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Buyer's Guide
Application Delivery Controllers (ADC)
June 2022
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Director of IT at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Intuitive interface and can be used practically with any application in the backend
Pros and Cons
  • "I like that this is a Network Load Balancer that can be used practically with any application in the backend. They have how-to guides on how to set up Kemp NLB with Exchange, but you can use it as well for Sharepoint, RDS, or any other back end server."
  • "The product is really good as-is out of the box. If there is one thing I would change is to have the license file not be coupled with the MAC address of the device. This is actually not really useful in a virtual environment where if you have a single VM with KEMP LoadMaster and you have not set up static MAC Address, if you, for example, recreate the VM and just load the disk file on a new VM it will get new MAC address and the NLB will not work as it will not see a proper license."

What is our primary use case?

I used it as a front end to an RDS Farm. Its load-balancing port 80 and port 443 to multiple RDS Gateways. It's deployed as a virtual appliance on an on-prem virtual machine hosted on the Hyper-V server. Kemp LoadMaster is used by more than 1,000 internal users on a daily bases to access the application system at the back end. It's not exposed to the internet, it's used only from internal users inside the corporate LAN. We have daily VM backups setup as well as application backups from inside KEMP.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to have DNS round-robin based load balancing from some small applications but it was not highly available and if one instance were to do down half of the traffic would go down. We have tested the build it Microsoft Load balancer, but it was free and it was not reliable. Currently, we are using ZEN NLB for a few small applications that do not require many features but when it came to having a proper NLB for 1000 users the ZEN NLB could not handle the load. We have tested F5 and Kemp and Kemp were much cheaper and easier to setup.

What is most valuable?

I like that this is a Network Load Balancer that can be used practically with any application in the backend. They have how-to guides on how to set up Kemp NLB with Exchange, but you can use it as well for Sharepoint, RDS, or any other back end server. I like that the interface is intuitive, you have the option to load an SSL certificate on it so then the traffic can be inspected there, this is especially important when you have an Exchange server or RD Gateway at the back that heavily uses SSL Certificates. It has an option to be HA so if you need you can set up two of them to be up and running at the same time in Active-Active fashion. 

What needs improvement?

The product is really good as-is out of the box. If there is one thing I would change is to have the license file not be coupled with the MAC address of the device. This is actually not really useful in a virtual environment where if you have a single VM with KEMP LoadMaster and you have not set up static MAC Address, if you, for example, recreate the VM and just load the disk file on a new VM it will get new MAC address and the NLB will not work as it will not see a proper license. You need to call their support, explain what the issue is, and then they will generate a new license that you can apply. If this is a production environment and you just had an outage and quickly required the VM then you are extending the outage by the time it will take to get their support to help with the new license.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Kemp LoadMaster for more than two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's rock-solid and very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale easily, I believe you only need to load a new license.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is nice, they will help you over the phone/email but I had few questions about the design and even professional services were not purchased their support engineer did a screen sharing session to take a look on the configuration to make sure it's following their best practices for the use case we were using it for.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used ZEN NLB and Microsoft NLB.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy to get in touch with their sales and get it ordered.

What about the implementation team?

I have implemented it myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

KEMP NLB is on the cheaper side of the spectrum but works great. If your license expires it will still run just you won't be able to do any changes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, F5.

What other advice do I have?

Its a nice and easy NLB to set up and operate on a day to day basis. I highly recommend it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Bhaskar Rao - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Network Administrator at Yamaha
Real User
Top 20
Open-source, simple to install, and reliable
Pros and Cons
  • "I can't speak to all of the HAProxy features because we don't use them all, but load balancing is very good."
  • "While troubleshooting, we are having some difficulties. There are no issues when it is running; it is stable and very good; however, if there is a troubleshooting issue or an incident occurs, we will have issues because this is open-source."

What is our primary use case?

For production purposes, we use HAProxy, which is a web application.

Our primary use case is load balancing.

What is most valuable?

We are not fully utilizing it. We are only responsible for load balancing. The most used and valuable is load balancing.

I can't speak to all of the HAProxy features because we don't use them all, but load balancing is very good.

What needs improvement?

Although HAProxy is essentially open-source, many features are not available.

While troubleshooting, we are having some difficulties. There are no issues when it is running; it is stable and very good; however, if there is a troubleshooting issue or an incident occurs, we will have issues because this is open-source.

We are only experiencing problems at that time. Otherwise, everything is fine.

Because we need to search for a document or some troubleshooting information. That could be beneficial to us.

To resolve the troubleshooting issues, additional documentation and troubleshooting are required.

The product is satisfactory. However, additional documentation, additional technical documents, and troubleshooting steps are the types of things that can only make this solution better. Also, more clarity on where the package is hitting and where it is stopping is needed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HAProxy for four or five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

HAProxy is generally stable. We had only two days of problems in the last five years, this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are back to being stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have publicly permitted our web application for this, and approximately 5,000 users are using it.

It is used every day because it is our production-related order-lease domain or something along those lines. We are also using this as a dealer, with approximately 5,000 users per day.

Normal users. We will publish it on one of the websites that provide the production information. We provide the order and invoice the order to the product. These are the types of details. This is our dealership's publisher for an automotive dealership.

It is essentially the dealership's publisher.

HAProxy is scalable. There are plans to expand to the Japan team. They may suggest a paid tool.

How are customer service and support?

I would rate their technical support a three out of five. Additional documents and troubleshooting should be made available on the internet.

