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F5 Networks: Big hardware refresh, new firewall, on the way

F5 Networks will deliver its “largest appliance refresh in four years,” according to CEO John McAdam. The breadth of that refresh is unclear, but McAdam revealed during F5’s latest quarterly earnings call with financial analysts (courtesy of a transcription) that a new 8-slot Viprion chassis will roll out within the next two quarters. Viprion is F5’s line of modular application delivery controllers. He said the new model will have double the performance of F5’s highest-performing, four-slot Viprion 4480.

An eight-slot chassis will appeal to service providers and web-scale companies (Facebook, Google, etc.). Last year F5 introduced a down-market Viprion, the two-slot 2400, which is priced for companies that want something a little more flexible and powerful than the company’s fixed-configuration BIG-IP appliances. During the earnings call, McAdam said the Viprion 2400 is selling very well and he implied that the 4480 is seeing softer sales as service provider spending has dropped across the industry.

F5 will also introduce an “application delivery firewall” via an update to its ADC firmware, TMOS. McAdam said this firewall will integrate Layer 3 through Layer 7 security, “including the loss prevention and unique application fluency to prevent sophisticated application attacks.” This firewall will also include DPI functionality, although McAdam indicated DPI would be aimed mostly at service provider customers.

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