We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story

A10 Networks Thunder ADC OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

A10 Networks Thunder ADC is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Application Delivery Controllers. It is most often compared to F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM): A10 Networks Thunder ADC vs F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)

What is A10 Networks Thunder ADC?

A10 Networks' application networking, load balancing and DDoS protection solutions accelerate and secure data center applications and networks of thousands of the world's largest enterprises, service providers, and hyper scale web providers.

A10 Networks Thunder ADC is also known as Thunder ADC, AX Series.

A10 Networks Thunder ADC Buyer's Guide

Download the A10 Networks Thunder ADC Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

A10 Networks Thunder ADC Customers

123inkt.nl, Bentley University, Box, Brainshark, Buienradar, Capgemini, CGN/LSN & NAT64, Chengdu Telecom, Club One, Code Ready, CRC Health Group, Cyso, Deutsche Telekom, Earth Class Mail, Excite, FFF Enterprises, Florence County, Framingham State University, From30

A10 Networks Thunder ADC Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about A10 Networks Thunder ADC pricing:
  • "As for the initial investment in the hardware, F5 and A10 are quite similar now. For the current A10 solution, the initial cost was about $36,000. As for annual support, the F5 solution would be between $10,000 and $12,000, while the A10 is $2,200 a year for support."
  • "You get a lot more for your dollar with A10."
  • "We did try out the solution’s Harmony analytics and visibility controller for its one-year trial. Due to the cost, we chose not to keep it onsite."
  • "We just pay for support in addition to our licensing."
  • "Pricing is one of the features of the product that influence customers to use the product."
  • "The price of the maintenance support is too expensive."
  • "The price is good they are very comparative."

A10 Networks Thunder ADC Reviews

Filter by:
Filter Reviews
Industry
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Company Size
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Job Level
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Rating
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Considered
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Order by:
Loading...
  • Date
  • Highest Rating
  • Lowest Rating
  • Review Length
Search:
Showingreviews based on the current filters. Reset all filters
IgorVan Den Ouden
Network Architect at a retailer with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
With iRule or aFleX scripting, you can influence the complete packet instead of just a few bytes or bits

Pros and Cons

  • "Compared to F5, which I used about six years ago, the A10 is much easier when routing. You don't have to use the wildcard bits to route it between the different segments. It's much less troublesome to configure."
  • "There is room for improvement in the GUI. I just migrated from the 2.7 software train to the 4.1, and there are still people on 2.7. The latter is a very old GUI if you compare it to F5. It's not as easy to use and a lot of things are missing. They've made a lot of improvements in the 4.1 step, but compared to the ease of use of F5, it's still quite difficult. For people who haven't got a lot of experience, the GUI can be quite challenging."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is load balancing, from Layer 4 to Layer 7, on different partitions. And it's also our internet gateway router with our ISP. We're using the standard DDoS protection which is on the box itself.

We have about 91 virtual IP addresses we're load balancing at the moment.

How has it helped my organization?

Before A10, we didn't have any load balancing capabilities. Now we use a different partition for the DNS infrastructure with the DNS firewall. The unit uses a separate partition for the internal- and for the external-facing. Before, everything was connected together, and we couldn't split very easily between test, production, and development.

The effect of the solution on our efficiency is that before, we only had round-robin DNS load balancing capabilities, with no health-checking, for example. Or we would have to use network-based load balancing from Microsoft. All that can bring a network down quite quickly, if you configure things incorrectly. With A10, we have a very robust load balancing solution that is capable, like F5, of iRule or aFleX scripting. You can influence the complete packet instead of just a few bytes or bits of the packets, depending on whether it's http or another Layer 4 to Layer 7 traffic flow.

What is most valuable?

Compared to F5, which I used about six years ago, the A10 is much easier when routing. You don't have to use the wildcard bits to route it between the different segments. It's much less troublesome to configure.

A10 Networks also doesn't have separate licenses for some features. All licenses are already onboard, which is not the case with F5. It's called the GTM on F5 and on A10 it's GSLB. The DNS load balancing is globally based and that isn't a separate license. That's already on the box in the ADC license itself.

