FortiADC Review

Helps provide workload distribution to the servers, but L7 Persistent load-balancing not working for me


What is our primary use case?

The situation is a seminar session for about 250 users who need access to a BI server through their client in-house application. It's look like this:

Five Servers -> FortiADC -> FortiWLC-> Meru Wireless 

How has it helped my organization?

Even though FortiADC is not completely working for me, overall it helps me provide workload distribution to the servers, as expected.

What is most valuable?

Of course the troubleshooting tools. I think the troubleshooting command is easy and useful. Because ADC is the intermediary between the servers and the end-user application, it gives thorough information about the traffic, what the problem is.

What needs improvement?

The L7 Persistent load-balancing algorithm has not worked for me after having tested it many times with my customer's in-house application. I'd like to suggest that the company make sure that all load-balancing algorithms work properly with most applications, even those that are in-house apps, because this is the main requirement of ADC.

After I created a virtual server, the servers are still reachable from the client side by a Ping command. That did not happen with F5. I have to work around it 
by setting up a traffic policy.

I did not test the SSL decryption feature but it's an essential point that FortiADC ensure they can support all the newest encryption methods and always be up to date.

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

 I have not engaged ADC support.

How was the initial setup?

I think they can make it easier. The company's homework is to redesign those menus to configure with the smallest number of steps.

What other advice do I have?

If FortiADC wants to compete - and having used F5 LTM for a year - in my opinion:

  1. They should make the Knowledge Base easier to access. They need a "cookbook" like Fortigate. They should modernize their web community appearance.
  2. From my experience with the F5 support team, it is quite easy to access and very fast to respond. I was very impressed with them, compared to other vendors.
  3. They need to provide a longer test license (30-45 makes sense, not 15 days which is what they offer currently). Have your partner manage the test
    license. With F5, for example, I can manage the license through the web with a few clicks to select product - done.
  4. They should go advanced by providing a set of APIs to customize for specific requirements.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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