Catching Up: F5 Beats the Street — Again

I suspect that F5 Networks continues to take away market share from its rivals in application-traffic management, so it’s probably not advisable to assume that the company’s encouraging third-quarter results, announced last week, are harbingers of better and brighter days for enterprise-related IT spending.

Still, it is a positive development, especially for F5 and its shareholders.

I’ve always admired the way the company operates. It’s one of the few networking firms that took on Cisco in a significant market segment and more than held its own in the battle.

All through the load-balancing wars of the Internet era, and then again into the current period where the market identifiers and nomenclature have changed (application-traffic management begat application networking, which begat application-delivery networking) — reflecting both the evolution of marketing buzzwords and new technological developments — F5 has demonstrated unswerving focus and uncommon resilience.

It’s still a strong company, with a deep management team, solid products, and an effective sales channel. Not surprisingly, the company is looking forward to posting robust fourth-quarter results.

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