F5 BIG-IP Review

Superior Alternative To DNS Round-Robin Load Balancing


What is most valuable?

  • Great load balancing
  • Solid OS
  • Great support

How has it helped my organization?

Far superior to DNS Round-Robin load balancing; great HTTP and HTTPs redirection.

What needs improvement?

Fixing bugs.

For how long have I used the solution?

About 11 years, I believe.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Older OS releases may have had some bugs (active/active on reboot, I think we saw on one OS version). Very stable OS over all. We had one issue on our upgrade to 11.x where I had to engage F5 support. But they resolved it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How is customer service and technical support?

Excellent.

Which solutions did we use previously?

No.

How was the initial setup?

Pretty straightforward. The first generation of Big-IP we had, we did a crossover heartbeat cable, but our current one just uses a switched network.

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

Great product for the money. But they can get really expensive, so get what meets your needs. They do have some expensive extras like GTM, which has both hardware and licensing costs for multiple datacenters.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Citrix, NetScaler.

What other advice do I have?

Check with your IT staff and developers and agree on your needs, and buy accordingly. VM instances are now also available. They don’t have an end-to-end analytics package yet (supposedly in development), to troubleshoot users' experience to the back end nodes. (Citrix offers a product called MAS).

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