F5 Releases Enhancements to BIG-IP Product Line

February 4, 2005
F5 Networks Extends BIG-IP Product Family
February 4, 2005 – (Press Release) – F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Traffic Management, today announced that its BIG-IP® product family has been enhanced and extended, and continues to dominate the market as the performance leader.

Today's announcement expands and redefines what IT staff can accomplish when delivering applications and affords enterprise organizations an exceptional Return on Investment (ROI) through the BIG-IP product's ability to provide unmatched levels of networked application intelligence and security at extraordinary speeds. Also announced today, are the results of the Broadband-Testing Performance Report1, which honored F5 with the Gold Award and cited BIG-IP version 9 as the undisputed performance leader in its comprehensive tests of competitive products.

Through a single, unified platform, the BIG-IP solution offers: (1) the market's first product with integrated hardware compression to offload expensive HTTP compression cycles; (2) a new 6800 flagship platform that delivers massive scalability and throughput; (3) dramatic software optimization which provides up to a 50% increase in L7 performance across all F5 platforms; and (4) FIPS 140-2 Level 2 certification for unparalleled performance and protection of SSL keys and data.
The new BIG-IP solution benefits a broad range of organizations, including medium to large enterprises and hosting providers. The product's new capabilities and hardware platform are ideal for large enterprises and hosting providers looking for massive scalability and performance. And, with the BIG-IP product's superior intelligence and ability to scale across all integrated functions, it delivers the best choice for medium to large organizations looking for effective consolidation of functions like SSL processing, HTTP compression, rate shaping, authentication enforcement, and advanced application networking capabilities -- all in a single unified system.

"Enterprises are deploying web-enabled applications at extraordinary rates and subsequently have an increasing need for networks that provide outstanding performance, intelligence, and flexibility," said Peter Firstbrook, Program Director at The META Group. "A product that enables customers to cost-effectively centralize all application optimization functions, offload processing from applications and servers, and eliminate many 'point' application delivery solutions will help them save money and management headaches. These combined attributes are all necessary to increase customers' ROI of their applications and network."

New BIG-IP product highlights:
The only product with integrated hardware compression to offload expensive compression cycles. F5's new HTTP Compression ASIC allows organizations to cost effectively centralize traffic compression processing--removing the load from their servers. By migrating compression onto the network, administrators can see a 20% improvement in server capacity, speed application performance (scaling up to 2 Gigabits per second), and improve the application response times for users.

Powerful new flagship platform to support the largest sites and heaviest loads. The BIG-IP 6800 Application Switch can outpace every other product on the market in terms of key performance metrics in Layer 4, Layer 7, SSL processing, and compression processing power - all running concurrently. This powerful solution provides superior scalability for joining in-depth layer 7 decisions, with extensive server and application acceleration functions into a high performance and unified network device.

Dramatic software optimization for up to a 50% increase in Layer 7 performance. The new release of BIG-IP and its Traffic Management Operating System (TM/OS) includes potent enhancements to boost application performance, which is already at the top of the performance curve. This accelerated mode provides optimized Layer 7 processing (up to 110,000 connections/second).

New BIG-IP 6400 FIPS solution for heightened security and internal protection of the most sensitive content. The new BIG-IP solution delivers unmatched scalability for FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) processing and meets regulatory requirements specified in the FIPS 140-2 Level 2 and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards. The 6400 FIPS solution offers enhanced security for SSL by storing and processing both the keys and data in a Hardware Secured Module and leads the market in FIPS processing with 8,000 TPS and 1 Gigabit of bulk encryption.

"The BIG-IP product's revolutionary TM/OS architecture, announced four months ago, enables F5 to deliver significant new capabilities and performance enhancements at an industry leading pace," said Jason Needham, Director of Product Management at F5 Networks. "As a result, this enables F5 to not only push the performance envelope in terms of speed and scalability, but also address customers' unique application delivery requirements, which are growing in complexity at record rates."

Pricing and Availability
The new release of the HTTP Compression card, the BIG-IP 6800 Application Switch, and the BIG-IP 6400 FIPS Application Switch will be available for order in the first half of February. Existing F5 customers with current maintenance agreements and hardware platforms can take advantage of the performance enhancements delivered in BIG-IP version 9.0.4. The BIG-IP 6800 base price is US$49,995 (list) and the BIG-IP 6400 Application Switch with FIPS is US$71,990 (list). The Hardware Compression card can be ordered as part of a product bundle and will be a field upgradeable option toward the end of the quarter. Contact your F5 sales representative or reseller for information on new discounted pricing bundles for F5 software and hardware products.

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