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301b BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot

The 301a-LTM Specialist: Architect, Set-up & Deploy test is one of two exams

required to achieve Certified F5 Technology Specialist, LTM status.

Individuals who pass this test possess an of underlying principles – from SSLbased VPN implementation to symmetric and asymmetric acceleration – and can

draw on that insight to integrate BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) into existing
networks as well as new implementations. This is test 1 of 2 and is based on
TMOS v11.



Objective 1.01 Given an expected traffic volume, determine the appropriate SNAT
configuration

Explain when SNAT is required

Describe the benefit of using SNAT pools

Objective 1.02 Given a scenario, determine the minimum profiles for an application U/A

Explain security options available for the application

Explain how to use LTM as a service proxy

Describe how a given service is deployed on an LTM

Objective 1.03 Given an application configuration, determine which functions can be
offloaded to the LTM device

Explain how to offload HTTP servers for SSL compression and caching

Objective 1.04 Given an application configuration, determine which functions can be
offloaded to the LTM device

Explain how to create an HTTP configuration to handle an HTTP server error

Objective 1.05 Given an application configuration, determine the appropriate profile and
persistence options

Explain how to create an HTTP configuration for mobile clients

Explain how to create an HTTP configuration to optimize WAN connectivity

Determine when connection mirroring is required

Objective 1.06 Explain the steps necessary to configure AVR U/A

Explain the steps necessary to configure the AVR

Explain how to create an AVR profile and options

Objective 1.07 Given a set of reporting requirements, determine the AVR metrics and entities
to collect

Explain the sizing implications of AVR on the LTM device

Explain the logging and notifications options of AVR

Explain the uses of the collected metrics and entities

Objective 1.08 Given a scenario, determine the appropriate monitor type and parameters to use

Explain how to create an application specific monitor

Given a desired outcome, determine where to apply health monitors

Determine under which circumstances an external monitor is required

Objective 1.09 Given a set of parameters, predict an outcome of a monitor status on other
LTM device objects

Determine the effect of a monitor on the virtual server status

Determine the effect of active versus inline monitors on the application status or on the LTM device

Objective 1.10 Given a set of SSL requirements, determine the appropriate profile options to
create or modify in the SSL profile

Describe the difference between client and server SSL profiles

Describe the difference between client and server SSL processing

Objective 1.11 Given a set of application requirements, describe the steps necessary to
configure SSL

Describe the process to update expired SSL certificates

Describe the steps to incorporate client authentication to the SSL process

Objective 1.12 Given a set of application requirements, determine the appropriate virtual
server type to use

Describe the process to update expired SSL certificates

Describe the steps to incorporate client authentication to the SSL process

Objective 1.13 Given a set of application requirements, determine the appropriate virtual

server configuration settings

Describe which steps are necessary to complete prior to creating the virtual server

Describe the security options when creating a virtual server (i.e., VLAN limitation, route domains, packet
filters, iRules)

Objective 1.14 Explain the matching order of multiple virtual servers U/A

Objective 1.15 Given a scenario, determine the appropriate load balancing method(s) U/A

Identify the behavior of the application to be load balanced

Differentiate different load balancing methods

Explain how to perform outbound load balancing

Explain CARP persistence

Objective 1.16 Explain the effect of LTM device configuration parameters on load balancing
decisions

Differentiate between members and nodes

Explain the effect of the load balancing method on the LTM platform

Explain the effect of CMP on load balancing methods

Explain the effect of OneConnect/MBLB on load balancing

Explain how monitors and load balancing methods interact

Section 2: Set-up, administer, and secure LTM devices Cognitive
Complexity

Objective 2.01 Distinguish between the management interface configuration and application
traffic interface configuration

Explain the requirements for management of the LTM devices

Explain the requirements for the application traffic traversing the LTM devices

Explain how to configure management connectivity options: AOM, serial console, USB & Management
Ethernet Port

Objective 2.02 Given a network diagram, determine the appropriate network and system

settings (i.e., VLANs, selfIPs, trunks, routes, NTP servers, DNS servers,
SNMP receivers and syslog servers)

Explain the requirements for self IPs (including port lockdown)

Explain routing requirements for management and application traffic (including route domains and IPv6)