The solution's traffic flow management capabilities are quite easy to use and quite good, and our ability to troubleshoot traffic flow issues is good if you know how to read the packet captures. If you know your way around the command prompt, it's fine.

We've got the solution's support for expanding infrastructure to public, private, and hybrid cloud containers for our internal data center, and we're also balancing some things we've got in AWS. That's only available internally. That scales well, especially the virtualization with the A10s. You can split it up into 32 separate units.

The solution's support for our on-premise applications is good. It's very flexible. You can split it up into different Layer 3 partitions: internal- or external-facing. Or you can use it as a separate partition for testing.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the GUI. I just migrated from the 2.7 software train to the 4.1, and there are still people on 2.7. The latter is a very old GUI if you compare it to F5. It's not as easy to use and a lot of things are missing. 

They've made a lot of improvements in the 4.1 step, but compared to the ease of use of F5, it's still quite difficult. For people who haven't got a lot of experience, the GUI can be quite challenging.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the Thunder ADC product for nearly six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've never had any trouble. There have been some bugs in some software-release trains, but there were no production issues as a result.

We have between 1,500 and 3,000 users connecting to the appliances daily. Administration-wise, there are two network admins but we're not required to look at it because we've got our daily monitoring alerts.

For our new applications, all load balancing is being done on the A10s. In terms of increasing our usage, there are still some new applications on our roadmap that are being developed. They will replace other applications that are not load balanced at the moment. The replacement will be load balanced so we plan to put more things behind them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well. I haven't found any inconsistencies between the data sheets and the hardware specs. For our purposes, we haven't run into any degraded performance or the like.

How are customer service and technical support?

A10's technical support is very good. Most of the time we go through our support partner, but you can also send an email straight to A10 support and, most of the time, within one to two hours, you get a response.

Initially, I got support directly with the vendor and that was fine. Now, we've also got a support partner. I haven't any experience with them yet because we just engaged them with the new units. But my direct experience with A10 was quite good.

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

The primary reasons that we switched to A10 were that F5 wasn't 46-bit hardware-capable yet, at the time, and because of the licensing. For what we wanted to do with our replacement parts, we would have had to migrate to a much more expensive and higher-end hardware model at that size. And support-wise, F5 is about five times more expensive than A10 is.

Overall, at the time, we were quite happy with F5. But we were looking around and came across A10 and did a proof of concept with them. Price-wise, it was very interesting and hardware-wise as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite straightforward, but take into account that I've been using it for a long time. 

If you come from a Cisco background and you switch to F5, it's quite a big step. A10 is more like a Cisco IOS, in terms of the CLI. The F5 is more Junos OS, CLI-wise. So for me, the migration from F5 to A10 — because we use a lot of Cisco as well, internally — and the setup of A10, was quite easy. The commands are quite similar for configuring the interfaces.

For the migration five or six years ago took, the initial deployment took about two or three days to get the failover and everything else working. The migration itself for about 70 VIPs, took about a month. My recent migration from one unit to the other unit took about two weeks, taking into account the different departments and getting a service window to migrate things.

In terms of our implementation strategy, as is, from the one A10 to the other A10, everything we're load balancing was just a copy-paste and then we made some hardware improvements because we have more 10-GB interface capabilities. We can split the load better between a separate Layer 3 core and our ACI data center core.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves, but we had a review of the initial configurations and migration steps from A10 Professional Services, and that took about two hours. Our experience with them was quite good.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI from going with A10. Part of that was the ease of configuration, but that's because most of the other network engineers also have a Cisco background, and they had never done anything with the F5 solution before. So it was quite easy for them to get used to configuring it. And in the support contract, we saved a lot of money, on the order of $15,000 to $20,000 a year.

