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301b BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot basics |

301b basics - BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: 301b BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot basics June 2023 by team

301b BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot

The 301a-LTM Specialist: Architect, Set-up & Deploy test is one of two exams
required to achieve Certified F5 Technology Specialist, LTM status.
Individuals who pass this test possess an of underlying principles – from SSLbased VPN implementation to symmetric and asymmetric acceleration – and can
draw on that insight to integrate BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) into existing networks as well as new implementations. This is test 1 of 2 and is based on TMOS v11.

Objective 1.01 Given an expected traffic volume, determine the appropriate SNAT configuration
Explain when SNAT is required
Describe the benefit of using SNAT pools
Objective 1.02 Given a scenario, determine the minimum profiles for an application U/A
Explain security options available for the application
Explain how to use LTM as a service proxy
Describe how a given service is deployed on an LTM
Objective 1.03 Given an application configuration, determine which functions can be offloaded to the LTM device
Explain how to offload HTTP servers for SSL compression and caching
Objective 1.04 Given an application configuration, determine which functions can be offloaded to the LTM device
Explain how to create an HTTP configuration to handle an HTTP server error
Objective 1.05 Given an application configuration, determine the appropriate profile and persistence options
Explain how to create an HTTP configuration for mobile clients
Explain how to create an HTTP configuration to optimize WAN connectivity
Determine when connection mirroring is required
Objective 1.06 Explain the steps necessary to configure AVR U/A
Explain the steps necessary to configure the AVR
Explain how to create an AVR profile and options
Objective 1.07 Given a set of reporting requirements, determine the AVR metrics and entities to collect
Explain the sizing implications of AVR on the LTM device
Explain the logging and notifications options of AVR
Explain the uses of the collected metrics and entities
Objective 1.08 Given a scenario, determine the appropriate monitor type and parameters to use
Explain how to create an application specific monitor
Given a desired outcome, determine where to apply health monitors
Determine under which circumstances an external monitor is required
Objective 1.09 Given a set of parameters, predict an outcome of a monitor status on other LTM device objects
Determine the effect of a monitor on the virtual server status
Determine the effect of active versus inline monitors on the application status or on the LTM device
Objective 1.10 Given a set of SSL requirements, determine the appropriate profile options to create or modify in the SSL profile
Describe the difference between client and server SSL profiles
Describe the difference between client and server SSL processing
Objective 1.11 Given a set of application requirements, describe the steps necessary to configure SSL
Describe the process to update expired SSL certificates
Describe the steps to incorporate client authentication to the SSL process
Objective 1.12 Given a set of application requirements, determine the appropriate virtual server type to use
Describe the process to update expired SSL certificates
Describe the steps to incorporate client authentication to the SSL process
Objective 1.13 Given a set of application requirements, determine the appropriate virtual
server configuration settings
Describe which steps are necessary to complete prior to creating the virtual server
Describe the security options when creating a virtual server (i.e., VLAN limitation, route domains, packet filters, iRules)
Objective 1.14 Explain the matching order of multiple virtual servers U/A
Objective 1.15 Given a scenario, determine the appropriate load balancing method(s) U/A
Identify the behavior of the application to be load balanced
Differentiate different load balancing methods
Explain how to perform outbound load balancing
Explain CARP persistence
Objective 1.16 Explain the effect of LTM device configuration parameters on load balancing decisions
Differentiate between members and nodes
Explain the effect of the load balancing method on the LTM platform
Explain the effect of CMP on load balancing methods
Explain the effect of OneConnect/MBLB on load balancing
Explain how monitors and load balancing methods interact
Section 2: Set-up, administer, and secure LTM devices Cognitive Complexity
Objective 2.01 Distinguish between the management interface configuration and application traffic interface configuration
Explain the requirements for management of the LTM devices
Explain the requirements for the application traffic traversing the LTM devices
Explain how to configure management connectivity options: AOM, serial console, USB & Management Ethernet Port
Objective 2.02 Given a network diagram, determine the appropriate network and system
settings (i.e., VLANs, selfIPs, trunks, routes, NTP servers, DNS servers, SNMP receivers and syslog servers)
Explain the requirements for self IPs (including port lockdown)
Explain routing requirements for management and application traffic (including route domains and IPv6)
Explain the effect of system time on LTM devices
Objective 2.03 Given a network diagram, determine the appropriate physical connectivity U/A
Explain physical network connectivity options of LTM devices
Objective 2.04 Explain how to configure remote authentication and multiple administration roles on the LTM device
Explain the relationship between route domains, user roles and administrative partitions
Explain the mapping between remote users and remote role groups
Explain the options for partition access and terminal access
Objective 2.05 Given a scenario, determine an appropriate high availability configuration (i.e., failsafe, failover and timers)
