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Every year a variety of application delivery vendors sit around, wringing their hands, waiting for Gartner to release its latest Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers. No matter how much weight you personally put on Gartner’s – or any other analyst firms’ – opinion on the subject of who is and is not a leader, there is plenty of evidence to prove out the belief that if you aren’t at least on the Magic Quadrant you aren’t even getting your foot in the door to many organizations. In some cases if you aren’t in the leaders quadrant you aren’t getting your foot in the door.

Today the waiting was over. Gartner finally released its 2009 Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers. Vendors had an idea of how the playing field would fall out for a few days now, of course, and as is the nature of any kind of race some vendors lost ground and others gained. From the former you’ll likely hear very little and from the latter you’ll likely to hear quite a bit of crowing. That’s not surprising as it’s nice to have someone else validate your hard work throughout the year by giving you a few more points and moving that little circle in the leaders quadrant up just a bit.

But gaining leadership is not the same as being the leader, and despite rumors that have been circulating out there F5 is still the leader in the market in ability to execute and completeness of vision; in all areas in which each vendor is analyzed.

Now you might say well, that’s just Gartner’s view and that’s a valid assessment. It’s just one analyst firms’ view. But in case you missed it, Infonetics Research Enterprise Voice & Data Analyst Matthias Machowinski last month released his 2Q09 Ethernet Switches and Application Delivery Controllers report which clearly had F5 leading the application delivery market based on sales data, as well.

I could go on and on and on (and if you read my posts about technology and application delivery you’re shaking your head in emphatic agreement with that statement) about why F5 continues to maintain its leadership and growth in the application delivery controller market year after year after year (since long before I climbed aboard so I can’t even take credit for it) but I’m obviously just a bit biased, aren’t I? Go on and read through what Gartner has to say, and then do some more research; ask around. I’m confident enough in F5 and its products to believe that when you get done checking out the market and what’s available out there to help you deliver your applications fast and securely from the cloud, from the data center – from anywhere – that you’ll be back.

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