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To see how serious the competitive threat was, e.g., is there some long term overhang that would significantly cut into current growth rates, I pulled some research from Gartner.

What I found was ...

- F5 is their top-rated vendor in Application Acceleration (1H05)
- F5 is close to their top-rated vendor in Application Firewalls (May 05)
- F5 is their top-rated vendor in merging the two categories
- Continues to both execute on the sales front and be a visionary on where the space is going

It explicitly recommends that large enterprises do NOT buy solutions from Cisco, et. al., who in their words "because of their size can never be counted out but do not deliver [competitive] products" at this time.

This is certainly reassuring, because I do not think Gartner is a sole source of buying criteria, but if you are an enterprise buyer, its comforting to pick a company that Gartner gives its highest "vision" (product strength) and "execution" (company strength) marks to (e.g., no one is going to fire me for picking the wrong product).

Anyway, good stuff I thought to use in evaluating buying on the current significant dip.

- Alan
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