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Following NGINX acquisition, F5 unveils NGINX Controller 3.0

F5 Networks also reported its latest quarterly financial results, as did Juniper Networks.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

In its first major product announcement since aquiring NGINX last year, F5 Networks on Monday announced NGINX Controller 3.0, a cloud-native application delivery product. NGINX Controller brings together a broad set of app services -- such as load balancing, API management, analytics and service mesh -- to consolidate DevOps tools and speed up application deployments.

The new product "highlights the unique value proposition of NGINX and F5 together," Gus Robertson, SVP and GM of NGINX at F5, said in a statement. "Controller 3.0 provides the foundation for developer and DevOps self-service, at scale. We've designed the user experience to be centered on the asset that businesses care about most: their apps. This is a big departure from previous infrastructure-centric solutions."

F5 acquired NGINX, best known for its high-speed, open source web server, back in March for $670 million. The deal fits in with F5's plan to focus on multi-cloud solutions, with support for applications in both private and public environments. 

NGINX Controller is cloud-agnostic, enabling developers to maintain consistent app services across multi-cloud deployments. It also offers integrations with key CI/CD tool vendors, like Ansible and Datadog. 

The platform includes self-service management and monitoring tools for DevOps, NetOps, SecOps and AppDev personnel. It also offers orchestrated workflows that promote seamless collaboration across teams. Rather than taking an infrastructure-centric approach, the platform's dashboard is designed to provide easy-to-consume data on application health and performance. 

It also provides analytics and insights to help provide teams improve app performance, as well as to reduce the time it takes to update apps for expanded use cases or with additional security features. 

"In the past, there was no offer on the market that would allow an application owner to see exactly what was happening in an application," F5 Networks CEO François Locoh-Donou said to ZDNet. "We have done the work of taking all the data and information from different tools and packaging it in a way that creates an application-centric view."

F5 also published its first quarter FY2020 financial results on Monday, beating market expectations. 

Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter was $155.4 million, or $2.55 per diluted share. Revenue came to $569.3 million, increasing 5 percent from $543.8 million in Q1 2019. Growth was driven by software solutions revenue growth of 50 percent.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of $2.43 on revenue of $565.96 million. 

Just a few years ago, F5 was primarily a hardware company, Locoh-Donou noted to ZDNet. Now, it's focused on "creating a portfolio of services that can be deployed in any cloud or data center. That's allowing customers to deploy our services much faster and easier than they could be, and it's one of the reasons there's so much growth in our software business right now... Our customers want to continue to consume F5, and they want to do it through software."

For the second quarter, F5 expects to deliver non-GAAP revenue in the range of $580 million to $590 million with non-GAAP earnings in the range of $2.14 to $2.17 per diluted share. The outlook includes an anticipated contribution from Shape Security, the application security company F5 acquired for $1 billion in December. The deal closed on Friday

Analysts have been expecting Q2 earnings of $2.44 on revenue of $570.86 million. 

Juniper Networks, meanwhile, published its fourth quarter financial results, slightly beating market expectations.

Non-GAAP net income was $198.7 million, a decrease of 3 percent year-over-year, resulting in non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 58 cents. Net revenues were $1.21  billion, an increase of 2 percent year-over-year. 

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 57 cents on revenue of $1.19 billion. 

For the full fiscal year, non-GAAP net income was $597.5 million, a decrease of 10 percent year-over-year, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $1.72. Net revenues were $4.45 billion, a decrease of 4 percent year-over-year.

"We returned to year-over-year growth during the December quarter and saw encouraging trends across various areas of our business, including record Enterprise sales, double digit year-over-year growth in the Cloud, solid momentum with Mist, and another quarter of strength in our services organization," CEO Rami Rahim said in a statement. "We believe we are executing well and positioned to sustainably grow the business starting this year."

Juniper's board of directors declared a 5 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 20 cents per share.

For Q1 2020, Juniper expects non-GAAP net income per share of approximately 27 cents, plus or minus 3 cents. Revenue is expected to come in at approximately $1.03 billion, plus or minus $30 million.

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