F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Review

Feature rich, reliable, with good load balancing capabilities and good technical support

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for the web application firewall and load balancing.

What is most valuable?

F5 has many capabilities for load balancing and web application firewall features.

What needs improvement?

There should be more logging improvements on F5. The logging features are too limited and do not give us a solid understanding of what's happening. For example, the web application firewall logs don't say complete, or why this is blocked, which signature or which root cause is blocking the log. 

Also, it can provide more understandable windows or dashboards regarding the latency of the application.

Citrix has cheap tools that show what is happening and describe why did they happen.

I would like to see improvements to the dashboard, latency reporting, and monitoring. Improvements in these areas would be very valuable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using F5 for approximately four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

F5 is very stable. We have gone 300 days with no failures.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In regards to scalability, I have never experienced any bottlenecks of the hardware or the features of F5. F5 doesn't have any latencies.

With Citrix, at times we experience some latencies when the web application requires more complex directions, inspections, and more complex load balancing features.

The number of users is variant. Currently, we have more than 10,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not experienced any issues with technical support.

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

Citrix doesn't have as many options.

If you were to compare Citrix with F5, the pros of F5 is the idle features. It's very powerful and you can do tons of work with a few lines.

With Citrix, you have to learn and understand the regular expressions, but the regular expressions consume a lot of the hardware. Also, it is much more complicated.

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

F5 pricing is too high, compared to Citrix. 

If a big sector or a company needs more security and more control over applications and the ADC, F5 is the best choice. But if a company needs only an ADC, without the web application firewall features, Citrix is fine.

What other advice do I have?

For those who are interested in this solution and you want more control over the applications then F5 is fine.

In the future, F5 will be our first choice, but everything can change.

What happens with the next features, we don't know. Maybe Citrix will overcome the problems and will become a more powerful tool than F5.

Without consideration of the price, I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.   

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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