There is no direct support. We use open-source software and do not rely on their support. We rely on our knowledge, and we are studying the implementation.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we were using F5. F5 is a very good product.

It's a great product that is also very stable and scalable, but it is very expensive in terms of price.

We switched to HAProxy because it is open-source.

We are also working with Zscaler and FortiGate.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy.

I would rate the initial setup a three out of five.

What about the implementation team?

We completed the installation in-house and did not use a third party.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

HAProxy is free open-source software.

What other advice do I have?

It will primarily be determined by the budget, the size of their company's budget, or if you have the budget. I would always recommend the F5. Because it has more clarity and more features are available in the F5, if budget is an issue, go with HAProxy. It's a good product.

If you are not utilizing very basic things that you should be using for the HAProxy.

Depending on the balance If the balance is very minimal, they should use HAProxy, an open-source solution, but if the balance is larger, such as an enterprise, they should use F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic.

I would rate HAProxy an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Eseoghene Charles-Adeoye - PeerSpot reviewer
Head, Network Design at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to manage with good load balancing and fair pricing
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is easy to work with and manage."
  • "The solution should be able to scale more effectively than it does."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for load balancing and SSL offloading. It's mostly for load balancing, however, occasionally we use it for the SSL offloading and content switching.

What is most valuable?

The load balancing on the solution is excellent.

The fact that you can do content switching is very useful.

The pricing is pretty good.

The solution is easy to work with and manage.

It's cloud-ready and we can manage it both on-premises and on the cloud if we need to.

What needs improvement?

The multi-tenancy isn't ideal.

The solution should be able to scale more effectively than it does.

Technical support could be improved upon.

Recently, we tried to configure AAA authentification and we ran into some issues using the web-based GUI. When you are on the console it works, however, when you're on the web-based version when you log in with your AAA credentials, it's very very slow. That is something that we're beginning to see and something they need to address.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for over six years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay. We haven't dealt with any bugs at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

A big requirement for us is to be able to scale for multi-tenancy, and this solution doesn't really provide for that. We're looking into another model that might be able to help us handle this.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay. However, they could still improve their services.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've worked with F5 and found it hard to work with and manage, in comparison to Citrix.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I wouldn't say that it was tedious due to the fact that the vendor who we got to assist us already had experience in deployment. They made it pretty easy. After the POC it was simple to deploy into the production environment.

We have less than 20 engineers that are working with and maintaining the product.

What about the implementation team?

Our vendor helped us deploy the solution. They made the process pretty efficient and we were satisfied with eh results.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution offers quite good value for money. For the amount you pay, you get a fairly robust product.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers.

I would recommend this solution to other organizations as it's quite easy to use. There's so much that you can do, compared to F5, for example. With F5, you have to do a lot of tweaking to be able to achieve certain things. 

With Citrix, due to the infrastructure, we run very very easily. We run on ECA infrastructure and it's a great thing. It's very very straightforward. With F5, it's not as good. 

That said, it has some flaws that need to be corrected.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate it at an 8.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
System Engeneer at CROC
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Open-source, suited for small business with limited resources, and is easy to deploy
Pros and Cons
  • "Loadbalancer.org is less complex than Citrix."
  • "Loadbalancer.org's complexity could be reduced."

What is our primary use case?

In our experience, Loadbalancer.org is best suited for small businesses looking to balance their website. They don't require HA, DR, or anything else.

What is most valuable?

Loadbalancer.org is less complex than Citrix. In some cases, our customers do not have an engineer on staff who can support this device.

These customers have a large number of Linux engineers but don't have the money. We suggested using Loadbalancer.org and other open-source tools. Many customers are of different sizes and have different budgets.

Loadbalancer.org has everything that is needed.

What needs improvement?

The price could be reduced. 

Loadbalancer.org's complexity could be reduced.

For how long have I used the solution?

I last used Loadbalancer.org three years ago, but I deploy this solution for our clients.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I am also working with F5, Kemp, Barracuda, Cisco, and NGINX.

The last time that I used Barracuda was three to five years ago.

We used F5 Big-IP with some customers and deployed it to others.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to deploy Loadbalancer.org.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Loadbalancer.org is an open-source solution, with additional costs, however, in some cases, the price remains the same. It is dependent on the customer and what discounts F5 has given.

Loadbalancer.org is based on open-source products, but it requires money for support and other activities.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution for small businesses with limited resources and do not have complicated requirements.

I would rate Loadbalancer.org an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Supervisor at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
User-friendly interface makes it simple to use and the technical support is excellent
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is its simplicity."
  • "It would be good if they built in a fully functional web application firewall."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product for application delivery control and global load balancing.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its simplicity.

The interface is user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

It would be good if they built in a fully functional web application firewall.

They should update this product more often.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using FortiADC for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

FortiADC has been pretty stable and reliable for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a fixed integration so scalability is not relevant for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent and we have no issues with them. You can call them from the device itself, after which they come online and they are pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

We had some complexity when it came to the initial setup, although I think that it was because of us, rather than the product. It took us a total of five days before we went online, which included setup and testing. This involved connecting to our backend networks, creating the VLANs, and so forth.

Overall, it was not difficult and the vendor gave us great support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated application delivery controllers and global load balancers from other vendors before choosing FortiADC.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this is a good product, it does what it's supposed to, and I would recommend it to anybody. My main complaint is that the WAP functionality is very primitive.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Application Delivery Controllers (ADC)
June 2022
Get our free report covering Microsoft, F5, Citrix, and other competitors of F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM). Updated: June 2022.
608,010 professionals have used our research since 2012.