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F5’s New Technical Certification Program Helps Define and Measure the Skills Required for Today’s IT Complexities

F5 to partner with educational institutions to deliver specialized training for Application Delivery Networking

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced a new F5 Technical Certification Program designed to address the growing complexity and the resulting knowledge gap in today’s IT organizations.

As IT organizations deploy mobile and cloud-based solutions, their application environments are becoming more complex than ever, and users are becoming dissatisfied with slow and unreachable applications. This IT trend is driving the need—and raising the bar—for skilled technologists who have expertise in networking and applications and, more importantly, an in depth understanding of the interaction between the two.

In a recent report1, Gartner, Inc. noted, “Application delivery and optimization solutions are underutilized and poorly understood in many IT organizations. The skills required to fully utilize these solutions are broad and touch on multiple IT disciplines.” The report further states, “One of the challenges is to find individuals with the appropriate skill set and, more importantly, retaining the people with these difficult-to-find skills, as there is a recognized shortage and many with this skill will gravitate to the vendor community. The role played by the application delivery architect demands strong people skills and broad technical skills.”

Launching in third quarter of calendar year 2012, the new F5 Technical Certification Program is unique in that it focuses not only on F5 products and technology, but also emphasizes the underlying application delivery expertise required to design, deploy, and manage solutions in complex Application Delivery Networking environments, which often include multiple vendors’ solutions.

“F5’s new Technical Certification Program completely reevaluates the skills and knowledge that are necessary to meet the demands of application delivery, without regard for where those skills traditionally have been taught or used—in the network, application, or some other area of IT,” said Ken Salchow, Program Manager for Technical Certification at F5. “We are committing more than 12,000 hours of subject matter experts’ time to create the skills assessments, learning tools and a rigorous examination process for individuals who want to deepen their understanding of application delivery, elevate their professional standing, and expand their ability to deploy world-class solutions.”

Training + Certification = Success

F5, customers, and partners recognize the benefits and business value of hiring exceptionally qualified individuals to manage sophisticated application environments. To date, the challenge has been how best to identify whether someone has the necessary knowledge and skills. F5’s new multi-dimensional certifications will help identify individuals who already possess these exceptional qualifications.

F5 is actively working with targeted educational institutions to develop and deliver the first application delivery-focused curriculum. These new curricula will provide prospective students a career development path that more accurately reflects the demands of modern IT organizations.

“We have found that many of the skills necessary for application delivery are vendor neutral and are already being taught,” said Joe Taylor, Director, Service Operations and Training at F5. “The problem is that these distinct skills haven’t been taught in a single program or combined into an ADN-type experience. We will use the skills assessments we develop during the certification exam process to help guide the colleges and universities we’re working with in developing training courses and associated labs that blend application, network, and security knowledge into a dedicated ADN learning experience. We hope to provide both web-based training (WBT) and instructor-led training (ILT) courses to support learners who want to kick-start their application delivery careers.”

Supporting Quotes

“Application delivery knowledge is complicated as it goes well beyond a single vendor’s product,” said Patrick McFadin, Chief Architect at Hobsons. “No one has really addressed that—until now. The new F5 Technical Certification Program satisfies a long overdue need in the market and it makes sense that it would come from F5 given the strength they already have in developing knowledgeable technologists with user groups, industry events, and their DevCentral community. Their technology is market leading and now, so is their certification program.”

 “In many organizations, application network delivery products are often underutilized, so customers look to us to provide the level of expertise required to support their increasingly complex network environments,” said Al Hagaman, Director of Sales and General Manager at Sirius Computer Solutions. “F5’s new certification program will make it easier for F5 partners to find individuals with the depth of industry expertise to ensure customers are getting the most out of their investment in F5 technology. By integrating traditional networking knowledge with advanced understanding of application layer (L4-7) protocols, F5 is defining a new level of professional and technical expertise that’s needed industry wide today and supports our and F5’s commitment to project success and customer satisfaction.”

“Application delivery has become a core discipline for many of our customers,” said Christian Grusemann, Director Business Line Information Security at Computacenter AG & Co. oHG. “As such, it’s positive news that F5 is launching this certification program, which will formalize the skills needed to execute projects that require highly specialized knowledge in this area. It is a move that is beneficial to both partner and customer communities and supports our joint aim of delivering great customer service.”

Availability

Candidates can begin registering for the F5 Technical Certification Program beginning third quarter of calendar year 2012 through the Pearson Credential Manager. The Credential Management System will notify registered individuals of exam availability. Testing will be available through Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.

[1] Three Phases to Improve Application Delivery Teams; Gartner, Inc.; Mark Fabbi, Joe Skorupa; 22 November 2011

About F5

F5 Networks, Inc., the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), helps the world’s largest enterprises and service providers realize the full value of virtualization, cloud computing, and on-demand IT. F5® solutions help integrate disparate technologies to provide greater control of the infrastructure, improve application delivery and data management, and give users seamless, secure, and accelerated access to applications from their corporate desktops and smart devices. An open architectural framework enables F5 customers to apply business policies at “strategic points of control” across the IT infrastructure and into the public cloud. F5 products give customers the agility they need to align IT with changing business conditions, deploy scalable solutions on demand, and manage mobile access to data and services. Enterprises, service and cloud providers, and leading online companies worldwide rely on F5 to optimize their IT investments and drive business forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technology. For a complete listing of F5 community sites, please visit www.f5.com/news-press-events/web-media/community.html.

F5 and DevCentral 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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