F5 Networks

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F5, Inc.
S&P 500 Component
PredecessorF5 Labs, F5 Networks
FoundedFebruary 26, 1996; 25 years ago (1996-02-26)
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, United States
Key people
François Locoh-Donou (President and CEO)
  • US$ 2,161.407 million (2018)[1]
  • Increase US$ 2,090.041 million (2017) [2]
  • US$ 590.899 million (2018)[1]
  • IncreaseUS$ 563.956 million (2017)[2]
  • US$ 453.689 million (2018)[1]
  • IncreaseUS$ 420.761 million (2017)[2]
Total assets
  • US$ 2,605.476 million (2018)[1]
  • IncreaseUS$ 2,476.489 million (2017)[2]
Total equity
  • US$ 1,285.492 million (2018)[1]
  • IncreaseUS$ 1,229.392 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
5,700 (2021)
Websitewww.f5.com Edit this at Wikidata

F5, Inc. is an American company that specializes in application delivery networking (ADN), application availability & performance, multi-cloud management, application security, network security, access & authorization and online fraud prevention.

F5 is headquartered in Seattle, Washington in F5 Tower, with an additional 75 offices[3] in 43 countries[4] focusing on sales, support, development, manufacturing, and administrative jobs. Notable office locations include Spokane, Washington; New York, New York; Boulder, Colorado; London, England; San Jose, California; and San Francisco, California.[5]

F5's originally offered application delivery controller (ADC) technology,[6] but expanded into application layer, automation, multi-cloud, and security services. As ransomware, data leaks, DDoS, and other attacks on businesses of all sizes are arising, companies such as F5 have continued to reinvent themselves.[7] While the majority of F5's revenue continues to be attributed to their hardware products such as the BIG-IP iSeries chassis systems, the company has begun to offer additional modules on the their proprietary operating system, TMOS (Traffic Management Operating System.) [8]These modules are listed below and include, but are not limited to, Local Traffic Manager (LTM), Advanced Web Application Firewall (AWAF), DNS (previously named GTM), and Access Policy Manager (APM). These offer organizations running the BIG-IP the ability to deploy load balancing, Layer 7 application firewalls, single sign-on (for Azure AD, Active Directory, LDAP, and Okta), as well as enterprise-level VPNs. While the BIG-IP was traditionally a hardware product, F5 now offers it as a virtual machine, which they have branded as the BIG-IP Virtual Edition. The BIG-IP Virtual Edition is cloud agnostic and can be deployed on-premises or in a public or hybrid cloud.

F5's customers include Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, Alaska Airlines, and Facebook, Inc.[9]

Corporate history[edit]

F5 Inc., originally named "F5 Labs"[10] and formerly branded "F5 Networks, Inc." was established in 1996.[11] Currently the company's public facing branding[12] generally presents the company as just "F5."

In 1997, F5 launched its first product,[13] a load balancer called BIG-IP. BIG-IP served the purpose of reallocating server traffic away from overloaded servers. In June 1999, the company had its initial public offering and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with symbol FFIV.[14]

In 2017, François Locoh-Donou replaced John McAdam as president and CEO.[15] Later in 2017, F5 launched a dedicated site and organization focused on gathering global threat intelligence data, analyzing application threats, and publishing related findings, dubbed “F5 Labs” in a nod to the company's history. The team continues to research application threats and publish findings every week. On May 3, 2017, F5 announced[16] that it would move from its longtime headquarters on the waterfront near Seattle Center to a downtown Seattle skyscraper that will be called F5 Tower. The move occurred in early 2019.

Notable F5 employees include Igor Sysoev, the author of Nginx.

Products and services offered by F5 are used by 48 of the Fortune 50[17] rely on F5 for load balancing, Layer 7 application security, and API management.

Product Divisions[edit]


F5's BIG-IP product family comprises hardware, modularized software, and virtual appliances that run the F5 TMOS operating system.[18][19] Depending on the appliance selected, one or more BIG-IP product modules can be added.

