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Independent Layer 4-7 Real World Testing Validates F5 Networks Superior Performance Over Its Competitors

F5 Networks IP Application Switches Outperform Products from Cisco, Nortel, Radware and Foundry, according to VeriTest's results

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Application Traffic Management solutions, today announced that its IP Application Switches have generated the best Layer 4 and Layer 7 results in competitive performance testing. Testing was completed by an independent test lab, VeriTest, who benchmarked F5's BIG-IP® Application Switches against comparable products from Cisco, Nortel, Radware and Foundry. To validate its performance claims, F5 is publishing results from VeriTest, which proves that F5's products surpass their competition in both Layer 4 and Layer 7 new sessions per second. F5's award-winning BIG-IP Application Switches are the only traffic management solutions with an architecture optimized for IP traffic, because of their centralized processing and switch fabric design. In addition, they are the only solutions that offer integrated SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security across all models.

"The results of VeriTest's rigorous real world testing confirms F5's performance leadership position in the market. Our superior Layer 4 performance is a direct result of the BIG-IP 2400's Packet Velocity ASIC," said Dan Matte, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at F5 Networks. "F5 has always been the undisputed leader when it comes to our software's rich Layer 7 functionality. It's because of this capability, combined with our Application Switches' performance advantage, integrated SSL, and competitive price points, that customers view F5 as the most attractive solution in the industry."

Layer 4 sessions per second performance results

VeriTest's results show that F5's BIG-IP 2400 device generated the best Layer 4 results at 108,986 sessions/second. Results of the testing show that the BIG-IP 2400 is 10.4 times as fast as the Cisco 11503 and 2.7 times as fast as its nearest competitor, the Alteon Web Switch 184 (Nortel), which performed at 41,023 sessions/second. The Radware WSD and Foundry ServerIron XL products came in below Nortel at 28,579 sessions/second and 15,232 sessions/second, respectively.

Layer 7 sessions per second performance results

According to VeriTest, out of all the devices tested, F5's BIG-IP 5100 platform generated superior Layer 7 results at 18,963 sessions/second - 8.1 times as fast as the Cisco 11503. The Alteon Web Switch 184, Radware WSD and Foundry ServerIron XL tested at 17,397 sessions/second, 10,106 sessions/second, and 4,191 sessions/second, respectively.

Overview of VeriTest's test environment

The test environment was a departure from previous methodologies where vendors test their products in non real-world test scenarios that only involve TCP set up and tear down (with no real data transferred for the session). All the devices tested provide Layer 4 and Layer 7 load balancing functionality to improve overall HTTP performance by distributing incoming HTTP requests to one or more back end Web servers. Basic Layer 4 load balancing is provided by configuring these Web servers into various server pools composed of one or more servers. Client requests are directed to a Virtual IP address associated with a server pool. The client requests are load balanced to the pool's servers by using a variety of distribution algorithms, including round robin and least connections. By efficiently spreading the client load over multiple cloned cost-effective Web servers, overall HTTP performance is increased compared to using a single or multiple high capacity, high cost Web servers.

Testing involved the Ixia IxWeb v1.25 application software on two Ixia 1600T chassis using 72 ports to execute and control the testing. Software was installed on both Ixia chassis and a separate PC-based system to configure and execute all tests. Testing procedures and scripts will be made available upon request and can be reproduced.

Complete VeriTest results will be posted on F5's and VeriTest's Web site soon.

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

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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.