Citrix NetScaler vs F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Citrix NetScaler and F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Citrix NetScaler vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Report (Updated: March 2023).
687,947 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"It's very easy to configure.""I like the ease of use. It's easy to manage. I also like it's ease of use with virtualization technologies with applications.""The best feature of Citrix is its track record of stability in its features.""Compared to other solutions, Citrix ADC is much more robust in terms of the native integration to cloud platforms. It is far more robust from an operational point of view as well.""The feature that I have found most valuable is its load balancing.""The solution improves security performance.""It is simple for both IT specialists and customers.""High availability, performance, and security are the main pillars. It enhances the security for accessing the applications."

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"LTM's most valuable features include application security, data collection, and parameter-level rules.""iRules are very valuable. In addition to that, the way profiles are depicted by the LTM is also very good.""F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) improves the resilience and quality of the application itself, the speed and the user experience for the application. The data that the users need from the application is actually acquired faster. So, it provides faster data acquisition.""BIG-IP LTM is completely stable, and its performance is good.""I like that F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is a product that comes with valuable features, but what stands out from all features is load balancing.""It is stable.""The capability is at a seven or eight out of ten.""The load balancing function, the monitors that you can create, and iRules programmability are most valuable."

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"This is an expensive solution.""Citrix ADC can improve if it provides a more user-friendly interface and clear working protocols. Citrix is not working with classic RFC, it is working with Citrix RFC, which is not common in the world. If engineers of Citrix can provide us with more information on working with the classic IP networks it would be a benefit.""The solution could be more secure.""The solution can improve their support and send tickets directly to a Citrix ADC engineer in order to avoid having to escalate each support call.""Quality assurance could improve by ironing out security vulnerabilities before releasing upgrades.""It does not have a sandbox cloud service and antivirus. It should have on-prem or cloud sandboxing and antivirus.""Technical support could be improved.""Citrix ADC is a complex product, and it takes time to understand these things. But the documentation is poor, and the deployment is difficult. Integration could also be better because what I find is that you cannot easily integrate the panel in the second sector. What I have found is that in the last index, there is a limitation when getting validated. Technical support could also be better."

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"There are not very many areas for improvement, but the price is high.""Its scalability and deployment should be better. It should be more scalable, and it should be easier to deploy.""Technical support is somewhat slow and could be improved.""Right now, there are a lot of products within F5's portfolio. They acquired a couple of companies like NGINX and Volterra. Some features and technologies overlapped when this acquisition occurred. They need to refine it and come up with a single, proper solution. F5 should focus more on zero trust network access (ZTNA).They should be more focused on that framework because the industry is moving towards that. Everyone is talking about SASE and zero trust.""The user interface could be improved in F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager.""The deployment could be simplified.""It would be good to have better traffic and better data. It would be nice to have more granularity to see packets in terms of the header details, the analytics, etc. It would be nice if that was also part of it and to have analytics added to the traffic.""My only point of contention would be that it is a little pricey."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The price for Citrix ADC here in Mexico was good, when you compare it with F5 and Radware."
  • "F5 BIG-IP is much more expensive than Citrix ADC. For example, If we choose two platforms, Citrix ADC, 3000 version, and we choose F5, F4200 version. F5 BIG-IP has connections, timers, and throughput similar to Citrix ADC, but the price is very expensive."
  • "Citrix ADC could improve the price and make it less expensive, other competitors have a better prices. This would allow Citrix ADC to keep dominating the market."
  • "There isn't much of a difference between the cost of Citrix and that of other similar solutions."
  • "The licenses for this product are payable as a yearly subscription, and carry a high price-point. The subscription scheme is quite complicated, and costs will increase with each additional feature that is required, outside of the basic setup."
  • "You can do CapEx and then a yearly monthly fee, or you can do a subscription model, whether that's one month, month-to-month, or three-year subscription model."
  • "Its price is comparable to others and affordable."
  • "The client pays for the Citrix NetScaler license annually."
  • More Citrix NetScaler Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "You can buy it on a yearly basis, or you can go for a subscription. For on-premise boxes, it is just the RMA."
  • "Compared to using open-source products, the prices are not cheap."
  • "F5 is expensive."
  • "It is quite expensive as a product. Because it is very stable, it is also expensive."
  • "It is a little pricey. I wish the pricing was cheaper, but I wish the pricing was cheaper for everything."
  • "We are on an annual license to use the solution."
  • "This is a high-priced tool. We pay for its license yearly."
  • "The cost is high for this product, so it's not suitable for small customers, e.g. those with small environments."
  • More F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    687,947 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of Citrix NetScaler was the seamless integration. Additionally, the UI is good.
    Top Answer:I give the price of the solution a seven out of ten.
    Top Answer:Citrix NetScaler has been recently acquired by another company and the support has been negatively impacted, the solution is at its end of life. The support for the solution could improve. The sales… more »
    Top Answer:The support from F5 BIG-IP LTM is good.
    Top Answer:There are a few licensing options available for F5 BIG-IP LTM. You can have a perpetual license which is a lifetime license. You then only need to renew the support, if you choose to open a ticket… more »
    Top Answer:The solution could improve the ease of use, the management could be simplified. Other solutions are easier to use.
    Average Words per Review
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    Also Known As
    Citrix ADC, NetScaler, Citrix NetScaler VPX
    F5 BIG-IP, BIG-IP LTM, F5 ASM, Viprion, F5 BIG-IP Virtual Edition , Crescendo Networks Application Delivery Controller, BIG IP
    Learn More

    Citrix NetScaler is an application delivery controller (ADC) and load-balancing solution for multi-cloud environments. Because its software and hardware form factors are all built on a single code base, Citrix NetScaler provides operational and feature consistency with comprehensive security for monolithic and microservices-based applications on-premises and in the cloud. The solution is designed to optimize, manage, and secure network traffic. Switching features, security and protection features, and network integration efficiency capabilities are all part of its feature set.