Offerings include:

  • BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM): Local load balancing with caching, compression and tcp acceleration, based on a full-proxy architecture.
  • BIG-IP DNS: An intelligent global site load balancing (GSLB) and authoritative DNS server. Distributes DNS and application requests based on user, network, and cloud performance conditions.
  • BIGIP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM): On-premises DDoS protection and data center firewall .
  • BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM): Provides access control and authentication for HTTP and HTTPS applications.
  • Advanced WAF: An advanced web application firewall with cutting edge technology.
  • Container Ingress Service (CIS): Provides automation, orchestration, and networking services for container deployments.
  • IP Intelligence (IPI): Blocking known bad IP addresses, prevention of phishing attacks and botnets.
  • BIG-IQ: 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]

BIG-IP history[edit]

On September 7, 2004, F5 Networks released version 9.0 of the BIG-IP software in addition to appliances to run the 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 system 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.


In 2019, F5 acquired NGINX, the company responsible for the widely used open-source web server software, for $670 million.[23] The company supports the open source software as well as commercial versions of the software.

Shape Security[edit]

In 2020, F5 acquired Shape Security, an artificial intelligence-based bot detection company, for $1 billion.[24] It also sells products to protect applications against fraud.[25]


Silverline is a cloud-based managed security service. Its offerings include security services such as WAF, DDoS, and Anti-Bot protection services. The Silverline services are enabled by BIG-IP ASM, Shape, and NGINX technology platforms.


In 2021, F5 acquired Volterra, an edge networking company, for $500 million.[26] It sells SaaS security services.

Threat Stack[edit]

Reported on Monday, September 20, 2021, F5, Inc. announced plans to acquire Threat Stack, a Boston, MA cloud security startup for a reported $68 million. The deal is expected to close during F5's first fiscal quarter of 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021.[27][28]


  1. ^ a b c d e "F5 NETWORKS INC 2016 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. September 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "F5 NETWORKS INC 2017 Annual Report Form(10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
  3. ^ "English (US)". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  4. ^ "English (US)". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  5. ^ "English (US)". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  6. ^ "How F5 Networks built an empire on controlling the internet". Information Age. 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  7. ^ Datanyze. "F5 BIG-IP Platform Market Share and Competitor Report | Compare to F5 BIG-IP Platform, F5 BIG-IP APM, AWS Elastic Load Balancer". Datanyze. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  8. ^ "Take a Flexible and Adaptable Approach to Application Delivery" (PDF). BIG-IP Modules Datasheet. September 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2021. |first= missing |last= (help)
  9. ^ "Customers". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "F5 Networks Form 10-K". Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  12. ^ "Creative Guidelines" (PDF). f5.com. April 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  13. ^ Rossi, Ben. "How F5 Networks built an empire on controlling the internet". Information Age.
  14. ^ "F5 Networks Inc files for a $30,000,000 initial public offering on April 7, 1999". Stock IPO Dates & Prices. 1999-04-07. Retrieved 2017-06-13.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "F5 names new CEO after yearlong search". The Seattle Times. January 30, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  16. ^ "F5 Networks will move HQ to glitzy new Seattle skyscraper, to be called 'F5 Tower'". geekwire.com. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  17. ^ "English (US)". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  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.
  23. ^ "F5 acquires NGINX for $670M to move into open-source, multi-cloud services". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  24. ^ Condon, Stephanie. "F5 to acquire Shape Security for approximately $1 billion". ZDNet. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  25. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie. "F5 Networks intros new fraud detection engine based on Shape Security acquisition". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  26. ^ "F5 Networks Reaches $500 Million Deal for Startup Volterra". Bloomberg.com. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  27. ^ Page, Carly. "F5 acquires cloud security startup Threat Stack for $68 million". Tech Crunch.
  28. ^ Networks, F5. "F5 Enhances Cloud Security Portfolio with Acquisition of Threat Stack". F5, Inc. Investor Relations.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°37′21″N 122°21′49″W / 47.62250°N 122.36361°W / 47.62250; -122.36361