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

As for the initial investment in the hardware, F5 and A10 are quite similar now. For the current A10 solution, the initial cost was about $36,000. As for annual support, the F5 solution would be between $10,000 and $12,000, while the A10 is $2,200 a year for support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In terms of A10's security features, the web application firewall handles the top 10 OWASP use cases. But the ATM on the F5 is much more enhanced or comprehensive. For pure load balancing and the normal security features, both solutions are okay. They are easy to configure for simple setups.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned using the ADC solution is the ease of routing between the different segments that are behind the solution, compared to F5.

You have to look at your use cases for load balancing and how much you want to have influence from the traffic. In my opinion, there are only two solutions that are very close to each other, the F5 and the A10, in terms of the way you can influence your traffic. Then it comes down to the price. Security-wise, they each have different angles for how you set it up.

We don't use A10's FlexPool consumption-based licensing model. We have some VM test units. We would have to bring our own license if we wanted to host it in the cloud. That's another subscription model that we haven't used.

In terms of the solution's single-pane-of-glass view, you actually you need the Harmony analytics to see everything. You can see everything that is configured on, but to get the most out of the monitoring part, you have to have Harmony with it. With Nagios and Zabbix, etc., you have to do a lot of OED searching to get all the collect counters for your service groups.

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.
DC
User at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Using services map, we can map traffic from the front-end virtual server to back-end servers

Pros and Cons

  • "A lot of our SSL management is done on the front-end side, so there is one pane of glass for a lot of our security certificates. It gives us visibility. It also falls under when certificates are going to expire. Even for servers that are coming down, we can see how that affects the traffic flow by using the services map."
  • "We are starting to do a lot with containers and how the solution hooks into Kubernetes that we haven't explored. I'm hoping that they have a lot of hooks into Kubernetes. That would be the part for improvement: Marketing use cases with containers."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is the application delivery controller part where we mainly use the server load balancing features to front-end our back-end servers to give us additional high availability, some resiliency, and some failures.

All our applications are hosted on a private on-premises data center. We run our own data center with VMware being the main virtualization platform. Then, running on top of VMware, we have Windows and Linux clusters, so x86 Windows and x86 Linux.

Our biggest security concerns are malicious code, user data theft, DDoS attacks, insider attacks, brand damage/loss of confidence, and phishing/fake sites. Hacking/cyber defacement is one of our concerns, but not the biggest. A lot of these security concerns are around data loss and data loss prevention. We are a pension institution, so we do not want to lose any of our member data. We have security things in place using the application firewalls, as an example, to help with our front-end sites. 

We are running virtual machines and currently doing a proof of concept with containers. However, we're not working with containers on-prem yet.

How has it helped my organization?

It was our first step into having high availability. Before, we had a lot of things tied to one server. So, if that server/application were to crash, that would affect our users. By putting A10 Thunder in front of it, this improved our uptime and availability.

Our operations pretty much stayed the same. If anything, people got more relaxed. Because before we only had one server, and if that server went down, then we had to react rather quickly. Having multiple servers now in the APN front-ending it, if a server went down, then there may be three or four other servers sitting there doing the work.

We see a 21 to 50 percent change in traffic typically year-over-year. Our demographic is changing so we have more members who are coming to connect to get their financial statements. So, there is growth of our pension system.

What is most valuable?

One of the features that we really like is the services map, which is a way that we map traffic from the front-end virtual server to the back-end servers. 

Another feature we like is application switching. I'm using this as a template. 

A lot of our SSL management is done on the front-end side, so there is one pane of glass for a lot of our security certificates. It gives us visibility. It also falls under when certificates are going to expire. Even for servers that are coming down, we can see how that affects the traffic flow by using the services map.

Each release of the code is becoming more polished, not that I find it difficult today. I'm glad to see the features and enhancements we request are making it into every release. It is very simple to use.

What needs improvement?

We are starting to do a lot with containers and how the solution hooks into Kubernetes that we haven't explored. I'm hoping that they have a lot of hooks into Kubernetes. That would be the part for improvement: Marketing use cases with containers.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are on our second set of boxes. For Thunder ADC, we have been using it since 2015 for probably four to five years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is really good.