Explain the effect of system time on LTM devices

Objective 2.03 Given a network diagram, determine the appropriate physical connectivity U/A

Explain physical network connectivity options of LTM devices

Objective 2.04 Explain how to configure remote authentication and multiple administration
roles on the LTM device

Explain the relationship between route domains, user roles and administrative partitions

Explain the mapping between remote users and remote role groups

Explain the options for partition access and terminal access

Objective 2.05 Given a scenario, determine an appropriate high availability configuration (i.e.,
failsafe, failover and timers)

Explain the relationship between route domains, user roles and administrative partitions

Explain the mapping between remote users and remote role groups

Explain the options for partition access and terminal access

Objective 2.06 Given a scenario, describe the steps necessary to set up a device group,
traffic group and HA group

Explain how to set up sync-only and sync-failover device service cluster

Explain how to configure HA groups

Explain how to assign virtual servers to traffic groups

Objective 2.07 Predict the behavior of an LTM device group or traffic groups in a given failure
scenario

Objective 2.08 Determine the effect of LTM features and/or modules on LTM device
performance and/or memory

Determine the effect of iRules on performance

Determine the effect of RAM cache on performance and memory

Determine the effect of compression on performance

Determine the effect of modules on performance and memory

Objective 2.09 Determine the effect of traffic flow on LTM device performance and/or
utilization

Explain how to use traffic groups to maximize capacity

Objective 2.10 Determine the effect of virtual server settings on LTM device performance
and/or utilization

Determine the effect of connection mirroring on performance

Objective 2.11 Describe how to deploy vCMP guests and how the resources are distributed R

Identify platforms that support vCMP

Identify the limitations of vCMP

Describe the effect of licensing and/or provisioning on the vCMP host and vCMP guest

Describe how to deploy vCMP guests

Explain how resources are assigned to vCMP guests (e.g., SSL, memory, CPU, disk)

Objective 2.12 Determine the appropriate LTM device security configuration to protect
against a security threat

Explain the implications of SNAT and NAT on network promiscuity

Explain the implications of forwarding virtual servers on the environment security

Describe how to disable services

Describe how to disable ARP

Explain how to set up logging for security events on the LTM device

Explain how route domains can be used to enforce network segmentation

Section 3: Deploy applications Cognitive

Complexity

Objective 3.01 Describe how to deploy and modify applications using existing and/or updated
iApp application templates

Identify the appropriate application template to use to deploy the application

Describe how to locate, retrieve and import new and updated application templates

Identify use cases for deploying the application templates

Objective 3.02 Given application requirements, determine the appropriate profiles and profile
settings to use

Describe the connections between profiles and virtual servers

Describe profile inheritance

Explain how to configure the different SSL profile settings

Explain the effect of changing protocol settings

Explain the use cases for the fast protocols (e.g. fastL4, fastHTTP)

Explain the persistence overrides

Describe the use of HTTP classes and profiles

Describe the link between iRules and statistics, iRules and stream, and iRule events and profiles

Describe the link between iRules and persistence

Describe hashing persistence methods

Describe the cookie persistence options

Determine which profiles are appropriate for a given application

Determine when an iRule is preferred over a profile or vice versa

Explain how to manipulate the packet contents using profiles

Objective 3.03 Determine the effect of traffic flow on LTM device performance and/or
utilization

Describe the effect of priority groups on load balancing

Explain the effects of SNAT settings on pools

Explain how persistence settings can override connection limits

Describe the relationship between monitors and state

Describe the functionality of Action On Service Down

Describe the functionality of Priority Group Activation

Describe the persistence across pools and services (e.g., Match Across Services, Match Across vs Match
Across Pools)

Describe how connection limits are affected by node, pool and virtual server settings

Describe how priority groups are affected by connection limits
BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot
F5-Networks Troubleshoot education

Other F5-Networks exams

101 Application Delivery Fundamentals 2023
201 BIG-IP Administrator
301 LTM Specialist
001-ARXConfig ARX Configuration
301b BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot
F50-522 F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Management Advanced v9.4
F50-528 F5 ARX Configuring 5.x
F50-532 BIG-IP v10.x LTM Advanced Topics V10.x
F50-536 BIG-IP ASM v10.x (F50-536)

