F5 Networks: Strong Financials, New Gateway
First, F5 Networks delivered strong Q1 financial results. Now, the company is preparing to announce the BIG-IP Edge Gateway. F5’s goal is to deliver “LAN-speed application performance for remote and mobile workers.” Here are the details.
Let’s start with F5’s financial results. The company says Q1 profits rose 37 percent, and year-over-year quarterly revenue increased 15.5 percent to $191.2 million, according to a Jan. 20 media release. Minyanville says F5’s results show the economic recovery is happening.
Still, F5 Networks isn’t resting on its laurels. The company is set to launch the BIG-IP Edge Gateway. F5 says the gateway unifies SSL VPN access, dynamic access control and app acceleration all while being completely device agnostic. F5 claims to offer 5 times the scaling capability and 8 times improvement from other alternatives (they poke at Juniper).
According to F5, the new BIG-IP Edge Gateway enables customers to:
- Dramatically reduce CapEx with unified services and simplified management
- Simplify device management by ensuring access across heterogeneous applications services, networks, data resources, etc
- automatic network roaming persistence for easy user-access.
- optimized web application acceleration for mobile users
But Wait, There’s More
Bundled with the Gateway is SmartConnect. A “unique persistence and access intelligence” system that claims to make life easier for roaming users. The connection to the internal network stays ‘on’ and the integrity of the session (encryption, safety, security, etc..) is adjusted based on where and how the users is connected. Translation: F5 is trying to make VPN headaches a thing of the past.
The Gateway also offers IT staff a way to offer access “based on context.” User’s policy + user location = correct redirection to local resources. You can also utilize single sign-on for almost all directory services “across all application types, devices, and operating systems.” Effect? Reduced complexity, increased efficiency.
Lastly, the Gateway has some application prioritization. Best example? VoIP traffic gets the prime spot and the most bandwidth so calls are clear. Data shares might get just as much traffic room as it needs.
The Big-IP Edge Gateway launches January 25.
Oh, And While You’re Reading…
The F5 product launches don’t end there. Also on tap from F5 Networks is BIG-IP Version 10.1 with…
- BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM): Lets IT departments provide “policy-based, customizable access and authentication to web applications for corporate employees (local and remote), mobile workers, business partners, and customers.” Basically, it’s a fancy way of saying you’re consolidating your security. Instead of throwing 200 proxies at 200 applications, you can turn the switch in APM and let it do the work. At the same time, you can micromanage your network easier too.
- BIG-IP WAN Optimization Module (WOM): Boosts data transfer over a network via optimizing of traffic and bandwidth. How? Simply put, a lot of smart hardware and software that uses adaptive compression and duplication technologies. Put a BIG-UP WOM at each of the connection and watch the data flow. Since Data tends to be repetitive, WOM notes when there’s similar strings of data, so instead of redundantly sending bit by bit, it only sends the ‘delta’ or change in the file. This helps with consolidating data centers when through the use of adaptive compression and de-duplication technologies. F5’s WOM claims are that it “increas[es] transfer rates up to 70 times over existing methods” and the cheapest tool on the market.
- Geolocation Services Integrated in TMOS for Enhanced Security: If you’re a company with a few floating data centers across the country, or the world, you might have some issues directing your users to the closest server for the best connection. Social networking sites might want to take note of this stuff, too: F5’s boxes check out the location of an incoming IP address and redirect the user towards the nearest server. You can also use rules to set up regional and/or state-level filtering. It’s kind of a big deal because as of late, the solution to this problem is to hard-code applications / rules which isn’t exactly time efficient.
That’s a lot of information to digest. Got questions? I’m listening.