F5 and Microsoft Team Up to Help IT Professionals Gain Deeper Insights Into Their Application Delivery Networks

REDMOND, Wash., and SEATTLE — March 13, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. and F5 Networks Inc. today announced an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement in which F5 will incorporate the Microsoft® System Center Operations Manager 2007 end-to-end service management solution into its own F5 management appliance. The F5 product, called ControlPoint, will collect, analyze and report data from F5’s broad portfolio of application optimization, availability and security devices.

“F5’s goal is to help our customers proactively manage their increasingly dynamic application environment by giving them a way to gain deeper insights into this vital part of their network operations,” said Dan Matte, senior vice president of marketing at F5. “We’re building on our solid partnership with Microsoft to help us achieve this goal. Along with its flexible architecture and ease of use, the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager software can manage devices like F5’s that are not Windows®-based. It’s also proven in more than 12,000 customer deployments worldwide, with many of the world’s largest enterprises among them.”

The agreement with F5 is the first time Microsoft has granted an OEM license to create a management appliance using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. “IT and business professionals continue to deal with an ever increasing number of devices, services, changes and demands in the business environment,” said Larry Orecklin, general manager of System Center Marketing at Microsoft. “F5’s market leadership in application delivery networking and its customer-first philosophy is fully aligned with our end-to-end service management solutions that help companies manage the growing complexity in their networks and delivery of services, yet stay agile and keep costs under control. The ControlPoint platform will strategically extend Microsoft’s solutions, especially in helping to deliver these end-to-end IT services.”

ControlPoint tightly integrates Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 software via F5’s robust iControl® application programming interface. Scheduled to be available at the end of 2007, ControlPoint will provide a centralized, easy-to-use tool for network administrators, application architects and developers, and even business unit personnel to gauge the performance of all F5 devices in their application delivery networks.

“We look forward to working with the ControlPoint solution, which will allow us to gain even more valuable insight into our F5 infrastructure,” said Tom Davis, network architect at GMAC. “Being able to consolidate the new F5 management tool with the Microsoft platform will allow us to more quickly roll out applications and receive maximum benefit from an impressive array of services with minimal training and effort.”

ControlPoint will turn this complex and robust performance data into information that can be acted upon. Among its many benefits are improved capacity planning, automatic — and therefore faster — responses to network events, and quicker diagnosis of issues when they occur. In addition, by taking advantage of the power of the command line shell and scripting language in the Windows PowerShell™, customers will be able to quickly automate common tasks on F5 devices through the iControl interface.

“This agreement certainly makes sense for both Microsoft and F5, and plays well into the growing customer need for greater insight into the performance and availability of their application delivery infrastructure,” said Tim Grieser, vice president of system management software research at IDC. “ControlPoint will provide expanded visibility into the network infrastructure by leveraging F5’s strategic placement and Microsoft’s end-to-end service view. The end result is actionable information to identify and help address issues hindering application service quality and performance.”

ControlPoint will feature a single console that will present graphical views of all F5 devices in the network and show their interworking relationships. It also will report real-time performance and capacity data of those devices and the applications running over them. With automated scripting, ControlPoint will be able to execute dynamic tasks based on operating conditions of an application or the network, and then maintain a history of those actions. For example, should it detect an application slowdown, ControlPoint can be set to automatically accelerate the application to maintain performance and avoid disrupting end users.

In combination with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, F5’s centralized device and configuration management solution provides a complete monitoring and management solution for customers. F5 will continue to develop and enhance Enterprise Manager to help organizations reduce the cost of operations and improve their control over large-scale application delivery networking solutions from F5.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks (Nasdaq “FFIV”) is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast and available for everyone, helping organizations get the most out of their investments. By adding intelligence and manageability

into the network to offload applications, F5 optimizes applications and allows them to work faster and consume fewer resources. F5’s extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability — all on one universal platform. Over 10,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices worldwide. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.