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D. The configuration reload request caused the config to reload and the device to failover.
Answer: B
Question: 38
-- Exhibit
-- Exhibit --
Refer to the exhibit.
Which URL should be reported to the server/application team as getting user-visible
errors?
A. /env.cgi
54
B. /page14.cgi
C. /reflector.php
D. /browserspecific.html
Answer: B
Question: 39
-- Exhibit
55
-- Exhibit --
Refer to the exhibits.
Users are able to access the application when connecting to the virtual server but are
unsuccessful when connecting directly to the application servers. The LTM Specialist
wants to allow direct access to the application servers. Why are users unable to connect
directly to the application servers?
A. The router does NOT have a route to the server subnet.
B. The web server does NOT have a correct default gateway.
C. The LTM device does NOT have a SNAT on the External VLAN.
D. The LTM device does NOT have an IP Forwarding virtual server on the Internal
VLAN.
E. The LTM device does NOT have an IP Forwarding virtual server on the External
VLAN.
Answer: B
Question: 40
-- Exhibit
56
-- Exhibit --
Refer to the exhibits.
Users are able to access the application when connecting to the virtual server but are
unsuccessful when connecting directly to the application servers. The LTM Specialist
wants to allow direct access to the application servers. Which configuration change
resolves this problem?
A. Enable port 443 on the virtual server.
B. Configure a SNAT pool on the LTM device.
C. Disable address translation on the virtual server.
D. Configure an IP Forwarding virtual server on the LTM device.
E. Configure a route to the web server subnet on the network router.
Answer: D
57
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F5 networks this week traded up 12% higher following reports that the company retained Goldman Sachs to represent the company in the wake of apparent buyout offers. In the past, F5 has surfaced as a potential acquisition target among the tech giants such as IBM , Cisco and Juniper . As is generally the case, neither Goldman nor F5 would comment. Although no deal has arisen from any previous such talks, here are reasons as to why F5 Networks might well consider a sell-off this time. Consider the following:

  1. Difficult Application Delivery Controller Market: According to Gartner, F5 Networks has remained a market leader and has seen market share gains in the ADC market in the past few years.  Also, according to past reports, the ADC market was expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% during 2013-2018 period. However, given that F5’s product revenue growth has averaged around 6% only in the past 3 years, we shall be overly optimistic if we assume a 10% growth for the next 5 years. According to our model, we expect F5’s product revenue to grow at an average rate of approximately 5% during this period. This is a sharp decline as compared to F5’s product revenue growth of 29% between 2010-2012.
  2. Cloud based services may well disrupt the ADC market: Until a few years ago, before the popularity of cloud based services, we were clear about the fact that the ADC market size was directly proportional to the number of web applications being deployed. However, more and more applications are being deployed in the public cloud, where there is less need for a traditional load-balancer. For example, Amazon uses elastic load balancing , which is used to distribute incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances in the cloud, for applications using Amazon web services. Although F5’s load-balancer is customisable and is built on high-performance hardware, Amazon’s ELB is a bit different and it completely abstracts the hardware. Further, the plus point for an Amazon ELB is that it wipes out the hassle of installing and customizing a dedicated hardware for load balancing, which is a must in case of BIG-IP based products. Going ahead, cloud based load-balancers may well disrupt the traditional application delivery controller market, which can largely affect F5’s revenue growth. This is one key reason as to why we forecast F5’s product revenue to grow in mid-single digits and not experience double digit growth over the next 5 years.
  3. F5 Networks stock has relatively under-performed of late: Over the past one year, the company’s stock has hovered between a high of $134 and $86. For most of the time, the stock remained below the levels of $110. This can be attributed to a weak guidance for the coming quarters and a roughly flat revenue growth during this period. Further, the company also lost a patent battle against Radware which took a bite of its earnings during this period.
  4. The upcoming product refresh cycle can provide the much needed revenue growth: Though the company hasn’t provided the details of the upcoming product refresh cycle, F5 Networks is on its way for the hardware upgrade of its current line up of products. This upgrade holds the potential to boost the company’s short-term products revenue. F5’s high cash and no debt position, along with its short-term revenue growth prospects, makes it an attractive acquisition target at this time. The company can command a relatively higher premium if it sells-off itself at this point of time.