There are fewer than 25 people deploying and maintaining this solution. Most of them are application engineers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well. We are using the hardware appliance. For us to scale up, we buy new hardware. We always buy bigger than what we need so that way we can grow into it.

Internally, we have close to 600 people using it. Externally, we have 400,000 to 500,000 active members who pass data through the device. Typically, everything is web browsing or API calls.

We do not have plans to increase usage at this time, but with the cloud coming up, that is a possibility.

How are customer service and technical support?

The on-premise support is really good. From a support standpoint, if we have problems or anything like that, usually the case is solved within 24 hours. There have not been too many that went over that time frame. Obviously, that is key to keeping things up and running. We have fast resolution. 

The device is really solid and we don't need a lot of support. We may have one case a year, if that. This also speaks to how we're using the device. We just haven't hit a lot of bugs in the code or a lot of problems that we can't solve onsite.

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

We previously used a Microsoft solution. We switched because A10 has a lot more options. It is like day and night.

How was the initial setup?

I would put the initial setup at an intermediate level. It is nothing that someone will be able to unbox and do without having some networking or application knowledge. However, if you have a firm IT understanding, then it is pretty simple.

Adding new things takes under 30 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

A10 did not assist with our initial deployment, but I would tell everyone else to do that.

We do have an implementation process that people follow, but it is handled by another team.

What was our ROI?

I believe we have seen ROI. I don't regret our decision to purchase it.

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

I think people are scared to take a look at A10 because they're not F5. Now, F5 is their biggest competition. You get a lot more for your dollar with A10. So, I would tell people to give A10 a strong look.

We did try out the solution’s Harmony analytics and visibility controller for its one-year trial. Due to the cost, we chose not to keep it onsite.

We just pay for support in addition to our licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated F5. 

Because we were new in the market, our decision was purely based on cost. A10 can deliver the throughput we need, so there wasn't a technical challenge. It ended up being a cost-based decision.

What other advice do I have?

Start off with Professional Services. It doesn't hurt to get 40 hours of Professional Services to help you stand it up. Usually, that's all you need. It is not a lot of hours. A week's worth of help goes a long way.

We can troubleshoot the traffic flow using the services map. Then, we can get flow data out of the device. So, I would rank the solution’s traffic flow management capabilities as adequate.

We plan to implement these technologies or strategies in the next three years: move from hardware appliances to software/scale-out solutions, DDoS protection, upgrade TLS/SSL capabilities to modern PFS/ECC encryption standards, and move to Office 365. DDoSs prevention is something that we're looking into. The web application firewall in the A10 is an option that we're exploring. SSL for strengthening our ciphers has been put on us by more of the user community, as we want to ensure our data is secure. Then, I see us moving more to a hybrid cloud model over the next three years, having more systems in the cloud and less on-prem.

We consider these benefits most important when funding new technology: revenue generation, cost savings, and operational improvements.

We haven't ventured into the solution’s support for expanding infrastructure to public, private, and hybrid cloud containers yet, but we will be.

We don't use a lot of the security features.

There is always room for improvement. I would rate this solution as an eight (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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.
Learn what your peers think about A10 Networks Thunder ADC. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,108 professionals have used our research since 2012.
BM
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Service a remote workforce with more efficient deployments and enhanced data security.

Pros and Cons

  • "It helps with the efficiency of application deployments and data security."
  • "The user interface is not as pretty as it could be."
  • "There is two-factor authentication built-in, but it could be more robust."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for servicing a remote workforce. Especially these days when a lot of people are working remotely, a solution like this is important. We have to deploy applications and we do not necessarily want to upload the applications into the cloud or locally on desktops or laptops. ADC is really good for desktop virtualization and application delivery. Instead of having a full client, you look at a projection hosted in the data center. All the processing is being done back in the data center in the corporate domain. Because of the fact that the processing is not being taken care of locally, ADC is a very lightweight client that handles the feed on your laptop. It also enhances security.  

