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APAC CIO Survey Underscores Need for Proactive Approach to Application Delivery & Cloud Computing

Frost & Sullivan study across six markets in APAC reveals strong association between application delivery, cloud computing and business agility

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the results of a Frost & Sullivan survey that looked at enterprise views towards application delivery and cloud computing with respect to their business needs as well as their understanding of the technology drivers behind these needs.

Commissioned by F5, the survey found that CIOs and senior IT decision makers in Asia Pacific (APAC) recognise the importance of Web applications in driving their businesses, and that their strong recognition of the seriousness of Web-based attacks makes security a top concern.  However, the survey also exposed a need for more awareness about the differences between traditional network-based vulnerabilities versus Web application attacks as there appeared to be some confusion among respondents about the capabilities of network-based firewalls versus Web application firewalls.

Also, the findings revealed a preference for utilising more bandwidth to overcome Web application performance issues. Since adding bandwidth does not overcome latency issues caused by physical distances between source and destination, this potentially means that the prevalent issue of application latency remains unresolved for many enterprises.

Further, the study shows that customers see an important association between cloud computing and business agility putting an onus on aspiring cloud services providers to assure enterprise-level availability, security and performance.

“Applications are the lifeblood of enterprises today, and it is essential that decision makers take the right approach that includes creating strategic points of control that give complete visibility.  Whether application protection, high availability, or performance, the business objective can only be achieved when the solutions are part of an overall Application Delivery Networking strategy that ensures full visibility and control of end-to-end traffic between users and application servers,” stated Kurt Hansen, Managing Director of F5 Networks in Australia and New Zealand.   

“As technology convergence continues unabated in the IT realm, the concept of a Server Load Balancer has rapidly evolved into a converged Application Delivery Controller capable of offering more capabilities on top of its base function and dominated by the three pillars of application delivery: availability, security and performance,” said Nitin Bhat, Senior Vice President - ICT, Frost & Sullivan. “On the cloud computing front, the study showed that whilst perception towards cloud computing as a business enabler is encouraging, security and access control are key challenges that could potentially affect an enterprise’s willingness to embrace cloud computing as a viable business tool in the immediate future.”

The study, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009 across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and South Korea, surveyed large enterprises’ attitudes on a range of topics such application delivery, application security, application acceleration and cloud computing.

Overall findings:

         Interest in unifying application delivery capabilities on a single platform is high

Seventy-three percent of CIOs and senior decision makers want two or more integrated features on a single platform. Top of their list are Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) and security.

         Mismatch between the perceived enterprise needs and the corresponding technologies deployed

-          Bandwidth dependence and fallacies still exist. Forty-four percent believed that simply utilising more bandwidth is the best way to boost application performance levels.

-          Application security is still not well understood. Sixty-one percent believed that network firewalls can prevent Web attacks, and twenty-three percent indicated that their existing IDS/IPS deployments are forms of protection against Web attacks.


         Cloud computing is viewed as the next generation application delivery channel

Enterprises believe that cloud computing will increase their agility and scalability in a cost-effective manner. However, more than half cited security issues as a key barrier to adoption of cloud computing.

Topics of interest (ranked by country):

         Security is the top application delivery issue in Australia, Singapore and India

         Early adopters of Cloud appear to be Australia and India

         Australia, China and Korea rank as the top three counties which consider security a key barrier to Cloud adoption

         Unifying application delivery on a single platform: India, China, Korea and Singapore

         Bandwidth dependence ranked highest in India, China and Singapore

         Having a powerful network firewall is sufficient to make up for a lack of Web application firewall according to respondents in China, India, Korea and Singapore

         There is a strong belief in China, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong that Web application firewalls are only required for PCI-DSS compliance

         Cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) are perceived as being the same thing in China, Korea, and India

About the Survey

This was a survey commissioned by F5 to understand end-user perceptions about application delivery and cloud computing with respect to their business needs as well as their understanding of the technology drivers behind these needs. The survey consisted of around 300 enterprises, spanning six markets, and included five verticals—financial, telecommunications, government, manufacturing and IT. The executives who participated were mainly IT executives who played an influencing role in the purchasing decisions for IT infrastructure.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), focused on ensuring the secure, reliable, and fast delivery of applications. F5’s flexible architectural framework enables community-driven innovation that helps organisations enhance IT agility and dynamically deliver services that generate true business value. F5’s vision of unified application and data delivery offers customers an unprecedented level of choice in how they deploy ADN solutions. It redefines the management of application, server, storage, and network resources, streamlining application delivery and reducing costs. Global enterprise organisations, service and cloud providers, and Web 2.0 content providers trust F5 to keep their business moving forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

CONTACTS:             Elissa McGrath                         Shuna Boyd

                            F5 Networks                             Shuna Boyd Public Relations
                            +61 407 137 355                        +61 2 9418 8100

e.mcgrath@f5.com                    shuna@boydpr.com.au  

F5 is a trademark or service mark of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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.