Explain the relationship between route domains, user roles and administrative partitions
Explain the mapping between remote users and remote role groups
Explain the options for partition access and terminal access
Objective 2.06 Given a scenario, describe the steps necessary to set up a device group, traffic group and HA group
Explain how to set up sync-only and sync-failover device service cluster
Explain how to configure HA groups
Explain how to assign virtual servers to traffic groups
Objective 2.07 Predict the behavior of an LTM device group or traffic groups in a given failure scenario
Objective 2.08 Determine the effect of LTM features and/or modules on LTM device performance and/or memory
Determine the effect of iRules on performance
Determine the effect of RAM cache on performance and memory
Determine the effect of compression on performance
Determine the effect of modules on performance and memory
Objective 2.09 Determine the effect of traffic flow on LTM device performance and/or utilization
Explain how to use traffic groups to maximize capacity
Objective 2.10 Determine the effect of virtual server settings on LTM device performance and/or utilization
Determine the effect of connection mirroring on performance
Objective 2.11 Describe how to deploy vCMP guests and how the resources are distributed R
Identify platforms that support vCMP
Identify the limitations of vCMP
Describe the effect of licensing and/or provisioning on the vCMP host and vCMP guest
Describe how to deploy vCMP guests
Explain how resources are assigned to vCMP guests (e.g., SSL, memory, CPU, disk)
Objective 2.12 Determine the appropriate LTM device security configuration to protect against a security threat
Explain the implications of SNAT and NAT on network promiscuity
Explain the implications of forwarding virtual servers on the environment security
Describe how to disable services
Describe how to disable ARP
Explain how to set up logging for security events on the LTM device
Explain how route domains can be used to enforce network segmentation
Section 3: Deploy applications Cognitive
Objective 3.01 Describe how to deploy and modify applications using existing and/or updated iApp application templates
Identify the appropriate application template to use to deploy the application
Describe how to locate, retrieve and import new and updated application templates
Identify use cases for deploying the application templates
Objective 3.02 Given application requirements, determine the appropriate profiles and profile settings to use
Describe the connections between profiles and virtual servers
Describe profile inheritance
Explain how to configure the different SSL profile settings
Explain the effect of changing protocol settings
Explain the use cases for the fast protocols (e.g. fastL4, fastHTTP)
Explain the persistence overrides
Describe the use of HTTP classes and profiles
Describe the link between iRules and statistics, iRules and stream, and iRule events and profiles
Describe the link between iRules and persistence
Describe hashing persistence methods
Describe the cookie persistence options
Determine which profiles are appropriate for a given application
Determine when an iRule is preferred over a profile or vice versa
Explain how to manipulate the packet contents using profiles
Objective 3.03 Determine the effect of traffic flow on LTM device performance and/or utilization
Describe the effect of priority groups on load balancing
Explain the effects of SNAT settings on pools
Explain how persistence settings can override connection limits
Describe the relationship between monitors and state
Describe the functionality of Action On Service Down
Describe the functionality of Priority Group Activation
Describe the persistence across pools and services (e.g., Match Across Services, Match Across vs Match Across Pools)
Describe how connection limits are affected by node, pool and virtual server settings
Describe how priority groups are affected by connection limits
BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain & Troubleshoot
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BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Specialist : Maintain
& Troubleshoot
D. The configuration reload request caused the config to reload and the device to failover.
Answer: B
Question: 38
-- Exhibit
-- Exhibit --
Refer to the exhibit.
Which URL should be reported to the server/application team as getting user-visible
A. /env.cgi
B. /page14.cgi
C. /reflector.php
D. /browserspecific.html
Answer: B
Question: 39
-- Exhibit
-- Exhibit --
Refer to the exhibits.
Users are able to access the application when connecting to the virtual server but are
unsuccessful when connecting directly to the application servers. The LTM Specialist
wants to allow direct access to the application servers. Why are users unable to connect
directly to the application servers?
A. The router does NOT have a route to the server subnet.
B. The web server does NOT have a correct default gateway.
C. The LTM device does NOT have a SNAT on the External VLAN.
D. The LTM device does NOT have an IP Forwarding virtual server on the Internal
E. The LTM device does NOT have an IP Forwarding virtual server on the External
Answer: B
Question: 40
-- Exhibit
-- Exhibit --
Refer to the exhibits.
Users are able to access the application when connecting to the virtual server but are
unsuccessful when connecting directly to the application servers. The LTM Specialist
wants to allow direct access to the application servers. Which configuration change
resolves this problem?
A. Enable port 443 on the virtual server.
B. Configure a SNAT pool on the LTM device.
C. Disable address translation on the virtual server.
D. Configure an IP Forwarding virtual server on the LTM device.
E. Configure a route to the web server subnet on the network router.
Answer: D
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F5-Networks Troubleshoot basics - BingNews Search results F5-Networks Troubleshoot basics - BingNews Troubleshooting Wireless Networks