Everything is kept in the server room, not exported locally to someone's house or whatever location they are working in. You do not have to worry about securing the data. There are certain programs that you have to patch a lot, like Adobe Flash — which seems to always need a patch. Instead of doing that on all 100 laptops that are in the field, you just do it once in the data center and everybody uses that same version. That type of simplification for your deployments is another benefit of ADC.  

Because the maintenance is all happening at the data center, it is a lot more controlled and it is way easier. Another thing that this helps with is that only certain people get access to certain applications. The accountants are really the only ones who need access to the accounting software. It is really easy to set up groups based upon Active Directory and then define who gets access to those applications. That ability to limit access is really kind of cool and can potentially save money and licensing costs.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable parts of this product have to do with the efficiency of deployments and data security.  

What needs improvement?

Everybody says Network Thunder works as advertised. It is just one of those things that actually performs as advertised. I take no news as good news. I do not really have any negatives. We usually like to get well-balanced reviews from people who have experience with the product and especially from the vendors themselves.  

As far as improvements, that may be different than things that are missing or broken. I just do not have any cons. I do not have any glaringly big needs for additions either. One thing that might be improved is the interface. I think it is pretty straightforward. It is just not the prettiest, but it is functional. That is getting pretty granular.  

Maybe one concrete thing that they can improve on is their two-factor authentication. Just do something to make the native solution more robust. That would probably be the one thing that I have heard mentioned. They have basic two-factor authentication. It is also nice that they have options for integrating with other two-factor products. The problem with that is that then you have to buy two products and license two solutions. One customer made a comment saying that it would be nice if we only had to buy one product to take care of the whole solution. In other words, they thought it would be better to just be able to buy the A10 and not buy two products to create the two-factor authentication they would have preferred. That should be something that A10 could at least offer.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been selling A10 ADC (Application Delivery Controller) over the past couple of years. We have been selling the load balancer for going on nine years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are not really any nagging glitches or any kind of little ongoing annoying problems. Certainly, there are none that I have experienced and not that I have heard of from people using it. If there are ever any issues they are just normal, temporary issues that you expect when you work with technology. That is if you can consider anything that is a glitch to be normal.  

If we are talking about load balancing, then I can speak more about stability issues. But the Network Thunder ADC has mostly been very good. There was an issue a few years back with one of my customers and A10 addressed the problem and took care of it promptly. Isolated incidents can have to do with a lot of things within a larger architecture. It would be a problem with the architecture then, and not the product.   

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We never really tried to scale the internal initial deployment hands-on. It has been left as is. More users have been added over time but nothing so crazy that it really required some type of scaling of the product. This company is a little over a hundred users. They are all using it remotely, from home, daily.  

Roles for the users are just all over the board.  

How are customer service and technical support?

For just Network Thunder, I have not had to deal with the A10 technical support team. Our clients never said anything about how they like it one way or another. I assume that means they have not had to contact them either. There has just been one load balancing issue a client had and it was isolated to that location. A10 took care of it. They are one for one as far as tackling problems I know about.  

How was the initial setup?

The installation is absolutely straightforward. Nothing more to say about that.  

What about the implementation team?

As far as how many people are usually required to maintain it, in this company it is just one technician for 100 people using the product. His role is probably considered a straight system admin. It would not be a senior tech or even someone dedicated to the product.  

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

I can just say that it is cheaper than other solutions that are supposed to do the same thing. That is actually one of the reasons that customers chose it.  

What other advice do I have?

It is a pretty good product. On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate A10 Networks Thunder ADC as a nine-out-of-ten. I do not get too many complaints from customers. Giving it a nine seems fair. It works as advertised.   

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SN
Network Engineer IV at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Looking back at traffic flow data helps us with troubleshooting

Pros and Cons

  • "The ADCs are pretty straightforward and easy to use. There is a GUI base where you can go in and see everything, but they also have a CLI base where you can use a command and get the information that you want, very fast."
  • "There is room for improvement in the upgrading process. Sometimes we have to contact A10 for verification of some stuff."

