What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case is for servicing a remote workforce. Especially these days when a lot of people are working remotely, a solution like this is important. We have to deploy applications and we do not necessarily want to upload the applications into the cloud or locally on desktops or laptops. ADC is really good for desktop virtualization and application delivery. Instead of having a full client, you look at a projection hosted in the data center. All the processing is being done back in the data center in the corporate domain. Because of the fact that the processing is not being taken care of locally, ADC is a very lightweight client that handles the feed on your laptop. It also enhances security.
Everything is kept in the server room, not exported locally to someone's house or whatever location they are working in. You do not have to worry about securing the data. There are certain programs that you have to patch a lot, like Adobe Flash — which seems to always need a patch. Instead of doing that on all 100 laptops that are in the field, you just do it once in the data center and everybody uses that same version. That type of simplification for your deployments is another benefit of ADC.
Because the maintenance is all happening at the data center, it is a lot more controlled and it is way easier. Another thing that this helps with is that only certain people get access to certain applications. The accountants are really the only ones who need access to the accounting software. It is really easy to set up groups based upon Active Directory and then define who gets access to those applications. That ability to limit access is really kind of cool and can potentially save money and licensing costs.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable parts of this product have to do with the efficiency of deployments and data security.
What needs improvement?
Everybody says Network Thunder works as advertised. It is just one of those things that actually performs as advertised. I take no news as good news. I do not really have any negatives. We usually like to get well-balanced reviews from people who have experience with the product and especially from the vendors themselves.
As far as improvements, that may be different than things that are missing or broken. I just do not have any cons. I do not have any glaringly big needs for additions either. One thing that might be improved is the interface. I think it is pretty straightforward. It is just not the prettiest, but it is functional. That is getting pretty granular.
Maybe one concrete thing that they can improve on is their two-factor authentication. Just do something to make the native solution more robust. That would probably be the one thing that I have heard mentioned. They have basic two-factor authentication. It is also nice that they have options for integrating with other two-factor products. The problem with that is that then you have to buy two products and license two solutions. One customer made a comment saying that it would be nice if we only had to buy one product to take care of the whole solution. In other words, they thought it would be better to just be able to buy the A10 and not buy two products to create the two-factor authentication they would have preferred. That should be something that A10 could at least offer.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been selling A10 ADC (Application Delivery Controller) over the past couple of years. We have been selling the load balancer for going on nine years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
There are not really any nagging glitches or any kind of little ongoing annoying problems. Certainly, there are none that I have experienced and not that I have heard of from people using it. If there are ever any issues they are just normal, temporary issues that you expect when you work with technology. That is if you can consider anything that is a glitch to be normal.
If we are talking about load balancing, then I can speak more about stability issues. But the Network Thunder ADC has mostly been very good. There was an issue a few years back with one of my customers and A10 addressed the problem and took care of it promptly. Isolated incidents can have to do with a lot of things within a larger architecture. It would be a problem with the architecture then, and not the product.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We never really tried to scale the internal initial deployment hands-on. It has been left as is. More users have been added over time but nothing so crazy that it really required some type of scaling of the product. This company is a little over a hundred users. They are all using it remotely, from home, daily.
Roles for the users are just all over the board.
How are customer service and technical support?
For just Network Thunder, I have not had to deal with the A10 technical support team. Our clients never said anything about how they like it one way or another. I assume that means they have not had to contact them either. There has just been one load balancing issue a client had and it was isolated to that location. A10 took care of it. They are one for one as far as tackling problems I know about.
How was the initial setup?
The installation is absolutely straightforward. Nothing more to say about that.
What about the implementation team?
As far as how many people are usually required to maintain it, in this company it is just one technician for 100 people using the product. His role is probably considered a straight system admin. It would not be a senior tech or even someone dedicated to the product.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I can just say that it is cheaper than other solutions that are supposed to do the same thing. That is actually one of the reasons that customers chose it.
What other advice do I have?
It is a pretty good product. On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate A10 Networks Thunder ADC as a nine-out-of-ten. I do not get too many complaints from customers. Giving it a nine seems fair. It works as advertised.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?