F5 Networks

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F5 Networks, Inc.
S&P 500 Component
Industry Technology
Predecessor F5 Labs
Founded February 26, 1996; 21 years ago (1996-02-26)
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, United States
Key people
John McAdam (President and CEO)
Products Networking
  • Increase US$ 1,995.034 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 1,919.823 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 547.377 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 552.899 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 365.855 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 365.014 million (2015) [1]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 2,306.323 million (2016) [2]
  • Increase US$ 2,312.290 million (2015) [1]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 1,185.262 million (2016) [2]
  • Increase US$ 1,316.728 million (2015) [1]
Number of employees
4,460 (2017)
Website www.f5.com

F5 Networks, Inc. is an American-based company that specializes in application delivery networking (ADN) technology for the delivery of web applications and the security, performance, availability of servers, data storage devices, and other network and cloud resources. F5 is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has other development, manufacturing, and sales/marketing offices.

Known originally for its load balancing product, today F5's product and services line has expanded into all things related to the delivery of applications, including local load balancing and acceleration, global (DNS based) load balancing and acceleration, security through web application firewall and application authentication and access products, DDOS defense, and more, both for the local datacenter and cloud.

Corporate history[edit]

F5 Networks, originally named F5 Labs,[3] was established in 1996.[4] The company name was inspired by the 1996 movie Twister, in which reference was made to the fastest and most powerful tornado on the Fujita Scale: F5.

F5's first product was a load balancer called BIG-IP. When a server went down or became overloaded, BIG-IP directed traffic away from that server to other servers that could handle the load. In June 1999, the company had its initial public offering and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with symbol FFIV.

In 2010 and 2011, F5 Networks was on Fortune's list of 100 Fastest-Growing Companies.[5] The company was also rated one of the top ten best-performing stocks by S&P 500 in 2010.[6] F5 was also named a Best Place to Work by online jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor in 2015 and 2016.[7]

Competitors included Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, and Radware.

François Locoh-Donou will take over as president and CEO on April 3, 2017.[8]>


  • uRoam (SSL VPN vendor) for USD $25 million in 2003[9]
  • Magnifire WebSystems (web application firewall) for USD $29 million in 2004[10]
  • Swan Labs (WAN acceleration and web acceleration) for USD $43 million in 2005.[11]
  • Acopia Networks (file virtualization) for USD $210 million in 2007[12]
  • DPI intellectual property from Crescendo Networks in 2011 (amount undisclosed) [13]
  • Traffix Systems (Diameter protocol switching technology) in 2012 (amount undisclosed) [14]
  • LineRate Systems in 2013 (high-performance, software-based Load Balancer for x86 systems with node.js datapath scripting)[15]
  • Versafe in 2013[16]
  • Defense.Net in 2014[17]



F5's BIG-IP product family comprises purpose-built hardware, modularized software, and virtualized solutions that run the F5 TMOS operating system.[18][19] Depending on the appliance selected, one or more BIG-IP product modules can be added to a BIG-IP device to deliver multiple networking functions on a single, unified platform.

Notable products include:

  • Local Traffic Manager (LTM): Local load balancing based on a full-proxy architecture.
  • Application Security Manager (ASM): A web application firewall.
  • Access Policy Manager (APM): Provides access control and authentication for HTTP and HTTPS applications.
  • Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM): On-premises DDoS protection, data centre firewall.
  • Application Acceleration Manager (AAM): Accelerates and optimizes application performance through technologies such as compression and caching.
  • IP Intelligence (IPI): Blocking known bad IP addresses, prevention of phishing attacks and botnets.
  • WebSafe: Protects against sophisticated fraud threats, leveraging advanced encryption, client-less malware detection and session behavioral analysis capabilities.
  • BIG-IP DNS: Distributes DNS and application requests based user, network, and cloud performance conditions.

BIG-IP software development history[edit]

On September 7, 2004, F5 Networks released version 9.0 of the BIG-IP software in addition to a new collection of BIG-IP appliances on which customers could run said software. Version 9.0 also marked the introduction of the company’s TMOS architecture,[20] with significant enhancements including:

  • Moved from BSD to Linux to handle sys management functions (disks, logging, bootup, console access, etc.)
  • Creation of a Traffic Management Microkernel (TMM) to directly talk to the networking hardware and handle all network activities.[19][21][22]
  • Creation of the standard full-proxy mode, which fully terminates network connections at the BIG-IP and establishes new connections between the BIG-IP and the member servers in a pool. This allows for optimum TCP stacks on both sides as well as the complete ability to modify traffic in either direction.

Subsequent releases have expanded the BIG-IP/TMOS platform to enhance performance, improve application security, and better support cloud application deployments.


F5 describes BIG-IQ as a framework for managing BIG-IP devices and application services, irrespective of their form factors (hardware, software or cloud) or deployment model (on-premises, private/public cloud or hybrid). BIG-IQ supports integration with other ecosystem participants such as public cloud providers, and orchestration engines through cloud connectors and through a set of open RESTful APIs. BIG-IQ uses a multi-tenant approach to management. This allows organizations to move closer to IT as a Service without concern that it might affect the stability or security of the services fabric.[24]


Herculon is a product for security administrators. DDoS Hybrid Defender and SSL Orchestrator, were introduced in January 2017.


Silverline is a cloud-based application service. Its offerings include security services such as WAF and DDoS protection services.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "F5 NETWORKS INC 2016 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Sept 30 2016.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b "F5 NETWORKS INC 2016 Q4 Quarterly Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Sept 30,2016.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ http://www.alacrastore.com/storecontent/Thomson_Venture_Economics/F5_Networks_Inc_AKA_F5_Labs_Inc-Y45115
  4. ^ "F5 Networks Form 10-K". Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  5. ^ "100 Fastest-growing companies". CNN. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  6. ^ Frank Byrt. "10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks of 2010". TheStreet. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Glassdoor - Best Places to Work". Glassdoor. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  8. ^ "F5 names new CEO after yearlong search". The Seattle Times. January 30, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Quick Takes: F5 lassos uRoam". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  10. ^ John Leyden (July 1, 2004). "F5 snaps up MagniFire". The Register. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ "F5 to acquire Swan Labs". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  12. ^ "F5 Networks Completes Acquisition of Acopia Networks". Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  13. ^ "F5 Acquires Intellectual Property Assets of Crescendo Networks". Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "F5 Networks Acquires Traffix Systems". Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "F5 Networks Acquires LineRate Systems". Retrieved 11 Feb 2013. 
  16. ^ "F5 Networks Acquires Versafe to Help Customers Protect Against Online Fraud". Retrieved 2 Nov 2013. 
  17. ^ "F5 Networks Acquires Defense.Net". Retrieved 5 Aug 2014. 
  18. ^ Steven Iveson (2013-04-20). "What the Heck Is F5 Networks' TMOS?". packetpushers.net. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  19. ^ a b Ryan Kearny; Steve Graves (2008-12-14). "No operating system is an island". embedded.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  20. ^ "What The Heck Is F5 Networks' TMOS? - Packet Pushers -". Packet Pushers. 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  21. ^ "Manual Chapter: Understanding Core System Services". f5.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  22. ^ "Overview of BIG-IP Traffic Management Microkernel (TMM) CPU and RAM usage". f5.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°37′20″N 122°21′49″W / 47.622219°N 122.363493°W / 47.622219; -122.363493