What is our primary use case?

The A10s that we have in Florida are being used for load balancing. We have a pair of A10s there, an active and a standby, and we are balancing the traffic between. We also use our A10s, in general, for provisioning wireless products. Eventually, we will use our new A10s for more stuff.

Our applications are hosted in a private on-premises data center, on public cloud in AWS, and in a hybrid cloud which is primarily public infrastructure.

Among our biggest security concerns are malicious code and DDoS attacks.

What is most valuable?

We use the monitoring features and security features. The solution will tell us if someone tries to use the wrong password or to hack into the system. We do have firewalls in place so no incoming traffic from the outside can get in. Our firewall blocks everything coming in from the outside, but we can go out to our network.

We use the diagnostics to debug files and, when there is a problem, we can generate a file that we can send to our NOC engineers so they can take a look at it.

We also use the login resource usage which gives us a summary and graphs of services — when things are going down and are up.

The ADCs are pretty straightforward and easy to use. There is a GUI base where you can go in and see everything, but they also have a CLI base where you can use a command and get the information that you want, very fast. You log into the website with the A10 GUI and you can see all of your functions and your health monitor, which is very important. With the health monitor you can see the health of the switch and, if something is going on, how it's progressing. Also upgrading the GUI is very easy. It's user-friendly.

The traffic management is very good. I can monitor the traffic that comes into the A10 very easily. We balance traffic between the active blade and the standby blade. The traffic management is holding its load properly and its balancing properly. It's very good.

In terms of the traffic flow management capabilities, there are graphs that you can look at as you enable them. You can look back at live data for the last 30 minutes and it's very good. I like it. You can manage your traffic easily and you can troubleshoot because, if you look back at your data for the past two weeks, you can see if something was flipping. It's a good feature.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the upgrading process. Sometimes we have to contact A10 for verification of some stuff.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had A10s for about 10 or 12 years, in our Florida market. Our company merged with two other companies, so we inherited som A10s. Those are in Florida and those are the ones we have had for 10 or 12 years. They are TH3030S models.

We also purchased an A10 about a year ago and just finished configuring it, although it's not in full usage yet. This one is a TH4430S.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the stability has been very good. We haven't had much of a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As I said, we don't use them for too much, just for load balancing and our 911 service. We have different internal switches that are connected to the A10 to load-balance the traffic, so we don't use the A10s 100 percent but between 20 and 50 percent for now. But as time goes by we are going to be using them more.

We currently have about 25 to 30 people who log into it to do provisioning on a daily basis. 

As for our plans to implement technologies or strategies in the next three years, we may look at moving from hardware appliances to software/scale-out solutions. Our company is always looking at new solutions to meet market needs. We will also look at multi-cloud failover, upgrading from TLS/SSL capabilities to modern PFS/ECC encryption standards, and moving applications to the public cloud.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used their tech support a few times. They're quick to answer the call and they respond to you in a timely manner. Their engineers are pretty good. They will join a WebEx session and look into the switch for you and try to resolve your problems. They resolve issues in a timely manner.

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

We used F5 BIG-IPs. The switch to ADC was an upper-level decision. They wanted to change because things were outdated and it had to do with contracts and the like.

The things we consider most important when funding new technology are revenue generation, customer satisfaction, operational improvement, accelerating development speed, and business advantages from new technology.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very straightforward but it depends on the solutions you are using in your environment.  In our network we don't configure all the features because we are not using them as yet, but it's very straightforward to configure them.

In our department, setup takes six to seven months, including getting the ADCs, racking and stacking them, and configuring them. Our organization has a standardized, tailored deployment strategy, where we have our own config, but it has to be coordinated with our other switches.

We have four to five people involved in the deployment of the solution. Our local engineers will install it, power it up, and give us a remote connection and then I, as a network engineer, will get in remotely and configure it.

What other advice do I have?

