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Independent Research Firm Reveals Disconnect between Bandwidth Expense and Disaster Recovery Objectives in Study Commissioned by F5 Networks

Increasing bandwidth a popular but incomplete solution for improving Disaster Recovery capabilities; WAN acceleration technologies suggested to improve throughput and mitigate latency of existing networks
F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced a recently commissioned Forrester Consulting study, The Impact of the WAN on Disaster Recovery Capabilities. Study results were compiled following a web-based survey of 504 companies with 1,000 or more employees in North America (200) and Europe (304), with the majority of participants reporting IT budgets ranging from $1 million to $100 million. Over 75 percent of respondents considered improving data recovery times and limiting data loss at a backup data center and remote sites critical, but many cited insufficient bandwidth as having a very strong impact on their ability to extend replication or remote backup data protection.

Survey results also showed that 63 percent of polled companies agreed or strongly agreed that their current bandwidth prevents them from extending replication or remote backup protection to remote sites. Yet at the same time, 82 percent agreed or strongly agreed that "improving time to recovery and limiting data loss without increasing bandwidth is important."

The 2007 study was commissioned by F5 to examine the impact of wide-area networks (WAN) on business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR), with the sample set made up of leaders of IT, enterprise architecture, and network operations. Participants were asked about their current BC/DR efforts-including Recovery Time Objectives (RTO), Recovery Point Objectives (RPO), and budget-as well as the effects of bandwidth constraints on data replication. The respondents indicated that BC/DR accounted for an average of 21 percent of their IT budget, with bandwidth accounting for 26 percent of total replication or remote backup costs.

According to Forrester Consulting, "Data loss at remote sites is currently a huge risk exposure for most enterprises Before investing in additional bandwidth to support remote sites, improve the performance of existing replication technologies, or expand replication to other applications; [enterprises should] consider WAN acceleration offerings. When evaluating WAN acceleration appliances, focus on the vendors that have made the time and investment to test the interoperability of their appliance with independent software vendors, storage vendors, and storage networking vendors."

Findings Emphasize Critical Need for WAN Optimization Technology

WAN optimization tools, such as F5's WANJet ®, can help enterprises better utilize existing bandwidth, mitigate application latency, and increase availability to improve recovery capabilities. When asked about their level of awareness of WAN optimization technologies for improving bandwidth performance, 75 percent of survey participants reported that they were aware or very aware. However, when the survey results are viewed comprehensively, it becomes clear that although IT leaders may be well aware of WAN optimization technologies, they are not yet connecting them with the opportunity to reduce bandwidth expenses.

"Our concern is that companies are settling for stripped-down disaster recovery systems when they don't need to," said Ameet Dhillon, Director of Product Management at F5. "Disaster recovery efforts can be made many times more efficient by using WAN optimization devices like WANJet, and at a fraction of the cost these companies are spending on bandwidth. Understanding the effects of the WAN can help IT leaders supercharge their data recovery and replication systems within existing limitations of time, money, and bandwidth. With WANJet, we're able to reduce backup time for our clients by an average of 75 percent while freeing 70 percent of bandwidth for increased throughput."

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast and available for everyone, helping organizations get the most out of their investment. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications, F5 optimizes applications and allows them to work faster and consume fewer resources. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability-all on one universal platform. Over 10,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

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