In an effort to ensure the success of the mobile workforce, scientists from the University of California in San Diego have developed an automated troubleshooting system for wireless-access networks.

The enterprise-scale troubleshooting system, which initially was designed for the UCSD computer science building, is capable of detecting and diagnosing various problems often encountered when using a Wi-Fi connection.

The two most common problems related to wireless networks are slow performance and an unreliable connection. The prime causes of both are either a weak signal or a channel "clash" — when a wall or other physical obstacle between the device and the network's wireless access point (WAP) weakens the transmitted signal, making it more likely for neighboring connections to interfere with each other.

Channel clash damages reception on both sides. However, when it comes to wireless systems, there are many other possible sources of networking faults, such as unplugged cables, switched-off wireless network adapters, dysfunctional repeaters (intermediate devices that receive and regenerate the signal, broadcasting it further to extend the wireless network's range), driver incompatibility and wrongly configured network settings.

“Few organizations have the expertise, data or tools to decompose the underlying problems and interactions responsible for transient outages or performance degradations,” claim UCSD researchers who presented a paper on the troubleshooting system at ACM SIGCOMM, one of the world’s premier networking conferences, in 2007.

Stefan Savage, UCSD associate professor of Computer Science and head of the research project, says that even though people expect Wi-Fi to work, there is a general understanding that it’s not reliable. “If you have a wireless problem in our building, our system automatically analyzes the behavior of your connection — each wireless protocol, each wired network service and the many interactions between them,” Savage explains. “In the end, we can say it’s because of this that your wireless is slow or has stopped working, and we can tell you immediately.”

The Heart of the Problem

Wireless-access networks are complicated by such issues as shared spectrums, user mobility, authentication management, and the interaction between wired and wireless networks. Diagnosing problems in these complex networks often requires a huge amount of data, knowledge and time.

Because a wireless network comprises many pieces, when disruption occurs, it is very hard to pinpoint the problematic component. Usually, it is necessary to sift through huge amounts of data. “Wireless networks are hooked onto the wired part of the Internet with a bunch of Scotch tape and bailing wire — protocols that really weren’t designed for Wi-Fi,” Savage says. “If one of these components has a glitch, you may not be able to use the Internet even though the network itself is working fine.

"For example, someone using the microwave oven two rooms away may cause enough interference to disrupt your connection," Savage explains.

Yu-Chung Cheng, who as a doctoral student in computer science at UCSD was lead author on the paper, points out that network problems today are not consistent and may occur for a number of reasons. Many aren’t detected even by network administrators. But, says Cheng, now at Google, "We’ve created a virtual wireless expert who is always at work.”

The scientists presented a set of modeling techniques for automatically characterizing the source of wireless networking problems. In their research, they focused primarily on data-transfer delays unique to the set of standard over-the-air modulation techniques that define wireless local area networks (WLANs), media access dynamics and mobility management latency.

After two years of data collection and analysis, the UCSD automated help-desk system was implemented within the Computer Science building, where it has been up and running for close to a year, 24 hours a day. Today, all wireless help-desk issues go through the new automated system, which constantly monitors data relevant to the faculty's wireless network and catches transient problems. One of the interesting things the troubleshooting system has revealed, according to researchers, is that there is no single issue that affects wireless network performance, but rather many little things that interact and go wrong in ways one might not anticipate.