For information, please refer to our complete analysis for F5 Networks

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Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:34:00 -0500 Trefis Team en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/06/09/is-it-best-for-f5-networks-to-sell-off-itself/
F5 Networks Sets Sites On Bigger Business Conversation

In the coming year, F5 Networks will commit more resources to its partners than ever before, as the application delivery networking vendor sets its sites on bigger pieces of the security infrastructure, data center and cloud computing pies.

At F5 Networks' Agility conference in Chicago, where more than 560 partner representatives and 275 customers are in attendance, F5 has championed partners as the big push behind its march to $1 billion in revenue -- a milestone it expects to reach as its fiscal year ends in September.

What's coming next, said Steve McChesney, vice president, channel sales, Americas, is more from F5 in the areas of partner planning, partner marketing, partner services and partner-led profitability. Several key programs, including F5's current accreditation program and forthcoming certification offering, are designed to better equip partners taking F5 products into all pieces of the data center sale, from storage to security.

According to McChesney, F5's average deal size through partners is nearly $100,000 -- more than double of what it was a decade ago, and 10 percent larger than the previous year. McChesney urged partners to embrace the full gamut of F5 resources, including DevCentral, F5's user community portal for helping partners share best practices, built software and hear from F5 engineers.

DevCentral, said McChesney, offers access to more than 80,000 users and 500 pieces of sample material to "jumpstart" F5 projects.

Overall, F5 partners have a rich opportunity to have business transformation conversations with users on a cloud migration path. Using industry research from Enterprise Strategy Group and other sources, Dean Darwin, F5's vice president, worldwide channels identified three trends happening with customers on a worldwide basis.

First, he said, server virtualization is becoming ubiquitous, even if 58 percent of organizations have virtualized less than one third of their servers. Second, IT-owned workloads still dominate the customer landscape, and 59 percent of customers have not yet virtualized any mission-critical applications. Third, dynamic IT is still more a vision than a reality.

But those trends still reflect the reality of how channel partners need to engage customers. F5, said Darwin, solves a lot of the problems customers have at the application layer -- a point made repeatedly by other F5 executives at Agility -- and partners need to bring F5 products in as business conversations, not as product resale.

"The selling lanes have changed," Darwin said, referencing financial legend Warren Buffett's thought that "only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."

Coming rapidly into focus, Darwin said, are that large VARs and systems integrators are building their own cloud offerings, and are looking to partner with cloud providers, such as Rackspace, as cloud services agents.

That makes all the sense in the world for F5's channel, Darwin said, because its products and services fit between so many different data center disciplines.

"And we are absolutely getting into the ring when it comes to security," he added, referencing a push by F5 to become better known as a security infrastructure player as much as it is an application delivery networking vendor.

"F5 can be a door opener for a lot of discussions," he said. "The closer you get to the application, the healthier you're going to be and the more business discussions you're going to have."

Tim Abbott, solutions architect at Trace 3, a security solution provider and F5 partner based in Irvine, Calif., said Trace 3 had in the past positioned F5 before as a load balancer, or for its Global Traffic Manager (LTM) capability in the BIG-IP platform, or any one or several capabilities the F5 product set offers. The upsell opportunity, with more customers looking to make their data centers more efficient, is enormous.

"We're only scratching the surface with our customers on all the features it can provide," he said.

Trace 3 sells the entire F5 portfolio and has seen its F5 sales grow nearly 40 percent year-over-year. F5's positioning -- for partners to focus on the business transformation that comes from optimizing applications -- is spot-on, Abbott said.

"Who cares about servers, we care about the applications," he said. "When you're virtualizing an infrastructure, you're asking what applications are you trying to virtualize and how are you making that application better to the customer. Once you figure out what applications you want to virtualize, you'll get the funding. If you can make the app faster, the doors are open. Once those doors are open, I can sell you the F5 product."

Next: F5's Vendor Partnerships Bear Fruit

Partners said that another big piece of F5's appeal is how its products can fit with those of data center-focused vendors with a big stake in the cloud computing move.

Rackspace, for example, told F5 partners Thursday it will be doing more to encourage joint F5-Rackspace solution sales.

