HAProxy Review

We are handling millions of requests per minute in a high-availability ​cluster


How has it helped my organization?

In some environments we are handling millions of requests per minute in a high-availability HAProxy cluster. I don't know any other free software that can do that, from a performance perspective.

What is most valuable?

  • Reliability. HAProxy is the most reliable product I have ever used.
  • It is stable. Period. Will not fail unless you do something wrong.

These features are why I give it a 10 out of 10.

What needs improvement?

HAProxy running in multiple cores, for example one for HTTP and another for HTTPS, requires the use of "nbproc". So if nbproc = 2, you will have two processes of HAProxy running. However, the stats of HAProxy are not aggregated, meaning you don't really know the collective status in a single point of view. Each process has its own socket and it's up to you to aggregate them, and then your stats become less accurate.

Also, having multiple HAProxy nodes in High Availability mode requires the use of clustering software such as Pacemaker and Corosync which are very complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, I have encountered issues, but they are always related to configuration, OS settings, network.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, there have been issues with scalability, but that's because of other software configuration such as OS settings, network.

How is customer service and technical support?

We don't use commercial support.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I used appliances such as Alteon (Radware) which are not as good and do not support all the features required in our environment.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up an HAProxy is simple, however to run it in production you have to do a lot of tweaking.

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

There is no pricing for HAProxy. There are other HAProxy paid products (support/appliances) but we haven't used them so far.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Only lately, nginx has introduced an advanced "proxy" product. It is okay, but HAProxy is better in terms of performance and stability.

What other advice do I have?

  • Use the best hardware you can (CPU and memory).
  • Don't log files locally, if possible.
  • Use multi process only if you have to, and don't utilize the first core.
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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