According to Savage, the research team is working with Wi-Fi-based Voice over IP (VoIP) phones. “Our system is the ultimate laboratory for testing new wireless gadgets and new approaches to building wireless systems,” he says.

Savage believes that future enterprise wireless networks will have sophisticated diagnostics and repair capabilities built into them. “I look at [our work] as an engineering effort,” he says. “How much the [future wireless networks] will draw from our work is hard to tell today. You never know the impact you are going to have when you do the work. We learn something new every week.”

Utilizing Mesh Networks

Troubleshooting wireless networks is a hot course among networking experts. A team of scientists from the University of Texas, UC-Berkeley and Microsoft Research have developed a system for detecting wireless connectivity problems in unique mesh networks, where all the components can connect to each other through multiple hoops.

Their research outlines a novel fault-diagnosis process in wireless mesh networks. It also details a method for employing trace-driven simulations to detect faults and to perform root-cause analyses. This approach was used to diagnose performance problems caused by packet dropping, link congestion, external noise and media access control (MAC) misbehavior, and researchers noted that “In a 25-node mesh network, we are able to diagnose over 10 simultaneous faults of multiple types with more than 80 percent coverage.”

Their troubleshooting framework integrates a network simulator, which collects traces and uses them to recreate a log of events that took place inside the real operational network. The simulator is applied to network management, such as performance tuning and “what-if” analysis for route simulation. According to the researchers, this technique can be applied to a large class of networks operating under different environments.

A Microsoft white paper offers more pointers on troubleshooting wireless mesh networks.

Thu, 04 May 2023 12:00:00 -0500 Iddo Genuth en text/html
F5 Networks Plunges on Outlook: What Wall Street's Saying No result found, try new keyword!Shares of F5 Networks' plunged Thursday as a result of its revenue miss and subdued outlook. Yet several analysts noted that the stock's sell off is overdone. Shares of F5 Networks' plunged ... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 01:51:00 -0600 text/html F5 Networks and Ciena Buyout Rumors Are Signs of the Times No result found, try new keyword!F5 looks like the kind of enterprise tech company that could be targeted by private-equity firms, given how many other enterprise names with similar growth and valuation profiles have been taken out. Wed, 31 May 2023 12:01:00 -0500 text/html How to use the Netstat command to troubleshoot network issues in Windows 11/10

Netstat (Network Statistics) is a command-line tool for monitoring and troubleshooting computer network issues. This tool shows you all your device’s connections in as much detail as you need.

With Netstat, you can view all your connections and their ports and stats. This information is valuable when setting up or fixing your connectivity. This article will introduce you to the Netstat command and the main parameters for filtering information displayed about your connections.

We’ll explore the following courses in this section:

  1. How to use the Netstat command.
  2. Use netstat parameters to filter connection information.
  3. Combining Netstat parameters.

Join me as we go through the above courses to help you better understand this tool and learn how to use it to troubleshoot your network issues.

1] How to use the netstat command

netstat command

Click on the Start button and search for Command Prompt. Open Command Prompt with elevated privileges by right-clicking on it and selecting the Run as administrator option.

You can open Netstat by typing the following command and pressing ENTER:


You may not understand what the columns mean if you’re new to networking.

  • Proto: The network protocol. It could be either TCP or UDP.
  • Local Address: The IP addresses and ports of your computer’s network interfaces for the given connections.
  • Foreign Address: The IP addresses and port names of the remote devices.
  • StateIndicates the state of the connection. For example, find out active and closed connections.

The netstat command shows you your active connections and their details. However, you’d notice that the foreign address column prints the IP address and port names.

To show the connections’ port numbers instead of the port names next to the IP addresses, use the following command:

netstat -n

Further, the system can disconnect or connect to networks, and the network details can change at intervals. Hence, we can use the following command to refresh the netstat network details at intervals using this command:

netstat -n 5

To stop the refreshing, press the CTRL + C key combination.

NOTE: The 5 in the command above refreshes the command every 5 seconds. If you wish to increase or shorten the interval, you can modify this value.

2] Use netstat parameters to filter connection information

The netstat command is a powerful command that can show you every detail about your device’s connections. Explore the most commonly used netstat parameters to find specific network details.

