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At last decent internet access on board a cruise ship!

Crystal Cruises’ Passengers Have the
“Fastest Internet at Sea” with F5 BIG-IP WebAccelerator

SEATTLE, February 13, 2008 – F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has significantly upgraded its onboard computer network with the F5® BIG-IP® WebAccelerator product to provide its guests with a fast and convenient Internet experience no matter where in the world its ships travel.

Companies like Crystal Cruises provide Internet access aboard their ships via satellite transmission, which is significantly slower than typical broadband access on land. As part of its ongoing commitment to provide guests with the highest quality service, Crystal Cruises became the world’s first and only cruise line to purchase and install WebAccelerator. This highly specialized device from F5 uses a series of intelligent technologies to compress data in transit and reduce the amount of data transmitted, dramatically improving Internet performance for guests aboard the award-winning Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony cruise ships.

“We know that email and Internet are an integral part of our guests’ way of life,” said Thomas Mazloum, SVP, Hotel Operations at Crystal Cruises. “Guests noticed an immediate benefit and significant improvements in the speed and performance of our shipboard networks. Whether they’re checking email, using the Internet to do their banking or check stocks, or sending photos to family and friends, our guests now enjoy the best technology and performance at sea.”

A recent issue of Condé Nast Traveler featured a readers’ poll naming Crystal Cruises the number one large-ship cruise line, declaring Crystal Serenity’s Internet connection to be fastest in the industry and symbolic of the smoothness of the whole guest experience aboard the luxury line.

In seeking a solution to reduce Internet response times while at sea, Crystal Cruises turned to its technical advisor, solution provider CDW. “CDW’s networking specialists recommended F5 based on its web acceleration capabilities and excellent fit with Crystal Cruises’ specific needs,” said Kenneth Grimsley, VP of Strategic Sales at CDW. “In addition to improving performance on the 25 state-of-the-art workstations in the Computer University@Sea program offered on all cruises, the solution needed to support rental laptops and guests’ personal laptops accessing WiFi throughout the ship. The resulting solution provides guests with an enhanced web browsing experience even while the ship is miles from any port.”

“As part of Crystal Cruises’ effort to improve user experience, it was absolutely essential that the solution did not require any changes to be made to personal laptops guests bring onboard,” said Joe Hicks, Senior Product Manager at F5. “WebAccelerator requires no browser or user changes and significantly reduces the amount of traffic that traverses the satellite connection, for a big reduction in page load times. As a result, Crystal Cruises is able to provide fast and convenient Internet access that is consistent with the extremely high level of service their customers expect.”


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