Robert Fuller, vice president of worldwide channels, and John Engates, CTO, at Rackspace, said that hosted cloud provider will grandfather F5 partners into the tier equivalent, in Rackspace's channel program, of their F5 Unity partner program status -- an announcement that brought applause from the F5 crowd.

"Let's bridge that into the Rackspace program, so you get the high-level compensation," Engates said.

The companies will partner in other ways, too. F5 plans to credit the F5 portion of a solution hosted at Rackspace toward an F5 partner's partner tier attachment, Fuller said. There will also be joint sales development between the two companies, and payment acceleration options that let VARs draw from future compensation payments by Rackspace to offset upfront costs.

Storage ace NetApp was another F5 vendor partner at Agility touting greater vendor alignment between the two channels. Jim Sangster, senior director of solutions marketing at NetApp, said he's seeing the opportunity for NetApp storage and F5 infrastructure sales to expand, with more customers looking for seamless migration paths to cloud.

"The discussion around the applications is really what it's all about," Sangster told partners.

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 12:33:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/data-center/231002877/f5-networks-sets-sites-on-bigger-business-conversation
F5 Networks No result found, try new keyword!METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more. All donations were made during the 2022 election cycle and were released by the Federal ... Sun, 28 Mar 2021 10:02:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/f5-networks/recipients?id=D000072830 F5 Networks To Buy Shape Security For $1B To Safeguard Applications

The largest acquisition in F5 Networks’ 23-year history will combine Shape Security’s fraud and abuse prevention capabilities with F5’s expertise in protecting applications across multi-cloud environments.

ARTICLE TITLE HERE

F5 Networks has agreed to purchase rising application security star Shape Security for $1 billion to protect customers from automated attacks, botnets, and targeted fraud.

Seattle-based F5 said the proposed acquisition will bring together its expertise in protecting applications across multi-cloud environments with Santa Clara, Calif.-based Shape Security’s fraud and abuse prevention capabilities. The deal is the largest in F5’s 23-year history, and will more than double the company’s addressable market in security.

“With Shape, we will deliver end-to-end application protection, which means revenue generating, brand-anchoring applications are protected from the point at which they are created through to the point where consumers interact with them – from code to customer,” F5 Networks President and CEO Francois Locoh-Donou said in a statement.

[Related: F5 Networks CEO: Nginx Is ‘Absolutely Core' To F5's Strategy]

F5’s stock remains unchanged at $143.69 in after-hours trading Thursday. The company expects to achieve breakeven non-GAAP earnings per share within 24 hours of closing the Shape Security acquisition, and expects the transaction will accelerate F5’s product and total revenue growth. The deal is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2020.

Shape Security was founded in 2011, employs more than 370 people, and has raised $183 million in six rounds of outside equity. Shape will remain located in the current Silicon Valley headquarters after the transaction closes, with co-founder and CEO Derek Smith as well as other members of Shape’s leadership team joining F5 in key management roles.

“We look forward to the opportunity to deeply integrate into F5’s platform for application delivery and security – F5 provides the optimum traffic flow insertion point for Shape’s industry-leading online fraud and abuse prevention solutions,” Smith said in a statement.

Shape’s platform is supported by cloud-based analytics and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to defend against attacks that bypass other security and fraud controls, according to F5. The company is particularly focused on rebuffing credential stuffing attacks, F5 said, which use stolen passwords from third-party data breaches to take over other online accounts.

The company’s application platform evaluates the data flow from the user into the application, leveraging cloud-based analytics to discern good traffic from bad, according to F5. Combining Shape with F5’s location in the data flow is expected to dramatically reduce the time and resources needed for businesses to deploy online fraud and abuse protection.

“We knew from the companies we work with that applications are critical to running their business,” Locoh-Donou said in a statement. “To drive maximum business value and the best experiences for their customers, these apps need to perform flawlessly while protecting data security and user privacy.”

Some of the world’s largest banks, airlines, retailers and government agencies rely on Shape to provide sophisticated bot, fraud and abuse defense, according to F5. Joining with F5 means that Shape will be able to protect significantly more users and applications from sophisticated attacks and malicious traffic going forward, Smith said in the statement.

In the long-term, integrated F5’s products with Shape’s large-scale telemetry and analytics capabilities will significantly advance F5’s plans to offer AI-enhanced services to customers that provide better visibility, management and orchestration across their applications, Locoh-Donou said in a letter to the company’s employees.

