It's true...F5 has long been known as the worldwide leader in Application Delivery Controllers, but F5 also scores aces with layer 3-4 security devices as well.  It's no surprise that network security is extremely important in today's connected world.  We all know that cyber crime is on the rise, and cleaning up the mess of a cyber attack can cost a company millions of dollars.  In fact, a recent study by the Ponemon Institute shows that the average annualized cost of a cyber attack in 2012 was nearly $9 million.  Network firewalls are in place to bolster network defense and mitigate some of these cyber attacks, but historically speaking, network firewalls slow down throughput and performance.

Fortunately, the BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) combines rock-solid network defense with lightning fast throughput.  The BIG-IP AFM is a high-performance, stateful, full-proxy network firewall that guards against threats that enter your network on the most widely deployed protocols—including HTTP/S, SMTP, DNS, and FTP.  It's loaded with network defense features like anomaly detection, DDoS protection, SSL inspection, IP geolocation, IPsec tunneling, mutli-tenancy, and high availability just to name a few.  The speed of the BIG-IP AFM ranges anywhere from 4 Gbps on the low-end model to 640 Gbps on the high-end.  Connections per second range from 158,000 on the low-end to 8.8 million on the high-end, and concurrent connections range from 6 million to 576 million.  That's a lot of connections!

While the spec sheet is impressive, it's nice to see what we know to be true validated externally.  A recent NetworkWorld test showed that "in some cases, traffic rates were higher with the firewall in place than without..."  Who ever heard of a firewall actually increasing your network throughput?  The BIG-IP AFM is built on a device that balances network traffic, so it can make intelligent routing decisions and keep traffic flowing...in some cases faster than if it were not there at all.  Check out the results from the NetworkWorld firewall tests:

All of it is jaw-dropping stuff, but I think the HTTPS results are particularly amazing.  The BIG-IP AFM moved 10 KB HTTPS objects at 17 Gbps compared to 11 Gbps with no firewall in place.  Similar results were true for moving 512 KB objects.

The way ahead is clear...invest a few dollars in a BIG-IP AFM and avoid millions of dollars in cyber attack cleanup costs.  The BIG-IP AFM will protect your network...and speed it up at the same time!