F5 Passes $1 Billion in Revenues as ADC Technology Expands

Load balancer technology has come a long way.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Oct 26, 2011
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Make no mistake about it, Application Delivery Controller (ADC) technology is big business.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) reported its fourth quarter fiscal 2011 earnings this week, showing revenue and income gains. For the quarter, F5 reported revenue of $314.6 million, which is a 24 percent year-over-year gain. During the fourth quarter, F5's core ADC business generated the bulk of the revenues coming in at $307.3 million.

Net Income was reported at $67.6 million or $0.84 per share, which is a gain over the $48.2 million or $0.59 per share reported for 2010.

For the full fiscal 2011 year, F5 reported revenue of $1.15 billion, for a 31 percent gain over fiscal 2010.

"F5 surpassed a very significant milestone last year with over $1 billion in revenue," F5 CEO John McAdam said during the company's earnings call. "We further increased our technology leadership and competitive positions with several product releases in the second half of fiscal 2011, which we believe will be strong growth drivers as we enter fiscal 2012."

Looking forward to the first quarter of fiscal 2012, F5 provided revenue guidance to be in the range of $315 million to $320 million.

McAdam noted that F5's VIPRION 2400 midrange chassis architecture and new TMOS version 11 software introductions were important product introductions in 2011. He also commented that the ARX file virtualization technology was enhanced during 2011.

"We announced the ARX Cloud Extender, which enables data flow automatically, securely, and non-disruptively from file-based storage platforms to cloud-based storage architectures," McAdam said. "We also added a new virtual ARX appliance during the year and last quarter we introduced two new ARX platforms, the ARX 1500 and 2500 appliances."

McAdam stressed that in his view F5 is currently in the sweet spot of business and industry trends. The move towards data center consolidation using virtualization technologies, cloud computing architectures and the growth of mobile application are all good things for F5's growth trajectory.

"We expect to see healthy growth from our core ADC market solutions as well as incremental opportunities as we continue our success in expanding market areas such as service providers and the security market," McAdam said.

Moving forward, F5 is planning additional security and functionality in TMOS Version 11. The short-term product roadmap at F5 includes enhanced network firewall capabilities, and broader application protection.

"We believe this opportunity coupled with our strategic footprint in the data center will significantly expand the addressable market in fiscal year 2012 and beyond," McAdam said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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