The Shape Security deal comes just seven months after F5 closed its $670 million purchase of NGINX to help companies deliver faster, more compelling digital experiences. Locoh-Donou said in the letter that F5 has been taking deliberate and disciplined steps to become the leader in multi-cloud application services since first laying out the vision in 2017.

“We know what it takes to win,” Locoh-Donou told employees, “and make no mistake, we are playing offense.”

Thu, 19 Dec 2019 10:48:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/security/f5-networks-to-buy-shape-security-for-1b-to-safeguard-applications
After A 13% Fall This Year How Does Ciena Compare With F5 Stock?

Given its better prospects, we believe Ciena stock (NYSE: CIEN), a network hardware, software, and services provider, is a better pick than its sector peer, F5 Networks stock (NASDAQ NDAQ : FFIV), an application security and cloud networking company. Investors have assigned a higher valuation multiple of 3.7x revenues for FFIV compared to 1.5x revenues for CIEN due to F5’s superior revenue growth and profitability. The decision to invest often comes down to finding the best stocks within the parameters of certain characteristics that suit an investment style. The size of profits can matter, as larger profits can imply greater market power. In the sections below, we discuss why we believe that CIEN will offer better returns than FFIV in the next three years. We compare a slew of factors, such as historical revenue growth, stock returns, and valuation, in an interactive dashboard analysis of F5 vs. Ciena CIEN : Which Stock Is A Better Bet? Parts of the analysis are summarized below.

FFIV stock has seen little change, moving slightly from levels of $175 in early January 2021 to around $175 now, while CIEN stock has seen a decline of 20% from levels of $55 to around $45 over the same period. In comparison, the S&P500 index saw an increase of about 25% over this roughly three-year period.

Overall, the performance of FFIV stock with respect to the index has been lackluster. Returns for the stock were 39% in 2021, -41% in 2022, and 21% in 2023. Similarly, however, the decrease in CIEN stock has been far from consistent. Returns for the stock were 46% in 2021, -34% in 2022, and -13% in 2023. In comparison, returns for the S&P 500 have been 27% in 2021, -19% in 2022, and 23% in 2023 - indicating that FFIV and CIEN underperformed the S&P in 2022 and 2023.

In fact, consistently beating the S&P 500 - in good times and bad - has been difficult over latest years for individual stocks; for heavyweights in the Information Technology sector, including AAPL, MSFT, and NVDA, and even for the megacap stars GOOG, TSLA, and AMZN. In contrast, the Trefis High Quality Portfolio, with a collection of 30 stocks, has outperformed the S&P 500 each year over the same period. Why is that? As a group, HQ Portfolio stocks provided better returns with less risk versus the benchmark index, less of a roller-coaster ride, as evident in HQ Portfolio performance metrics.

Given the current uncertain macroeconomic environment with high oil prices and elevated interest rates, could FFIV and CIEN face a similar situation as they did in 2022 and 2023 and underperform the S&P over the next 12 months - or will they see a strong jump? While we expect both stocks to move higher in the next three years, we think CIEN will fare better.

1. F5’s Revenue Growth Is Better

  • F5’s revenue growth has been better, with a 6.2% average annual growth rate in the last three years, compared to 0.6% for Ciena.
  • FFIV revenues rose from $2.4 billion in fiscal 2020 (fiscal ends in September) to $2.8 billion in 2023, led by services and product revenue growth due to increasing demand and entry into new markets.
  • For Ciena, revenue increased from $3.5 billion in fiscal 2020 (fiscal ends in October) to $4.4 billion in 2023, led by continued growth in Global Services Platform Software and Services, while the Networking Platforms business also saw a rebound in fiscal 2023.
  • Supply chain issues weighed on the company’s overall performance in the latest past, and it still remains a concern.
  • Ciena expects its routing and switching business to grow faster in the coming years and drive the overall top-line growth.
  • If we look at the last twelve-month period revenues, Ciena fares better with sales growth of 14% vs. 5% for F5.
  • Our F5 Revenue Comparison and Ciena Revenue Comparison dashboards provide more insight into the companies’ sales.
  • Looking forward, we expect Ciena to see better sales growth than F5. We forecast F5’s top-line to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% to $3.1 billion in three years, while Ciena will likely see its sales rise in a mid-single-digit average annual growth rate to $5.3 billion over this period, based on Trefis Machine Learning analysis.

