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LONDON UK, SEPTEMBER 24, 2001--F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the leading provider of Internet Traffic and Content Management (iTCM) products, announced today that it has won the prestigious “Editors Choice” award from Network News magazine’s annual Load Balancing bench test.


According to Network News, “F5 has spent a lot of time developing this machine – and it shows. Performance is top notch and the device offers a lot of additional optional features. The unit provides a scalable platform for all manner of Web sites, not just the Web.”


Network News wanted to create a demanding environment on which to test a selection of load balancing products. It eventually decided on employing four old P75 servers running Apache. Traffic for the test was generated using Mercury Interactive’s LoadRunner software. The BIG-IP was chosen ahead of 3COM’s SuperStack switch and Radware’s Web Server Director because of BIG-IP’s superior feature set, astonishing performance and value for the money.


“Network News’ Load Balancing bench test confirms F5's leadership in delivering the most powerful and elegant iTCM solutions to the market. We have always been two steps ahead of our competition and with our latest offering of the BIG-IP 5000, the industry’s first IP Application Switch, F5 is once again leading the way,” said Dave Gill, EMEA Vice-President at F5 Networks.


Network News concluded, "The Editor's Choice award goes to F5 Networks BIG-IP. We may have mocked the BIG-IP's lottery ball light that sits on the front cover, but it proved enough to get the unit to star with John Travolta in Swordfish. BIG-IP has a superb management interface that can easily be picked up and used. This doesn't detract from the number of features available inside the box. With support for multiple applications it can find itself at home almost anywhere. For the higher-use sites, the SSL acceleration feature could be very useful. But, as this is an optional upgrade, other users are not penalised on price."


Why Load Balance?

IT infrastructure is playing an increasingly important role in the success of a business. Market share, customer satisfaction, and company image are intertwined with the consistent availability of a company’s web site and the IP-based applications and services it supports. The foundation behind these sites – the e-infrastructure – must provide high performance, high availability, and secure + scalable solutions to meet today’s demands. Because network servers are now frequently being used to host extranets, E-commerce, and myriad other applications, they are expected to provide increased performance while providing 24x7 availability to all content and applications.


About the BIG-IP Controller

BIG-IP is a high availability, load balancing product that provides intelligent management of Internet traffic and content. Because BIG-IP provides true Layer 7 management capabilities, it can make more granular and intelligent load balancing decisions. BIG-IP can identify specific traffic based on HTTP header information or IP address to determine where a customer request should be sent - directing traffic to a set of servers or devices that can best service the request. HTTP header load balancing is one of BIG-IP's numerous methods of intelligent traffic control that gives e-Businesses nearly unlimited flexibility and manageability over the flow of IP-based traffic.


About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the leader in Internet Traffic and Content Management (iTCM), and delivers application aware networks through its open Internet Control Architecture. F5 features the industry's leading set of integrated products and services that manage, control and optimise Internet traffic and content. Our solutions automatically and intelligently deliver the best possible Internet performance, availability and content distribution for service providers, enterprises and e-businesses. Our products remove bandwidth congestion and optimise the availability and speed of mission-critical Internet servers and applications, including web publishing, content delivery, e-commerce, caching, firewalls and more. Our solutions are widely deployed in large enterprises, the top service providers, financial institutions, government agencies, healthcare, and portals throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

F5 Networks is located on the web at http://www.f5.com


About Network News

Network News, launched in 1995, is the UK's leading authority for those who buy, build and maintain infrastructure in large organisations. Published weekly specifically for networking and communications professionals, it provides extensive coverage and bench tests spanning both data and voice communications, and emerging Internet, wireless and e-business technologies. Network News is the smart choice for anybody trying to reach the most focussed group of communications specialists in the UK.


This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts", "potential" or "continue" or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the Company's filings with the SEC.

CONTACTS:


Grace Cheung
F5 Networks Limited
01784 497 218
g.cheung@f5.com

Munir Kotadia
theACC
020 8286 3212
mkotadia@theacc.net


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