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F5 Networks CEO Francois Locoh-Donou. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

F5 Networks says it is acquiring NGINX, one of the most popular web servers on the internet today, for $670 million.

The deal is a huge one for F5, which focuses on cloud and security application services. It brings more of the application infrastructure under F5’s umbrella, as the Seattle company seeks to make the transition from being a hardware company to one that emphasizes software and services for building apps that work across multiple cloud usage scenarios.

“We believe every organization can benefit from the agility and flexibility enabled by modern technologies without compromising on security, manageability, and reliability,” F5 CEO Francois Locoh-Donou said in a statement. “The combined company will enable every customer — from the app developer to the network engineer to the security specialist — with the tools they need to ensure their apps are available and secure across every platform, from the enterprise data center to private and public clouds.”

If you’ve visited GeekWire or any number of sites today, much of that information is delivered via NGINX. It is one of the top web and application servers out there, along with services like Apache and Microsoft’s IIS.

F5 says the NGINX brand will remain after the acquisition closes. NGINX CEO Gus Robertson and founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov will join F5 and will continue to lead NGINX. Robertson will join F5’s senior management team, reporting to Locoh-Donou.

“NGINX and F5 share the same mission and vision. We both believe applications are at the heart of driving digital transformation,” Robertson said in a statement. “And we both believe that an end-to-end application infrastructure—one that spans from code to customer—is needed to deliver apps across a multi-cloud environment.”

F5 leaders said they are committed to retaining NGINX’s open-source strategy. The company said it will infuse its security solutions and cloud innovations into NGINX’s software load balancing technology, which will speed up F5’s development of services for containerized applications. F5 will also take advantage of its large global sales force to amp up efforts to bring NGINX to the enterprise.

F5 stock rose 2.6 percent today. It expects the deal to juice revenue growth in 2019 and 2020 into the mid-single digits and bump up software revenue as a percentage of the company’s total balance sheet.

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