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F5 buys Swan in web acceleration push

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In brief Traffic management outfit F5 Networks has acquired Wan optimisation and application acceleration firm Swan Labs for $43m. The all-cash transaction is subject to various closing conditions - including acceptance of employment with F5 Networks by particular Swan Labs employees - but expected to close in the first quarter of F5 Networks’ 2006 fiscal year.

Upon closing, F5 plans to integrate Swan Labs' WANJet and WebAccelerator technology with its own kit to manage the secure delivery of applications across both local and wide area networks. Application optimisation has become a field of interest for several networking companies over recent months with Cisco splashing out $70m for start-up FineGround Networks back in May. That deal came a month after Juniper Networks, Cisco's main rival, splashed out $500m on two firms (WAN optimisation technology firm Peribit Networks and application front end outfit Redline Networks) in a move also broadly geared towards making IP-based applications more secure and reliable. ®

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