2. F5 Is More Profitable

  • F5’s operating margin declined from 23.1% in 2019 to 15.0% in 2022, while Ciena’s operating margin contracted from 14.5% in fiscal 2020 to 8.8% in 2023.
  • Looking at the last twelve-month period, F5’s operating margin of 14.6% fares better than 8.8% for Ciena.
  • F5’s margin metric has been weighed down due to a rise in component costs.
  • Our F5 Operating Income Comparison and Ciena’s Operating Income Comparison dashboards have more details.
  • Looking at financial risk, F5 fares better. F5 is a debt-free company, while Ciena’s debt as a percentage of equity is around 24%. However, Ciena’s 22% cash as a percentage of assets is higher than 13% for F5, implying that F5 has a better debt position and Ciena has more cash cushion.

3. The Net of It All

  • We see that F5 has seen better revenue growth and is more profitable.
  • Now, looking at prospects using P/S as a base, due to high fluctuations in P/E and P/EBIT, we believe Ciena will offer higher returns in the next three years.
  • Also, if we compare the current valuation multiples to the historical averages, CIEN fares better. F5 stock is trading at 3.7x revenues compared to its last five-year average of 4.3x. In comparison, Ciena stock trades at 1.7x revenues vs. the last five-year average of 2.2x.
  • Our F5 Valuation Ratios Comparison and Ciena Valuation Ratios Comparison have more details.
  • The table below summarizes our revenue and return expectations for both companies over the next three years and points to an expected return of -12% for FFIV over this period vs. a 31% expected return for CIEN, based on Trefis Machine Learning analysis – F5 vs. Ciena – which also provides more details on how we arrive at these numbers.

While CIEN stock may outperform FFIV, it is helpful to see how F5’s peers fare on metrics that matter. You will find other valuable comparisons for companies across industries at Peer Comparisons.

Invest with Trefis Market Beating Portfolios

See all Trefis Price Estimates

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 20:00:00 -0600 Trefis Team en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2023/12/19/after-a-13-fall-this-year-how-does-ciena-compare-with-f5-stock/
F5 (FFIV) Up 10.2% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for F5 Networks (FFIV). Shares have added about 10.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the latest positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is F5 due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most latest earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

F5 Surpasses Earnings and Revenue Estimates in Q4

F5 reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2023 results. This Seattle, WA-based company’s non-GAAP earnings of $3.50 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.22 and increased 33.6% from the year-ago quarter’s $2.62 per share.

The bottom line was also way higher than management’s guided range of $3.15-$3.27 per share. The robust bottom-line performance reflects the combined impact of gross margin improvement and disciplined operating expense management.

F5 revenues of $707 million for the fourth quarter surpassed the consensus mark of $701.6 million. Moreover, on a year-over-year basis, revenues increased 1% and came toward the high end of management’s guidance range of $690-$710 million despite persistent macroeconomic uncertainties and tight budgets of customers.

Top Line in Detail

Product revenues (46% of total revenues), which comprise the Software and Systems sub-divisions, decreased 7% year over year to $325 million. The decline in Product revenues was mainly due to lower Systems sales, partially offset by increased Software sales. The company’s reported non-GAAP Product revenues were slightly higher than our estimates of $324.4 million.

Systems revenues plunged 25% year over year to $134 million, accounting for approximately 41% of the total Product revenues. The company revealed that the decline reflects a lower level of backlog-related shipments compared to prior quarters, while the demand shows some signs of stabilization. Our estimates for Systems revenues were pegged at $152.6 million.

However, the negative impacts of lower Systems sales were offset by the strong performance of Software. Software revenues soared 11% year over year to $191 million in the fourth quarter. Our estimates for Software’s fourth-quarter revenues were pegged at $171.7 million.

Global Service revenues (54% of the total revenues) grew 9% to $382 million. The robust growth was mainly driven by price increases introduced last year and the benefits of high-maintenance renewals. Our estimates for Global Services revenues were pegged at $376.5 million.