  • Display active and inactive connections

Show the networks that are active or inactive.

netstat -a
  • Display applications information

List all applications that are associated with the connections.

netstat -b
  • View network adapter stats

Show statistics on incoming and outgoing network packets.

netstat -e
  • Display foreign addresses’ fully qualified domain name (FQDNS)

If you don’t want to see the port numbers or names, the following netstat parameter will show your foreign addresses’ fully qualified domain names.

netstat -f
  • Show port numbers instead of names

Change the foreign address port names to port numbers.

netstat -n

Similar to netstat, and it has an extra column for every connection’s Process ID (PID).

netstat -o
  • Filter connections by protocol

Display the connections for the protocol you specify – UDP, TCP, tcpv6, or udpv6.

netstat -p udp

NOTE: You should change the udp part to the protocol whose connections you want to view.

  • View non-listening and listing port

Show connections and their listening and bound non-listening ports.

netstat -q

Categorize networks by available protocols – UDP, TCP, ICMP, IPv4, and IPv6.

netstat -s

Show the routing table of your current network. It lists every route to the destination and matrix available on your system. Similar to the route print command.

netstat -r
  • Display offload state connections

Show a list of connection offload states of your current connection.

netstat -t
  • See NetworkDirect connections

Shows all NetworkDirect connections.

netstat -x
  • Display connection Templates

Show your networks’ TCP connection templates.

netstat -y

3] Combining Netstat parameters

You can further filter the Netstat parameters to show you information about your connections any way you want. From the above commands, you only have to add a second parameter to show a combined view.

For instance, you can combine the -s and -e parameters to view the statistics for every protocol. This way, you can combine other parameters to get the desired results.

When mixing multiple Netstat parameters, you don’t need to include two dashes (-). You can use one dash (-) and append the parameter letters without a second one.

For example, instead of typing the following command:

netstat -s -e

You can write it as:

netstat - se

netstat se command

If you forget the parameters, a quick way to remember them is by asking netstat to help. Simply run the following command:

netstat /?

To stop the netstat query process, press the CTRL + C key combination.

Can we check network connectivity using netstat?

We can check network connectivity using the netstat or network statistics command. This allows us to see active network connections and their status. The tool can view incoming and outgoing network connections, routing tables, port listening, and usage statistics. This command can be handy for network administrators when troubleshooting network issues. By understanding how to use this command, you can quickly and efficiently diagnose problems with your network.

How do I see network issues in Windows?

You can check your network connection status in Windows quickly and easily. Select the Start button to do so and type “settings” into the search bar. Once you’re in the Settings menu, select “Network & internet.” The status of your network connection will be displayed at the top of the page. If you’re having trouble connecting to the internet, this is a helpful first step in troubleshooting the issue. You also check quickly, and if you see the wifi icon missing, you have a network issue.

netstat command Tue, 31 Aug 2021 12:16:00 -0500 en-US text/html F5 Networks


Thu, 12 Jan 2023 21:06:00 -0600 en text/html

These 3 Tech Stocks Plunged After Earnings: Buy the Dip?

Herve Blandin  |  May 3, 2021

Each company recently posted disappointing quarterly earnings despite having vast, and growing, market opportunities.

Why F5 Networks Stock Crashed 10% After Earnings

Rich Smith  |  Apr 28, 2021

Pro forma profits were great, but F5's GAAP number was less impressive.

F5 Networks Is Getting an Unexpected Boost

Herve Blandin  |  Jan 31, 2021

The company's legacy hardware business is poised to perform better than anticipated.

Should Cloudflare and Fastly Fear F5 Networks' Foray Into Edge Computing?

Herve Blandin  |  Jan 12, 2021

F5 Networks agreed to acquire an innovative edge-computing start-up.

Why F5 Networks Stock Jumped 8.5% on Tuesday

Anders Bylund  |  Oct 27, 2020

The application delivery expert smashed Wall Street's estimates in the fourth quarter.

Never Heard of Adaptive Applications? It's F5 Networks' Long-Term Vision

Herve Blandin  |  Jul 29, 2020

Adaptive applications leverage the tech specialist's various technologies.

Wed, 31 May 2023 04:00:00 -0500 en text/html
F5 Networks Slides on Soft Guidance

Shares of F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) are lower today after the company reported earnings. Total revenue climbed 11% year-over-year to reach $703 million, but software revenue dropped 13%. In response to the mixed results, the company announced it would be cutting roughly 9% of its workforce or around 620 employees.

