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NSS Group Independent Testing Confirms F5 Networks Offers the Most Comprehensive Content Delivery Network (CDN) Solution

Testing validates that F5's CDN solution offers a superior combination of high-speed deployment capabilities, top level performance, ease of management and security

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Internet Traffic and Content Management (iTCM) products, today announced that The NSS Group1, Europe's foremost independent network testing organization, has successfully tested and validated F5's enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN) solution. Through eight weeks of rigorous testing, NSS confirmed that F5 offers the most comprehensive and tightly integrated ECDN solution that its lab has tested to date. The ECDN solution tested was comprised of F5's complete suite of integrated iTCM products, including BIG-IP® 5000, 3-DNS® Controller, EDGE-FX™ Cache, EDGE-FX™ Content Controller and iControl™.

"We put F5's 'all-in-one' solution to the test by creating a true real-world architecture for the total web content delivery environment," said Steve Broadhead, Director, NSS France. "We've tested other content delivery solutions available, but find that they are really cobbled-together systems made up of many different products, and usually multi-vendor. We expected that F5's solution would do the job and make web content delivery much more manageable and easier than before and we weren't let down. In practice, this means that you can maintain a 24x7x365 online service with F5's ECDN solution, without compromising on web site content update."

What is an ECDN?

An Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN) is a network infrastructure that enables companies to deliver rich digital media to employees, vendors, partners and customers worldwide - quickly and at the lowest possible cost. Rich media is defined as digital media, such as streaming media, policy and user manuals, and various employee forms and documents. ECDNs are attractive because they can significantly increase a network's performance, scalability, and reliability. They enhance content availability, efficiently move large files closer to end users, and help curtail travel and business training expenses by supporting e-learning applications.

"We're pleased with the findings and results that NSS has published, particularly knowing the stress tests that our products underwent to achieve NSS' seal of approval," said Brett Helsel, senior vice-president of product development and CTO at F5 Networks. "We've always stated that F5 has the most advanced and integrated suite of products for managing traffic and content globally; offering enterprises the most comprehensive ECDN solution available today. This report simply supports our claims and offers customers detailed documentation on how each F5 product works in concert with one another to deliver end-to-end operational efficiency, security, and reliability for global content delivery."

The Test Environment

For the test environment, NSS created a two-site network across a simulated routed WAN (wide area network) link. Each site had F5's BIG-IP 5000 Application Switch, an EDGE-FX Cache and an EDGE-FX Content Controller. A single 3-DNS Controller was used for global traffic management across the two sites. While each F5 product is truly a standalone device - able to work within any network environment - NSS reviewed the products to determine the additional value that could be delivered when using them in combination. Each site was fully replicated so that, at any given time, one site was able to support user demands while the other site was being updated or (forced) down. The live http environment simulated thousands of users and billions of transactions, enabling NSS to completely test web content delivery, distribution and updates under intense traffic loads.

NSS Testing Results and Findings

Upon completion of testing, NSS concluded that F5's ECDN solution offers: (1) top level performance and resilience, (2) high-speed deployment capabilities, (3) flexible delivery options, and (4) low-complexity configuration and management. The report underscored the fact that each of these requirements must be met in order to successfully deliver a scalable web content and services delivery solution. All the tests were run repeatedly over 8 weeks in order to judge the consistency of results and test for overall resilience.

Over a five and a half hour period, NSS recorded a total of nearly 215 million transactions (214,975,028) with 641.1 Gigabits of data in and 1.7 Terabits of data out of the BIG-IP 5000, and a total of 19.1 million connections with over 9000 transactions per second at peak. This equates to an average of nearly 4 million connections per hour and data handling capabilities in excess of 100 Gigabits in and 300 Gigabits out per hour. The results also show that, over the complete test period, 49% of all content requests were sent to the EDGE-FX Cache, essentially doubling the web server capacity. Meanwhile, throughout the testing, the EDGE-FX Content Controller was synching up the caches and web servers across the global network. When NSS deliberately induced a site failure, the whole system reacted and 3-DNS immediately re-routed all requests to the redundant site. This was accomplished through 3-DNS' ability to quickly detect and instantaneously direct traffic on a global scale - delivering distributed users to the best available site.

Based upon the results of their testing, NSS strongly recommended that anyone looking to deliver web content and services across a global network - easily, quickly, and reliably - should take a look at F5 Networks' ECDN solution. The report also highlighted that F5's solution maximizes the use of industry-standard components and operating systems, protocols and bandwidth control mechanisms. The complete NSS report entitled 'F5 Networks Web Content Delivery Solution Under Test' will be posted at by the middle of June. The results of the test will be announced at a Netevents Spotlight symposium on June 14 in Scotland to a live, global audience of press and analysts.

1 The NSS Group, based in Cambridgeshire, England, operates Europe's foremost independent network testing facility with its advanced 'super lab.' Output from the labs, including detailed research reports, articles and white papers on the latest network-related technologies, are made available free of charge on their web site at

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the leader in Internet Traffic and Content Management (iTCM), and delivers application aware networks through its open Internet Control Architecture iControl. F5 features the industry's leading set of integrated products and services that manage, secure, control and optimize Internet traffic and content. Our solutions automatically and intelligently deliver the best possible Internet performance, availability and content distribution for service providers, enterprises and e-businesses. Our products remove bandwidth congestion and optimize the availability and speed of mission-critical Internet servers and applications, including web publishing, content delivery, e-commerce, caching, firewalls and more. Our 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 and Asia Pacific. F5 Networks is located on the web at

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