    Citrix NetScaler Features

    Citrix NetScaler has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Citrix Gateway
    • Secure Access
    • Layer 7 content switching
    • Database load balancing
    • Triscale clustering
    • E-based policy enforcement
    • Surge protection and priority queuing
    • Application acceleration
    • Application security, including DoS attack defense, content rewriting and response control, SSL encryption, and more.
    • Network Integration

    Citrix NetScaler Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Citrix NetScaler. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Improved Application Performance: Citrix NetScaler optimizes the delivery of applications, reducing latency and improving the user experience.
    • Scalability: The solution can scale to handle large amounts of traffic, ensuring that applications are available even during periods of high demand.
    • Advanced Security: Citrix NetScaler includes a range of security features, such as SSL offloading, to help secure applications and protect against threats.
    • Availability: Load balancing and failover capabilities ensure that applications are always available, even in the event of a failure.
    • Good user experience: The solution’s Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) ensures that users are directed to the nearest available application, reducing latency and improving the user experience.
    • Reduced costs: By improving application performance and reducing downtime, Citrix NetScaler can help organizations reduce costs associated with application delivery.
    • Agility: Citrix NetScaler makes it easier for organizations to deploy and manage applications, helping to increase the speed and efficiency of IT operations.
    • Analytics and monitoring: Provides insight into network and application performance, helping organizations to identify and resolve issues quickly.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Citrix NetScaler is a solution that stands out when compared to many of its competitors. Some of its major advantages are that it is easy to use, is robust, and has good load balancing.

    A Senior Citrix Engineer at Troye, says, “The web application firewalling component is probably the most powerful feature as it can identify attacks on the network at an application level which is quite important. There is also good functionality where we use IP reputation and geofencing to mitigate threats from the outside world.”

    “The feature that I have found most valuable is its load balancing,” explains a Security Consultant at a tech services company.

    Timur G., Team Head of Network Security at DOM.RF, writes, “The most valuable feature of Citrix ADC is its ease of use.” 

    Another PeerSpot reviewer, Nirav S., Technical Solutions Architect at MindTree, mentions, "Compared to other solutions, Citrix ADC is much more robust in terms of the native integration to cloud platforms. It is far more robust from an operational point of view as well."

    F5 BIG-IP LTM optimizes the speed and reliability of your apps via both network and application layers. Using real-time protocol and traffic management decisions based on app and server and connection management conditions, and TCP and content offloading, BIG-IP LTM dramatically improves application and infrastructure responsiveness. BIG-IP LTM's architecture includes protocol awareness to control traffic for the most important applications. BIG-IP LTM tracks the dynamic performance levels of servers and delivers SSL performance and visibility for inbound and outbound traffic, to protect the user experience by encrypting everything from the client to the server.

    BIG-IP LTM provides enterprise-class Application Delivery Controller (ADC). You get granular layer 7 control, SSL offloading and acceleration capabilities, and advanced scaling technologies that deliver performance and reliability on-demand. The highly optimized TCP/IP stack combines TCP/IP techniques and improvements in the latest RFCs with extensions to minimize the effect of congestion and packet loss and recovery. Independent testing tools and customer experiences show LTM's TCP stack delivers up to a 2x performance gain for users and a 4x increase in bandwidth efficiency.

    Learn more about Citrix NetScaler
    Learn more about F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
    Sample Customers
    ABB Schweiz, Aer Lingus, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Amnet Technology Solutions, Aramex International, Ascenty, Atos, Autodesk
    Riken, TransUnion, Tepco Systems Administration, Daejeon University, G&T Bank, Danamon, CyberAgent Inc.
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Company Size
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Buyer's Guide
    Citrix NetScaler vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
    March 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Citrix NetScaler vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and other solutions. Updated: March 2023.
    687,947 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Citrix NetScaler is ranked 3rd in Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) with 23 reviews while F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is ranked 1st in Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) with 43 reviews. Citrix NetScaler is rated 8.4, while F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Citrix NetScaler writes "Provides a great web application firewalling component along with very good functionality". On the other hand, the top reviewer of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) writes "Great support, helpful documentation, and is user-friendly". Citrix NetScaler is most compared with Microsoft Azure Application Gateway, Fortinet FortiADC, HAProxy, Avi Networks Software Load Balancer and Kemp LoadMaster, whereas F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is most compared with Microsoft Azure Application Gateway, NGINX Plus, Fortinet FortiADC, HAProxy and A10 Networks Thunder ADC. See our Citrix NetScaler vs. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) report.

    See our list of best Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) vendors.

    We monitor all Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.