Nevertheless, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Thomas Blakey pointed out some positives, like the growth in new deals and expanding pipelines. F5’s CEO, François Locoh-Donou, mentioned that due to ongoing macro uncertainties and their impact on customer spending, the company expects low-to-mid single-digit revenue growth in Fiscal Year 2023.

The firm’s Non-GAAP EPS of $2.53 exceeded expectations, and F5 reaffirmed its commitment to giving back to shareholders through share repurchases. With $1.23 billion still available under its authorized common stock repurchase program, the company plans to buy back at least $250 million worth of shares in the next quarter. However, F5 anticipates revenue to land between $690 million and $710 million, with non-GAAP diluted earnings per share ranging from $2.78 to $2.90. As a result, the midpoints are slightly below the consensus estimates of $702 million and $2.86 per share.

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Overall, Wall Street analysts have a consensus price target of $156.92 on FFIV stock, implying almost 19% upside potential, as indicated by the graphic above.


Thu, 20 Apr 2023 03:55:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Three Reasons Network Operations Is Getting More Difficult And What CIOs Can Do About It

Song Pang is the senior vice president of customer engineering at NetBrain, a market leader for NetOps automation.

For far too long, many CIOs have focused on identifying, acquiring and rolling out the latest in technology hardware and software. This is a very tangible set of steps and has largely overshadowed and obscured the need to rethink day-to-day operational processes.

In most cases, the current operational plan is simply considered a given set of proven processes that have been in place for decades—which is the root of the CIO’s problem. If the specific set of technologies across IT has changed so dramatically over the years, yet the operational process to support the infrastructure is still largely as it was defined decades ago, there surely is a missed opportunity for a more effective approach.

The Uptime Institute will tell you that network outages and service degradations are occurring more frequently and are of longer duration. So why is this happening despite all this new technology? There are three main reasons: increasing network complexity, fewer skilled engineers and outdated and ad hoc processes. Here’s a breakdown of each of these factors and what CIOs can do to overcome them.

Increasing Network Complexity

As M&A activity along with aggressive cloud-migration strategies continues to power the growth of most multinational enterprises, the networks themselves are getting more complex. Public and private clouds, virtualized components, microservices, software-defined capacity and more have all made NetOps’ tasks much more complicated.

The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2022 found that hybrid IT is increasing network complexity. Forty-nine percent of tech pro respondents said that the acceleration of hybrid IT has increased the complexity of their organization’s IT management, and 36% admitted they were only somewhat confident in their ability to manage that complexity.

F5 Network’s 2022 State of Application Strategy Report found that 70% of organizations manage five different application architectures, and the average organization uses 21 application security and delivery technologies. Seventy-seven percent of respondents run applications in multiple clouds, and 93% use some type of cloud-based “as-a-service” offering.

Most CIOs admit they are already in a deficit when it comes to keeping their IT infrastructure running today, the cloud in particular. The SolarWinds report also found that “while more than half (54%) of tech pro respondents state they leverage monitoring strategies to manage [network] complexity, 49% revealed they lack visibility into the majority of their organization’s apps and infrastructure.” In short, those respondents lack the proper tools and processes today to manage the complex needs of the business, largely because managing device health is no longer a valid proxy to assure digital business success.

Limited Skilled Resources

The second issue is simply a lack of qualified engineers to address the largely bespoke and reactive processes in place. For the past several years, many of the industry’s top IT analyst firms have been citing a dwindling pool of experienced resources after the start of Covid. The Uptime report found that “problems with attracting and retaining staff appear to be worsening … over half (53%) of operators surveyed report difficulty finding qualified candidates for open jobs—up from 47% in 2021, and 38% in 2018.”

Employee retention is yet another issue with almost half (42%) of respondents reporting their staff was hired away. Shrinking budgets will further limit IT departments’ ability to employ experienced engineers and will make hiring even harder and more costly. Organizations that rely on this type of traditional infrastructure are already struggling to find qualified people to manage it, no matter how much they offer.

Fewer highly skilled resources means network service tickets take longer to resolve and require more escalations. If only one engineer on a team has the knowledge to fix a particular problem or update a particular piece of hardware, what happens when they’re out sick or on vacation or they live 1,000 miles from where the issue is reported? IT departments without a good way of sharing knowledge can often devolve into many little silos that slow down troubleshooting and a series of missed expectations. A no-code approach can better capture the knowledge of a wide range of subject matter experts and make it sharable and transportable.

