of the FirePass product. For more information on FirePass controller, visit

About F5 Networks

F5 enables organizations to successfully deliver business-critical applications and gives them the greatest level of agility to stay ahead of growing business demands. As the pioneer and global leader in Application Traffic Management, F5 continues to lead the industry by driving more intelligence into the network to deliver advanced application agility. F5 products ensure the secure and optimized delivery of applications to any user - anywhere. Through its flexible and cohesive architecture, F5 delivers unmatched value by dramatically improving the way organizations serve their employees, customers and constituents, while lowering operational costs. Over 6,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their businesses running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information go to

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