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Powerful New Version of F5's FirePass Controller Delivers Industry-Leading Usability and a Single Access Platform to Handle All Remote Access Scenarios

F5 sets the standard for simplified management and ease-of use, delivering the first SSL VPN product to offer Visual Policy Management and Access Policy Templates; New EasyConnect capability offers a superior end-user connection experience

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced version 6.0 of its award-winning FirePass® Controller Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) solution. Enterprises can now deploy a single, easy-to-use FirePass platform to define and manage access policies for all user scenarios--eliminating the need to manage multiple technologies and products for centralized access control. This unique capability provides the most cost-effective architecture for unified access control.

The robust new release of the FirePass product provides industry-leading usability features, including F5's new EasyConnect options that deliver the best end-user connection experience and the broadest range of interface options. Powerful new enhancements to the FirePass product's unique Visual Policy Editor significantly reduce policy setup and management complexity for the SSL VPN administrator. As part of this, FirePass now offers the capability to control access to various resources based on Policy Templates using "session variables". This significantly reduces policy setup and management complexity by eliminating the need to manually define each and every access policy inside the FirePass system.

"We believe the dramatic improvements that FirePass delivers to both end-users and administrators will change the secure access market dynamics by facilitating broad adoption of SSL VPN technology as a common platform for all remote access needs," said Ameet Dhillon, Director of Product Management at F5 Networks. "Simply put, FirePass offers a better alternative for enterprises. For example, F5's patent pending Dynamic AppTunnels provides a superior approach to reverse proxy technologies as it delivers broader application interoperability, while significantly lowering deployment and management costs."

In addition, the FirePass Controller delivers a superior endpoint security solution, while easing management and improving end-user satisfaction and security. For the first time in the industry, a SSL VPN solution can not only protect access with the richest end-point security checks, but can also visually define and host auto-remediation if the client does not comply.

"Southern Illinois Healthcare strives to promote the health and well-being of people in our surrounding communities, through compassionate, collaborative, and quality health care," says Sebastian Sullivan, M.B.A., Security Specialist and Project Manager for the IT Compliance & Quality Assurance Department of Southern Illinois Healthcare. "FirePass' robust functionality, extreme ease of use, and user friendly web interface continue to increase our employees', physicians', and partners' productivity and satisfaction, ultimately helping our patients receive the high quality health care they deserve. We're very excited about simplified network access via the new Windows Logon/GINA integration feature in FirePass, as well as the enhanced Visual Policy Editor that promises easy administrative policy control."

Highlights of the new version of FirePass Controller include:

Ease of Management. FirePass Controller is the first SSL VPN solution to offer Visual Policy Management, featuring policy templates that dynamically assign access and endpoint security auto-remediation based on "session variables". This capability significantly reduces policy setup and management complexity. By eliminating the need to manually define every access policy in FirePass, enterprises can save valuable time and reduce errors.

Industry-Leading Usability. FirePass features new EasyConnect, which allows end users to select their interface of choice to logon to FirePass and establish a VPN connection. This simplifies and optimizes the end-user experience and helps minimize support issues by giving users options that they are familiar with. For example, FirePass now features Windows Logon/GINA integration. This enables simplified, transparent user access to the corporate network using the Windows logon process from any remote access network.

Integrated Advanced End-Point Security. FirePass now includes support for checking over 100 different versions of desktop antivirus and firewall products, provides built-in protected workspace for preventing information accidentally left behind on client device, and offers the market's only secure virtual keyboard for key logger protection.

Broader Application Support. FirePass improves productivity, lowers management costs and enhances customers' ROI with its patent pending Dynamic AppTunnels technology. Dynamic Apptunnels is a better alternative to reverse proxy technology for accessing web applications because it eliminates the need for extensive interoperability testing without requiring any additional end user rights for access.

"Driven by enterprises' need for flexibility to support a broad range of access scenarios and simplified common access management, SSL VPN technology is rapidly emerging as the mainstream technology of choice for all kinds of remote access," said John Girard, VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. "A key criterion for mainstream adoption of SSL VPN technology is usability for end users and administrators. For example, administrators need tools that enable them to easily manage user access policies, while providing a secure and transparent experience for users--regardless of client device or application."

About FirePass Controller

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. FirePass Controller has recently been named the 'Hot Pick' based upon a review by Information Security Magazine http://www.f5.com/pdf/news/20050110-information-security.pdf.

Availability

The new version of the FirePass product is available at the end of the month. The product ships with built-in support for all access modes (Network access, Application Access, Portal access) and endpoint security. 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 http://www.f5.com/products/firepass/.

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. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. Additional information about F5 is available on the company's website (www.f5.com) and in its SEC filings.

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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.

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