How Ad Hoc IT Processes Can Hinder Business Growth

The biggest issue, which has been overlooked in IT departments for years, is that network operations processes are often outdated, focused on manually maintaining device health rather than maintaining IT business services, and are almost entirely reactive. What this means is operational leaders still focus on fixing problems when they occur rather than preventing problems from occurring in the first place. This is ironic since it costs much less to prevent a disruption early on than it does to restore operations after a problem manifests into production and affects the business.

The Answer To NetOps Challenges

The good news is that today’s most aggressive CIOs are looking for the means to manage their network-connected businesses focused on delivered service outcomes. Here are several steps that IT leaders can take to Improve their management infrastructure.

• Examine the desired business outcomes that the network supports. For example: keeping VoIP calls clear, maintaining security policy compliance or keeping the application responsiveness needed in e-commerce. Build a list of these key outcomes.

• Assess if their current IT tools allow them to monitor and verify that these outcomes are being met. Plan new ways to monitor and verify these intents if necessary.

• Look for ways to save time on regular network management tasks. For example, if engineers typically run the same three diagnostic tests for most or all trouble tickets, can those tests be automated to run every time a ticket is created?

• Analyze how the IT and NetOps teams share knowledge among themselves. Do teams have access to the information they need? For example, can the security team find the location of an IP address on their own, or do they need to talk to NetOps?

• Identify any bottlenecks in NetOps (tasks that only a few engineers have the skill set to do) and work to train, hire or provide tools to enable other engineers to do them as well.

While increasing network complexity and decreasing talent both make NetOps more difficult, the central issue is outdated processes. Modernizing those processes with a focus on business outcomes is key for CIOs to regain control of NetOps.

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?

Mon, 29 May 2023 22:15:00 -0500 Song Pang en text/html
Understanding Male Sexual Problems -- the Basics

Problems with sexual functioning are common, affecting more than half of all couples at some time. Although sexual dysfunction rarely threatens physical health, it can take a heavy psychological toll, bringing on depression, anxiety, and debilitating feelings of inadequacy. Male sexual problems, particularly erectile dysfunction, may suggest an increased risk of vascular disease, so tell your doctor about it.

The major categories of sexual dysfunction in men include:

  • Erectile dysfunction. Sometimes called impotence, it is the inability to have or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual functioning.
  • Premature ejaculation. An inability to delay orgasm and ejaculation, such that it occurs very early in the course of sexual contact, leaving the other partner dissatisfied.
  • Male orgasmic disorder. An inability to reach orgasm (climax) with a partner; or the inability to achieve orgasm without lengthy sexual contact; or the inability to have an orgasm during intercourse. In some cases, orgasm can be achieved only through masturbation or oral sex.
  • Inhibited or hypoactive sexual desire. A disinterest in sexual contact or complete lack of sexual desire.
  • Retrograde ejaculation. The semen, rather than emerging from the end of the penis, moves backward into the bladder during orgasm. This isn't dangerous. It is often a side effect of taking certain medications.
  • Priapism. A prolonged erection unaccompanied by sexual desire; this rare condition is painful, potentially dangerous, and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor.

If your sexual problem only happens under a particular set of circumstances, or only with certain sexual partners, then your condition is considered to be "situational" rather than "generalized" (happening regardless of the circumstances or partner).

Many of these sexual conditions will happen at some point during the course of a man's life. In fact, some researchers only consider a diagnosis of sexual dysfunction if the problem occurs in 25% of all attempted sexual encounters.

Because the sexual response is so complex, involving multiple factors, there are many causes of sexual dysfunction including physical and psychological causes.

An erection involves the nervous and vascular systems (the network of arteries and veins) and appropriate levels of hormones, so problems with any of these systems can interfere with sexual functioning.

Common physical causes of sexual problems include the following:

Premature ejaculation (PE) is usually not due to physical causes, although the problem is sometimes linked to a neurological disorder, prostate infections, or urethritis.

Possible psychological causes of sexual dysfunction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Guilty feelings about sex
  • Sexual aversion disorder
  • Learned behavior pattern of rapid ejaculation seen with frequent masturbation or infrequent sexual activity

Painful intercourse usually has physical causes such as these:

Lack of sexual desire may be due to any of these factors:

Retrograde ejaculation may occur in men from these causes:

  • Prostate or urethral surgery
  • Medication that keeps the bladder neck open
  • Diabetes (which can injure the nerves that normally close the bladder during ejaculation)

Priapismmay be caused by:

  • Penile trauma
  • Medical conditions such as sickle cell disease, leukemia, gout, diabetes
  • Certain medications, including those used to treat erectile dysfunction

Can Medication Cause Sexual Problems?

