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F5's New Big-IP Suite for Amazon

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Renowned provider of application delivery controllers (ADCs), F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) recently unveiled a virtual edition of its flagship Big-IP product suite for Amazon.com’s (AMZN) web services aka AWS. The web-based version of Big-IP will have similar features as its physical version.

The BIG-IP product suite helps in application delivery services through equal load balancing and service offloading. The BIG-IP system (physical or virtual) runs on the Linux operating system and acts as a network appliance, which is placed in a data center between a firewall and application servers ensuring prompt and secure delivery across IT systems.

Amazon Web Services (:AWS) provides access to technology infrastructure that developers can use to enable various types of virtual businesses. The platform will now be able to offer F5’s latest Big-IP suite to meet the growing demand for data center solutions across the enterprise sector.

Through AWS, F5 Big-IP will provide customers with options to choose from various solutions such as traffic management, global server load balancing, application firewall, web application acceleration and other advanced application delivery functions.

We believe that the pact between the two could create a win-win situation for both the companies. More customers would prefer to join AWS to get the Big-IP solution easily. On the other hand, F5 will get wide coverage for its products.

F5 happens to be a key player in the ADC market, thanks to the popularity of its Big-IP and VIPRION product suites. Recently, IT market research firm Gartner Inc. (IT) named the company a leader in the ADC market.

The research firm also stated that Citrix Systems Inc. (CTXS) and Radware (RDWR) could become strong contenders for the leading position, which would be a potential challenge for F5 Networks.

However, we hope that strategic tie-ups with leading enterprise software vendors, such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and VMware Inc. (VMW), as well as Cisco Systems Corp.’s exit from the ADC market will mitigate the risk.

Despite a prospective growth story, F5 Networks has a Zacks 4# Rank (short term Sell rating) on the basis of a lackluster guidance for the coming quarter, which resulted from macro uncertainties and expected budget cuts by telecom customers.

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