It's very simple to use, as long as you understand the engineering technology behind it. I would advise going with it. Make sure you have the GUI feature on it so that you can go in and do quick, at-a-glance monitoring.

The solution is good for load-balancing your traffic. We don't want to overload other switches, so we pass traffic through the A10 and load-balance it. It also helps us to troubleshoot issues within our network.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RM
VP, Web Services and Cyber Security at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
SLB and GSLB enable us to distribute traffic, not only intra-data center, but inter-data center

Pros and Cons

  • "The SLB and GSLB load balancing are the most valuable features. They meet our need to do server-side load balancing and global site load balancing so we can distribute traffic, not only intra-data center, but inter-data center."
  • "In my opinion, they need to improve their cloud support. There is support for cloud, but not all functions are there, such as high-availability."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for SLB and GSLB load balancing. We're using the Thunder ADC 1040 but before that we used their AX 2500.

What is most valuable?

The SLB and GSLB load balancing are the most valuable features. They meet our need to do server-side load balancing and global site load balancing so we can distribute traffic, not only intra-data center, but inter-data center.

We are using them in the cloud and they are flexible, supporting the cloud services that we use. We use Azure.

What needs improvement?

In my opinion, they need to improve their cloud support. There is support for cloud, but not all functions are there, such as high-availability.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using A10 Networks Thunder ADC for eight or nine years. It's nothing new for us. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is on par with what we expected. We have very little downtime that is related to the product itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability for us is more horizontal, so it's easy for us to add nodes into the cluster. It's not really scaling vertically where we need more power. We're using the smaller devices; we don't use their chassis where you can add more power.

It is our only load balancing solution. We plan to transition into Azure, but we don't see a need, based on the way we use it, to grow it. It will just be transitioned.

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

Previously, we were using F5 Networks' load balancers and we moved away from them because they were not flexible and they did not provide a good value. Since we switched to A10 Networks, we have had all the features that we need in a more value-oriented package. In particular, they provide SLB and GSLB, whereas F5 wanted to charge us for every single thing. We like the all-in-one-bundling from A10 Networks. It turns out to be a good value.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. We worked with a support engineer from A10 Networks to plan the setup and they provided a migration tool. It was a straightforward migration when we switched from the AX to the Thunder series. Also, when we switched from F5 to A10 they provided resources to us.

We have it installed globally, so it took about three months to replace them all. The replacement strategy was to do it in pairs in each location, one at a time, to have the least impact with production.

What about the implementation team?

I didn't have any complaints about the consultant from A10. It was a good experience.

What was our ROI?

We ran the numbers and our return on investment is projected to be five years out with A10, compared to if we had replaced our infrastructure, back then, with F5.

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

It's a regular CapEx purchase, and annual maintenance per device.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated F5 again, because it was time for a renewal. We evaluated Juniper — at the time they had a load balancing solution. We also evaluated Cisco.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned is that even though at that time A10 was an up-and-comer, it was worth the chance. As a smaller player at the time, it provided a product that was stable and provided a better value. Being willing to take a calculated risk was worth it in the long-run.

Don't only look at the dominant players like F5. Do your research on vendors that might not have dominant market share. That's not to say that you would just choose to go with any small player. It would have to be a smaller player that has stability and that has at least some size to support you on an enterprise level, which is what we found with A10 at the time.

We have about 10 administrators of the solution.

I would rate Thunder ADC at nine out of 10. There are some things that can be improved, but we've been happy with it.

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.
DC
IT Specialist at a university with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Seamless and robust and gives us one less thing to worry about

Pros and Cons

  • "The ease of use is very good. It's very robust. It just sits and works."
  • "The user interface is what people complain about most of the time, particularly if they don't use it very often. Then they complain that it's a bit clunky."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to load-balance the website.

How has it helped my organization?

It's seamless.

The solution has made things easier in terms of operations efficiency It's one less thing to worry about. It just sits and it runs. 

What is most valuable?

We don't use many of the features. We're just using the basic ADC features. We're not really using anything particularly extensive on them. They sit and work most of the time. 