F5 Networks registered sales growth across the EMEA and APAC regions, witnessing a year-over-year increase of 16% and 4%, respectively. However, revenues from the Americas region fell 6% on a year-over-year basis. Revenue contributions from the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions were 57%, 26% and 17%, respectively.

Customer-wise, Enterprises, Service providers and Government represented 72%, 9% and 19% of product bookings, respectively.

Margins

On a year-over-year basis, GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins expanded 120 basis points (bps) and 130 bps to 80.1% and 82.7%, respectively. We believe that the improvement could be primarily driven by price realization and ease in supply-chain constraints, as well as reductions in ancillary supply-chain costs.

The company’s fourth-quarter GAAP operating expenses went down 11.4% to $394.3 million, while non-GAAP operating expenses declined 9% to $344.8 million. GAAP operating expenses as a percentage of revenues decreased to 55.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023 from 63.6% in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, non-GAAP operating expenses as a percentage of revenues declined to 48.8% from 54.1% in the year-ago quarter.

F5 Networks’ GAAP operating profit jumped 59.3% to $172 million, while the margin expanded 890 bps to 24.3%. Moreover, the non-GAAP operating profit jumped 25.7% year over year to $240 million, while the margin improved 660 bps to 33.9%. An increase in the non-GAAP operating margin was primarily driven by an improvement in the gross margin and lower operating expenses as a percentage of revenues.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

F5 Networks exited the September-ended quarter with cash and short-term investments of $808 million compared with the previous quarter’s $690.6 million.

The company generated operating cash flow of $190 million in the fourth quarter and $653.4 million in the full fiscal 2023.

During the quarter, FFIV repurchased shares worth $60 million. In fiscal 2023, it bought back common stocks worth $350 million. As of Sep 30, 2023, F5 had $922 million remaining under its current authorized share repurchase program. Year to date, the company has utilized about 58% of its free cash flow for share buybacks compared with its commitment of using at least 50% of free cash flow for share buybacks announced at the beginning of fiscal 2023.

Guidance

F5 Networks projects non-GAAP revenues in the $675-$695 million band (midpoint of $685 million) and non-GAAP earnings per share in the $2.97-$3.09 band (midpoint of $3.03) for the first quarter of fiscal 2024. The non-GAAP gross margin is forecast between 82% and 83%.

The company expects first-quarter non-GAAP operating expenses between $332 million and $344 million. Share-based compensation expenses are anticipated in the range of $58-$60 million.

For fiscal 2024, F5 forecasts revenues to be flat to a low-single-digit-percentage decline range. Non-GAAP gross and operating margins are anticipated in the ranges of 82-83% and 33-34%, respectively. The effective tax rate for fiscal 2024 is projected in the 21 band.

The company forecasts non-GAAP earnings per share to increase 5-7% in fiscal 2024. Moreover, it intends to return at least 50% of its fiscal 2024 free cash flow to shareholders through share buybacks.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates have trended downward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, F5 has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, F5 has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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F5, Inc. (FFIV) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

Wed, 22 Nov 2023 21:30:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/f5-ffiv-10-2-since-163054919.html
F5: Hardware Headwinds Hitting
Server room background

piranka

Despite the stock performing well over the past five months, F5, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:FFIV) returns in 2023 are still only in line with broader indices. This is counter to my expectation of poor performance due to:

  • Declining product sales in
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 07:18:00 -0600 en text/html https://seekingalpha.com/article/4659266-f5-hardware-headwinds-hitting
F5 Networks

F5 Networks, Inc. is a provider of multi-cloud application services which enable its customers to develop, deploy, operate, secure, and govern applications in any architecture, from on-premises to the public cloud. The Company's enterprise-grade application services are available as cloud-based, software-as-a-service, and software-only solutions optimized for multi-cloud environments, with modules that can run independently, or as part of an integrated solution on its appliances. In connection with its solutions, the Company offers a range of professional services, including consulting, training, installation, maintenance, and other technical support services. The Company's customers include large enterprise businesses, public sector institutions, Governments, and service providers. It conducts its business globally and manage its business by geography. Its business is organized into three geographic regions: Americas; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and the Asia Pacific region.

Thu, 12 Jan 2023 21:06:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.moneycontrol.com/us-markets/stockpricequote/f5networks/FFIV




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