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F5’s William Bonner plays the role of hacker at the event.

F5 Networks marked the opening of a new Security Operations Center at its Seattle headquarters today — complete with one of its engineers in a black hoodie playing the role of a hacker launching a mock online attack, to show how F5’s technology diverts malicious traffic from the servers of its customers.

The new center is the latest step in the evolution of F5 beyond its roots as a pure product company, said F5 CEO John McAdam during his remarks at the event.

“We’re still that today, it’s still a majority of our business, but the trends are changing quickly,” he said. “We really do have to move with the trends. … Customers are buying solutions as a service, and of course security is our biggest driver.”

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F5 CEO John McAdam cuts the ribbon at the Security Operations Center.

F5’s technologies manage Internet traffic, helping online services and cloud applications run smoothly, securely and reliably. F5, based on the Seattle waterfront and traded on the NASDAQ, has more than 3,800 employees, $1.7 billion in annual revenue and a market value of $8.3 billion.

The company’s Silverline technology, deployed through the Security Operations Center, includes protection from denial of service attacks and online fraud. It’s part of the company’s move to help customers intercept malicious traffic before it reaches their servers, said Jerry Stalick, vice president of global services at F5.

“This is really a huge step forward in our ability to do that,” he said.

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