Many medications have been implicated in sexual dysfunction, causing inhibited sexual desire and/or erectile dysfunction, such as:

Psychological Factors in Sexual Problems

Psychological factors play an important role. You may find it difficult to enjoy a sexual relationship if:

  • You are under a lot of stress
  • Your relationship is troubled
  • You have a history of traumatic sexual encounters (rape or incest)
  • You were raised in a family with strict sexual taboos
  • You're afraid of getting your partner pregnant or of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease
  • You have negative feelings (including guilt, anger, fear, low self-esteem, and anxiety)
  • You are depressed
  • You are severely fatigued
  • You are pushing yourself to have sexual relations with someone you are not attracted to sexually
  • Gender dysphoria issues.

Environmental Factors in Sexual Problems

You may find it difficult to enjoy sex if there is no safe, private place to relax and allow yourself to become sexual, or if fatigue due to an overly busy work and personal life robs you of the energy to participate sexually. Parents may find it difficult to find the time to be sexually intimate, given the demands/presence of their children.

Fear of contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus, which can lead to AIDS), the difficulties of striving for "safer sex," and the psychological effects of discrimination are just a few of the factors that can cause anxieties for men.

Fri, 12 May 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Why Is F5 (FFIV) Up 5.8% Since Last Earnings Report?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for F5 Networks (FFIV). Shares have added about 5.8% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the exact positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is F5 due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most exact earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

F5 Networks' Q2 Earnings and Sales Top Estimates

F5 reported second-quarter fiscal 2023 results, wherein the top and the bottom lines surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

This Seattle-based company’s non-GAAP earnings of $2.53 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.42. The bottom line increased 18.8% from the year-ago quarter’s $2.13 per share and was way higher than management’s guided range of $2.36-$2.48 per share.

During the reported quarter, F5 Networks witnessed a 11% increase in its revenues amid a global chip shortage scenario in the semiconductor industry. The company’s non-GAAP revenues were $703.2 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $700.7 million. The top line was above the mid-point of the guided range of $690-$710 million.

Top Line in Detail

Product revenues (48.4% of total revenues), which comprise Software and Systems sub-divisions, increased 14% year over year to $340.6 million. System sales jumped 43% year over year to $209 million, accounting for approximately 61.3% of the total Product revenues. However, Software revenues slumped 13% to $132 million, making up the remaining 38.7% of the total Product revenues.

Global Service revenues (51.6% of total revenues) grew 8% to $362.6 million.

F5 Networks registered sales growth across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions, witnessing a year-over-year increase of 7%, 22% and 9%, respectively. Revenue contributions from the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions were 54%, 27% and 18%, respectively.

Customer-wise, Enterprises, Service providers and Government represented 67%, 13% and 20% of product bookings, respectively.


GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins contracted 220 basis points (bps) and 250 bps to 77.9% and 80.4%, respectively.

GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses went up 1.9% and 4.6%, respectively, to $441.5 million and $374.1 million. F5 Networks’ GAAP and non-GAAP operating margins expanded 330 bps and 70 bps to 15.1% and 27.2%, respectively.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

F5 Networks exited the March-ended quarter with cash and short-term investments of $755.3 million compared with the previous quarter’s $660 million.

During the fiscal second quarter, the company generated $141 million of operating cash flow compared with the $158 million reported in the previous quarter. The operating cash flow remained under pressure due to strong multi-year subscription sales, which impacted the cash collection process.


F5 Networks projects non-GAAP revenues in the $690-$710 million (mid-point of $700 million) and non-GAAP earnings per share in the $2.78-$2.90 band (mid-point of $2.84) for third-quarter fiscal 2023. Non-GAAP gross margin is forecast to be around 82%.

For fiscal 2023, F5 Networks expects low-to-mid-single digit revenue growth.
The company anticipates non-GAAP earnings to grow in 7-11% band. Non

GAAP operating margin is forecasted to be roughly 30%.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

At this time, F5 has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, F5 has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

F5, Inc. (FFIV) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

Mon, 22 May 2023 19:43:00 -0500 en-US text/html

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