What is most valuable?
The API gives us the ability to remote control our DNS settings. With many platforms, such as PF-Sense integrating with CloudFlare, it’s an invaluable tool for things such as Dynamic DNS, Let’s Encrypt DNS-01 Challenge, or even as a rapid counter-measure when traffic diversion is needed.
The speed of everything CloudFlare is extreme. The UI is fast, responsive, and updates seem to be pretty much instant. But the biggest benefit, when mentioning speed, is that you can teach anyone in less than 20 minutes how to use it. This even includes your drunken janitor. Try that with AWS.
The Simplicity. When I mention the simplicity, it’s because of the limited information you are presented with at every screen. Although I hate the endless scrolling when searching for a function, I fully understand that less tech-savvy individuals probably have an easier time dealing with less information being thrown at them as they sift through the pile of setting CloudFlare offers. The features, functions, and terminology are also very well and clearly explained, if not almost cut out in cardboard for the reader to understand.
How has it helped my organization?
CloudFlare made it easier for us to manage our client’s DNS. With their outstanding UI, we have been able to reduce human errors and get a better overview of our DNS and security.
What needs improvement?
- We need templates and profiles badly for the whole setup and multi-user support with rights management.
- They need to fix their extensions and integrations faster.
- They need to add more sub-level API keys.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have used CloudFlare for some twenty months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We did have stability issues a few times, but it’s hard to tell. They don’t always seem open about disclosing it.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We never had scalability issues.
How is customer service and technical support?
I rate technical support quite badly. The support person had a hard time understanding my issue.
But to be fair, we gave up on support from major enterprises a long time ago.
Now we don’t even bother. It simply takes too long time to get escalated to Level-1 support where you can have a meaningful conversation.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We had many previous solutions and that’s why we switched.
How was the initial setup?
The setup was super simple, and it still is.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We don’t have advice, since we mostly rely on their free services such as DNS hosting. In general, their pricing is fair, but the price scaling is way too steep. For example, to go from 200 to 5000 dollars does not make any sense at all.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I believe I reviewed Radware for scrubbing and GratisDNS for DNS.
What other advice do I have?
- Never put your eggs in one basket. Make sure that you have a contingency plan for DNS.
- Make sure that you can rapidly move domains off CloudFlare. This can be done with scripting from your existing registrar, or with GoDaddy/CFR/Route53, which is a good triangle for speedy moves.
- Keep an eye on GEO statistics on your important domains and make sure that you are able to provide a quick regional alternative.
- Spread out domains over multiple accounts and different CloudFlare Servers.
- Route53 is a good alternative to CloudFlare.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
May 22 2017