The ease of use is very good. It's very robust. It just sits and works. We forget that it's there a lot of the time.

What needs improvement?

The user interface is what people complain about most of the time, particularly if they don't use it very often. Then they complain that it's a bit clunky. It works from an ADC point of view, but the interface is a bit clunky.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's rock solid. It just sits and works. That's the way you want it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's definitely scalable. We've not had any problems. I'm looking at the CPU graphs and it's not bothered at the moment.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is very good. They're very responsive if we ever have any problems. That was what drew us to them in the first place.

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

Prior to this one, we had another Thunder ADC. Before that, we didn't really have a requirement for an ADC. This was the first one we ever had. We've did have some free, software-based ones in the past. But when it became a bigger requirement, we ended up with ADC.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward because we had an A10 engineer who came onsite and helped set it up for us. It wasn't plug-and-play. We did have to have some engagement. The deployment took a couple of days. We have continued adding more and more services onto it.

We put it in primarily for Exchange, to do some load-balancing at the time. These days, if we put it in, we'd have a lot more change-control to go through, but back in those days we just put it in, set it up, and away it went.

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

There aren't any licensing costs associated with it. It's just an appliance and you get all the licenses with it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Kemp and there was another one, but it was about ten years ago. We went with A10 because of price and support.

What other advice do I have?

Do research. I'd probably look at virtual appliances if I was going forward. One thing we could do with is a proper Dev and Test environment, which we don't have. I would have had some virtual appliances for Dev and Test. We did talk about that, but we haven't gotten around to doing it.

There are about ten of us who use it from a management point of view. But all the staff and students benefit from it.

It requires two or three people for maintenance.

We don't have any specific plans to increase usage. A lot of things might be going to the cloud, so there might be less use going forward.

I would give it an eight out of ten because it sits and works, it's robust. But the interface could do with a bit of work.

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.
Muhammad_Qureshi
Network Consultant at a aerospace/defense firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
Top 10
User friendly, easy implementation, but expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is user-friendly and the CLA troubleshooting is easier compared to other solutions."
  • "There are competitors that have more features."

What is our primary use case?

We are in the government sector and we use this solution for load balancing and application management.

What is most valuable?

The solution is user-friendly and the CLA troubleshooting is easier compared to other solutions.

What needs improvement?

There are competitors that have more features.

In a future release, I would like to see VAS, application policy management, profiling, and the SSL encryption and decryption features should be on the system instead of having a separate SSLi system. Additionally, they should combine the products into one solution instead of having separate products, such as encryption and decryption, and load balancing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately four years.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

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

I previously used F5 BIG-IP.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is easy.

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

The price of the maintenance support is too expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated Avi Networks.

What other advice do I have?

If someone has experience in Cisco Networks, the CLA hierarchy and configuration are 90% the same making this solution easier to use.

I rate A10 Networks Thunder ADC a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
ITCS user
Team Lead - Network and Security at Connex Information Technologies
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Flexible, easy to setup, deploy, configure, and customize with good support

What is our primary use case?

We are distributors and have been for a long time. We provide products to clients.

What is most valuable?

It's a very friendly solution, easy to configure, and it's very flexible.

What needs improvement?

The interface and integrated custom applications can be a bit difficult. They need to be improved. In the next release, I would like to see improvements with the integration.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good for us. We have not experienced any issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have no complaints about the technical support. They have very good support. They guided us…

What is our primary use case?

We are distributors and have been for a long time. We provide products to clients.

What is most valuable?

It's a very friendly solution, easy to configure, and it's very flexible.

What needs improvement?

The interface and integrated custom applications can be a bit difficult. They need to be improved.

In the next release, I would like to see improvements with the integration.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good for us. We have not experienced any issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have no complaints about the technical support. They have very good support. They guided us and helped us through the tool.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and very user-friendly.

It is easy to deploy and customize.

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

The price is good they are very comparative.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely, I would recommend this product.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free A10 Networks Thunder ADC Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.