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F5 Networks

F5 Networks

F5 Networks is a Seattle-based company that specializes in application delivery networks and various application and network security solutions.

F5 Networks, also called F5, is a Seattle-based technology company that specializes in application delivery networks and various application and network security solutions. F5 Networks has been headquartered in what is known as the F5 Tower in Seattle, Washington, as of 2019. Prior to that year, it was located in a different building in Elliott Bay. F5 Networks has seventy-six office locations worldwide, including US locations in Boston, San Jose, and Spokane and in countries such as Europe, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, India, and Japan. F5 states that forty-eight of the Fortune 50 companies use F5 Networks for their technology needs.

Company History

In February 1996, F5 Labs was founded by both Jeff Hussey and Mike Almquist. Almquist is little-known as the company's cofounder, having left his position after just a few years and before the company went public. The company's name changed to F5 Networks in 1999. Jeff Hussey remained the president of F5 Networks until July 2000, at which point John McAdam took over the roles of both president and CEO. In July 2015, Manuel Rivelo, who was F5's Executive Vice President of Strategic Solutions, took over McAdam's positions for just five months before resigning due to "personal conduct matters" within the company. McAdam resumed his roles until F5 found its next president. In April 2017, François Locoh-Donou took over both roles and is the president and CEO as of 2021.

In 1997, F5 Networks launched its first product, a load balancer called BIG-IP. Earnings were slim at first; F5 ended that financial year with total earnings of just $200,000. The next year proved much more profitable for BIG-IP, earning the company $4.7 million in 1998. In September 1998, they released another load balancer, the 3DNS Controller. In June 1999, F5 Networks completed its initial public offering (IPO) and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The stock's price soared at first, going from an initial $10 per share to $144 by the end of 1999, a 1,040% increase in six months. After reaching a high of $160 per share in January 2000, it began dropping more and more as the dot com bubble progressed over the year. Dot com companies made up 80% of F5's revenue, and their subsequent failings due to the bubble burst contributed to the sharp decline of the company's share price. On December 29, 2000, the last trading day of the year, F5's share price was just $4.75, the lowest it had fallen all year.

John McAdam became the new president of F5 Networks in July 2000. After the year ended and the stock was at its current all time low share price, he laid off 15% of F5's staff in January 2001 in an effort to minimize expenses and increase profits. In 2001, F5 Networks became distribution partners with the companies Nokia and Dell Computer, which granted them a new customer base made up of mostly large corporations. These customers began to make up the majority of F5's business.

Over the proceeding years to date, F5 has released new products, expanded their services, and acquired several companies. Share prices increased over time, rapidly so in 2010. That year, F5 opened with a share price of $53.35. By the end of the year, the stock closed at $133.68. This was pivotal for the company; the lowest the share price would fall from this point on was to $69.25 in August 2011.

Services and products

F5 Networks separates its services into four categoric solutions: security, performance, automation, and insight.


F5's security solutions are broken down into subsects of application and network securities, online fraud prevention, and access control and authorization. Solutions within these various securities include user credential protection, bot management, ATO prevention, frictionless authentication, SSL/TLS visibility, DNS and DDoS attack protection, single sign-on, and more.


Within F5's performance solutions are application performance and infrastructure and application availability. Application performance solutions include accelerated and optimized application performance and optimized API performance. Infrastructure and application availability include load balancing, DDoS attack prevention, and Kubernetes management.


F5's automation solutions include DevOps deployment and multi-cloud management. Within DevOps is automated app delivery, distributed cloud services, and blue-green deployments. Multi-cloud management solutions offer SAAS-based multi-cloud networking and ways to control apps across multiple clouds.


F5's insight solutions include troubleshooting and visualization. Within this they offer troubleshooting applications and app otimization solutions, which include portfolio management, app-centric visibility and analytics, programmatic traffic management, and more.


F5 offers the following products:

  • Advanced WAF (security service)
  • Beacon Visibility & Analytics (application performance)
  • BIG-IP (load balancer)
  • BIG-IQ Centralized Management (application management)
  • DDoS Hybrid Defender (security service)
  • Global Server Load Balancing (load balancer)
  • NGINX (application platform)
  • Shape Security (security service)
  • Silverline Managed Services (security service)
  • SSL Orchestrator (security service)
  • Volterra (application delivery)
Alliances and Partners of TAP

F5 Networks has a wide range of alliances as well as partners of its Technology Alliance Program. Some technology alliances with F5 include Alibaba Cloud, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Microsoft Azure, and more. Together, these companies have already created new mutual solutions for F5 customers.

F5's Technology Alliance Program, or TAP, has many more partners. The purpose of the program is for similar technology companies to partner with F5 and develop their own joint solutions to cater to diverse company needs. F5 Networks has seventy-nine partners in its TAP as of 2021. They include Cortado, DFLabs, OPSWAT, SovLabs, WhiteHat Security, Apiiro, Genie Networks, and more.


October 4, 2021
F5 Networks acquires Threat Stack for $68 million.
January 25, 2021
F5 Networks acquires Volterra for $500 million.
January 24, 2020
F5 Networks acquires Shape Security for $1 billion.
March 11, 2019
F5 Networks acquires NGINX for $670 million.
April 2017
François Locoh-Donou takes over as president and CEO.
May 22, 2014
F5 Networks acquires for an undisclosed amount.
September 17, 2013
F5 Networks acquires Versafe for an undisclosed amount.
February 11, 2013
F5 Networks announces it's acquiring LineRate Systems for an undisclosed amount.
February 20, 2012
F5 Networks acquires Traffix Systems for an estimated $135 million.
August 15, 2011
F5 Networks acquires Crescendo Networks for an undisclosed amount.

Funding rounds





Adam Hutchinson


Adi Kabazo


Ahsan Khan


Alex Douvartzidis


Alexey Gavrilov



Further reading


Documentaries, videos and podcasts





Ron Miller
February 25, 2021
It's essential for older companies to recognize changes in the marketplace or face the brutal reality of being left in the dust. F5 is an old-school company that launched back in the 90s, yet has been able to transform a number of times in its history to avoid major disruption. Over the last two years, [...]
November 10, 2020
F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) announced a preview of the Company's upcoming analyst and investor meeting scheduled for November 18, where the Company will provide a strategic overview and updated financial targets. The Company is making information available ahead of the scheduled meeting to enable a more informed and in-depth review of its accelerating transformation strategy. F5 had originally planned its Analyst and Investor Meeting for March 2020 but postponed the event at the outse...
Ron Miller
December 20, 2019
F5 got an expensive holiday present today, snagging startup Shape Security for approximately $1 billion. What the networking company gets with a shiny red ribbon is a security product that helps stop automated attacks like credential stuffing. In an article earlier this year, Shape CTO Shuman Ghosemajumder explained what the company does: "We're an enterprise-focused [...]
October 24, 2019
F5 Networks, the leading provider of hybrid cloud application services, (NASDAQ: FFIV), announced a multi-year global Strategic Collaboration Agreement (SCA) with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to allow customers to use F5 for new cloud-native application workloads and extend their existing F5 investments on AWS. F5's application services ensure the performance and security of millions of applications for enterprises around the world. The Strategic Collaboration Agreement will enhance companie...
February 22, 2019
F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV ) announced several new solutions and enhancements designed to allow service providers to launch 5G services. The announcements include additions to F5's network functions virtualization (NFV) offerings that enable the optimization and scale of existing 4G and new 5G networks, along with other improvements to help providers speed up delivery of new 5G services and secure their networks at every layer. The company also announced a new service and support plan de...


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