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

F5, Inc.
Formerly
  • F5 Labs, Inc. (1996–1999)
  • F5 Networks, Inc. (1999–2021)
TypePublic company
IndustryTechnology
FoundedFebruary 26, 1996; 26 years ago (1996-02-26)
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Key people
François Locoh-Donou (President and CEO)
Mika Yamamoto (Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer)
ProductsApplication Security and Delivery
Revenue Increase US$2.60 billion (2021)[1]
Increase US$394.03 million (2021)[1]
Increase US$331.24 million (2021)[1]
Total assets Increase US$5.077 billion (2022)[1]
Total equity Increase US$2.36 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees
6,900 (July 25, 2022)
Websitewww.f5.com Edit this at Wikidata

F5 is headquartered in Seattle, Washington in F5 Tower, with an additional 75 offices[2] in 43 countries[2] focusing on account management, global services support, product development, manufacturing, software engineering, and administrative jobs. Notable office locations include Spokane, Washington; New York, New York; Boulder, Colorado; London, England; San Jose, California; and San Francisco, California.[2]

F5's originally offered application delivery controller (ADC) technology,[3] 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.[4] While the majority of F5's revenue continues to be attributed to their hardware products such as the BIG-IP iSeries systems, the company has begun to offer additional modules on their proprietary operating system, TMOS (Traffic Management Operating System.) [5] 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 in a public and/or hybrid cloud environment.

F5's customers include Microsoft, Oracle, Alaska Airlines, Tesla, and Meta.[6]

Corporate historyEdit

F5, Inc., originally named "F5 Labs"[7] and formerly branded "F5 Networks, Inc." was established in 1996.[8] Currently, the company's public facing branding[9] generally presents the company as just "F5."

In 1997, F5 launched its first product,[10] 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.[11]

In 2017, François Locoh-Donou replaced John McAdam as president and CEO.[12] 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[13] 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.

F5 employees include Igor Sysoev, the author of NGINX; Dahl-Nygaard laureate Gilad Bracha; Google click fraud czar Shuman Ghosemajumder; and Defense.Net founder Barrett Lyon.

48 of the Fortune 50 companies use F5 for load balancing, Layer 7 application security, fraud prevention, and API management.[2]

Product OfferingsEdit

 
F5 site in Spokane, Washington state, December 2021

F5 BIG-IPEdit

F5's BIG-IP product family comprises hardware, modularized software, and virtual appliances that run the F5 TMOS operating system.[14][15] Depending on the appliance selected, one or more BIG-IP product modules can be added.

BIG-IP HistoryEdit

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,[16] with 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.[15][17][18]
  • 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 late 2021, F5 introduced the next-generation of their BIG-IP hardware platforms, the rSeries and VELOS chassis platform. These next-generation systems will replace the previous generation iSeries and VIPRION chassis system.[19]

F5 NGINXEdit

As a part of the NGINX, Inc. acquisition in 2019, F5 offers a premium, enterprise-level version of NGINX with advanced features, multiple support SLAs, and regular software updates. Hourly and annual subscription options are available with multiple levels of support, professional services, and training.

F5 Distributed Cloud ServicesEdit

During F5 Agility 2022, F5 announced a new product offering being built on the platforms of BIG-IP, Shape Security, and Volterra.[20] The first new product available to the market will be the SaaS-based Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) solution. F5 Distributed Cloud Services are SaaS-based security, networking, and application management services that enable customers to deploy, secure, and operate their applications in a cloud-native environment wherever needed–data center, multi-cloud, or the network or enterprise edge.[21][22]

AcquisitionsEdit

NGINX, Inc.Edit

In March 2019, F5 acquired NGINX, Inc., the company responsible for widely used open-source web server software, for $670 million.[23]

Shape Security, Inc.Edit

In January 2020, F5 acquired Shape Security, Inc., an artificial intelligence-based bot detection company, for $1 billion.[24] It also sells products to protect applications against fraud.[25] The previous Shape Security-branded solutions are now included in F5 Distributed Cloud Services. [26]

Volterra, Inc.Edit

In January 2021, F5 acquired Volterra, Inc., an edge networking company, for $500 million.[27] It sells SaaS security services. The previous Volterra-branded solutions are now included in F5 Distributed Cloud Services.[28]

Threat Stack, Inc.Edit

In October 2021, F5 acquired Threat Stack, Inc., a Boston cloud computing security startup company for a reported $68 million.[29][30][31]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "F5, Inc. 2021 Annual Report Form (10-K)". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 16 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "English (US)". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  3. ^ "How F5 Networks built an empire on controlling the internet". Information Age. 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Take a Flexible and Adaptable Approach to Application Delivery" (PDF). BIG-IP Modules Datasheet. September 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Customers". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "F5 Networks Form 10-K". Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  9. ^ "Creative Guidelines" (PDF). f5.com. April 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Rossi, Ben (10 June 2016). "How F5 Networks built an empire on controlling the internet". Information Age.
  11. ^ "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]
  12. ^ "F5 names new CEO after yearlong search". The Seattle Times. January 30, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  13. ^ "F5 Networks will move HQ to glitzy new Seattle skyscraper, to be called 'F5 Tower'". geekwire.com. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  14. ^ Steven Iveson (2013-04-20). "What the Heck Is F5 Networks' TMOS?". packetpushers.net. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  15. ^ a b Ryan Kearny; Steve Graves (2008-12-14). "No operating system is an island". embedded.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  16. ^ "What The Heck Is F5 Networks' TMOS? - Packet Pushers -". Packet Pushers. 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  17. ^ "Manual Chapter: Understanding Core System Services". f5.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  18. ^ "Overview of BIG-IP Traffic Management Microkernel (TMM) CPU and RAM usage". f5.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  19. ^ support.f5.com https://support.f5.com/csp/article/K49918625. Retrieved 2022-02-19. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "F5 Agility 2022". agility2022.f5agility.com. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  21. ^ "F5 Distributed Cloud Services". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  22. ^ "F5 Strengthens Protection of the Digital World with F5 Distributed Cloud Services". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  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 Strengthens Protection of the Digital World with F5 Distributed Cloud Services". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  27. ^ "F5 Networks Reaches $500 Million Deal for Startup Volterra". Bloomberg.com. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  28. ^ "F5 Strengthens Protection of the Digital World with F5 Distributed Cloud Services". www.f5.com. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  29. ^ Page, Carly. "F5 acquires cloud security startup Threat Stack for $68 million". Tech Crunch.
  30. ^ Networks, F5. "F5 Enhances Cloud Security Portfolio with Acquisition of Threat Stack". F5, Inc. Investor Relations.
  31. ^ "F5 Completes Acquisition of Threat Stack to Enhance Cloud Security Portfolio". AiThority. 2021-10-04. Retrieved 2021-11-03.

External linksEdit