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Study Uncovers Key Challenges IT Departments Face in Deploying Applications; Underscores Need for an Application Delivery Infrastructure

Commissioned study concludes that 'overlay' networks can better connect users to applications, minimize deployment issues and costs, optimize application performance, and increase security

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the results of a study commissioned by F5 and conducted by Forrester Consulting entitled Improving Application Deployments. The study, which took place in the first half of 2007, surveyed 300 North American Information Technology (IT) decision-makers and influencers from companies across a broad range of industries, with 53 percent reporting that prior-year application deployments suffered performance issues. In addition, 46 percent of respondents reported projects not completed on time, and 41 percent reported projects not completed within budget. To help eliminate these performance issues, Forrester points to a unified, policy-driven approach to application delivery.

The most often cited root causes of performance issues were network and back-end infrastructure, with 71 percent reporting that their performance issues occur in production environments (versus pre-deployment). Shortcomings in these areas, the study found, reflect the myriad of interrelated requirements being levied on IT departments to drive business initiatives. Specifically, IT is being charged to rollout applications to support business efforts, but also, to cut costs by consolidating IT assets - all while ensuring both security and business continuity/disaster recovery for users and administrators.

Compounding deployment issues and additional business requirements, enterprises are also expanding heterogeneous application portfolios with each new deployment. The study found that most companies have a diverse mix of packaged applications (SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, etc.), "homegrown" custom applications, and open source. This diverse mixture-along with increasingly rich characteristics of Web 2.0 applications-makes it even more difficult for IT departments to seamlessly integrate new applications without significantly modifying their infrastructures or encountering performance woes.

Application Delivery Infrastructure Solutions Can Solve the Dilemma IT Faces

The critical bridge between IT and the business priorities it supports, the study said, is an application delivery infrastructure. Forrester defines this as "technologies that streamline the connection of any user to any application by minimizing deployment burdens, reducing management costs, optimizing performance, and increasing security." And IT departments seem to be receiving this message, with 74 percent of respondents categorizing the network as a strategic asset for delivering applications successfully and Forrester noting that "the results of this study show that organizations don't believe incumbent packet-focused vendors have the requisite expertise and skill set to solve application issues."

Application delivery infrastructures exist as an overlay to traditional Layer 2-4 Ethernet switching networks and provide optimization, availability, and security based on policy. The study noted the industry trend of integrating these capabilities into a single appliance. These unified devices provide a common application delivery platform to facilitate increased collaboration between disparate IT functions (network and application teams, etc.), while simultaneously enabling organizations to consolidate their data centers.

"Application rollouts marred by poor performance can deal a serious blow to enterprises' business efforts, as well as their ability to stay competitive," said Jason Needham, Director of Product Management at F5. "A unified application delivery infrastructure, like F5's BIG-IP devices running on TMOS, can help optimize performance levels of existing applications and enable businesses to mitigate application delivery challenges, even as application characteristics change and businesses scale their infrastructures. F5's Application Delivery Networking solutions provide traffic management, security, and acceleration capabilities that can turn a patchwork of application deployments into a highly-integrated fabric of functionality for enterprises of all sizes."

To view the complete study, please visit

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

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