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|Traded as||NASDAQ: FFIV|
S&P 500 Component
|Founded||February 26, 1996|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|François Locoh-Donou (President and CEO)|
Number of employees
F5 Networks, Inc. is a transnational company that specializes in application services and application delivery networking (ADN). F5 technologies focus on the delivery, security, performance, and availability of web applications, including the availability of computing, storage, and network resources. F5 is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with additional development, manufacturing, and administrative offices worldwide.
F5's offering was originally based on a load-balancing product, but has since expanded to include acceleration, application security, and DDoS defense. F5 technologies are available in data center and cloud environments.
In 1997, F5 launched its first product 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 2010 and 2011, F5 Networks was on Fortune's list of 100 Fastest-Growing Companies. The company was also rated one of the top ten best-performing stocks by S&P 500 in 2010. F5 was also named a Best Place to Work by online jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor in 2015 and 2016.
François Locoh-Donou replaced John McAdam as president and CEO on April 3, 2017.
On May 3, 2017, F5 announced that it would move from its longtime headquarters on the waterfront near Seattle Center to a new downtown Seattle skyscraper that will be called F5 Tower. The move occurred in early 2019.
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 to benefit the broader security community.
- uRoam (SSL VPN vendor) for US$25 million in 2003
- Magnifire WebSystems (web application firewall) for US$29 million in 2004
- Swan Labs (WAN acceleration and web acceleration) for US$43 million in 2005.
- Acopia Networks (file virtualization) for US$210 million in 2007
- DPI intellectual property from Crescendo Networks in 2011 (amount undisclosed)
- Traffix Systems (Diameter protocol switching technology) in 2012 (amount undisclosed)
- LineRate Systems in 2013 (high-performance, software-based Load Balancer for x86 systems with node.js datapath scripting)
- Versafe (anti-fraud, anti-phishing, and anti-malware solutions) for US$87.7 Million in 2013
- Defense.Net (cloud-based DDoS mitigation service) for US$49.4 million in 2014
- CloudWeaver formerly Lyatiss (Application Defined Networking) in 2015 (amount undisclosed)
- NGINX, Inc. (web server and application server vendor) for US$670 million on March 11, 2019
- Shape Security (application security) for US$1 billion on December 19, 2019
F5's BIG-IP product family comprises hardware, modularized software, and virtual appliances that run the F5 TMOS operating system. Depending on the appliance selected, one or more BIG-IP product modules can be added. Offerings 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): 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 on user, network, and cloud performance conditions.
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, 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.
- 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 enhanced performance, improves application security, and supported 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.
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.
Cloud, container and orchestration solutions
In 2017, the company introduced technologies to make F5 capabilities more portable across a broader range of IT environments, including:
- Application Services Proxy is an automated traffic management proxy that provides F5 services (and service portability) with containerized environments.
- Container Connector combines F5's application services platforms (including BIG-IP and Application Services Proxy) with native container environment management and orchestration systems such as Kubernetes, RedHat OpenShift, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, and Mesos.
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- "F5 Networks Acquires LineRate Systems". Retrieved 11 Feb 2013.
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