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HAProxy OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

HAProxy is #8 ranked solution in top Application Delivery Controllers. IT Central Station users give HAProxy an average rating of 8 out of 10. HAProxy is most commonly compared to F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM):HAProxy vs F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM). The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 28% of all views.
What is HAProxy?

HAProxy is the most widely used software load balancer and application delivery controller in the world. The core HAProxy application delivery engine is an open source project chiefly maintained by HAProxy Technologies and assisted by a thriving open source community. HAProxy Community Edition is available for free at haproxy.org. HAProxy Enterprise Edition is packaged with additional enterprise class features, services and premium support from HAProxy Technologies.

HAProxy is also known as HAProxy Community Edition, HAProxy Enterprise Edition, HAPEE.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

HAProxy Customers
Booking.com, GitHub, Reddit, StackOverflow, Tumblr, Vimeo, Yelp

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about HAProxy pricing:
  • "It is free of cost."
  • "HAProxy is free in the initial offer. However, pricing can be improved."

HAProxy Reviews

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JT
System Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
You can go down to the protocol level and make decisions on something

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable thing for me is TCP/IP Layer 4 stuff you can do with HAProxy. You can go down to the protocol level and make decisions on something."
  • "Sometimes it's challenging to get through the log, and you need a log to understand what is going on. It isn't easy to map the logging with the documentation, and every time I read the log, I have to pull out the documentation to understand what I'm reading."

What is our primary use case?

I use it for managing Redis clusters where I have a front-end for a read-write and a front-end for a read-only. I have no idea who else in my company uses it. I had opted to use this because we have silos in our company. We have a network silo that does the load balancing, and I wanted to control how these tests worked with the load balancing. I wanted them to do load balancing where they hand off like a TCP Fast Open. They perform a check on these services with TCP Fast Open.

For example, there is one free HAProxy service for each node, and they use TCP Fast Open for things like that. It's flipped to the HAProxy, and then they establish a persistent connection. It's more of a hand-off, and then I can do all the magic. You can do most of the things I'm doing with HAProxy in F5 too. However, it's siloed off and takes a long time to get things done. I don't have any agility. I took that upon myself with HAProxy because it's a lot quicker to do it myself instead of waiting weeks for somebody else to do it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable thing for me is TCP/IP Layer 4 stuff you can do with HAProxy. You can go down to the protocol level and make decisions on something. 

What needs improvement?

The logging is pretty hard to understand, but the documentation for the logging is decent. That would be my only criticism. Sometimes it's challenging to get through the log, and you need a log to understand what is going on. It isn't easy to map the logging with the documentation, and every time I read the log, I have to pull out the documentation to understand what I'm reading.

And there is some more functionality that I would like to see. For example, you'll do a TLS to the front leg— whatever connects to your load balancer. You do the HTBS or whatever TLS connection there. And then, on the back end, you usually have to clear it a lot of times. I want to be able to do TLS all the way through on both legs. I don't know if it can do that. HAProxy might be able to do this already, but I haven't done enough research to see if this is possible

For how long have I used the solution?

Probably about two years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

HAProxy is rock solid. I'm pleased with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

HAProxy is scalable. It easily handles the current loads, but my connections are pretty low. It can take a lot more than what I'm doing. I'm making around 200 connections per second, which doesn't put much stress on the solution. HAProxy can handle it pretty easy.

How are customer service and support?

I've never used any tech support. I just use the freeware.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. When I started using HAProxy, I played around with it in a container and built from source, so I got a good feel for what it could do. And then I picked up a book called Load Balancing With HAProxy. After I read that, I felt confident I could use this service in a production setting. I was able to tune the knobs I needed to adjust and understand things pretty well. The book is pretty decent, but I wouldn't mind seeing a newer version of it. It was helpful. 

The HAProxy documentation on the web isn't bad, but the book is much nicer for me. I like to see how the authors apply HAProxy to specific use cases and leverage things. Also, they explain how to do something, whereas the documentation only tells you about the features and parameters. Sometimes it's hard for the documentation to show the importance of a feature and express how to do what you want. 

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

I'm using the freeware version. I have no idea if there is a paid solution because I've never looked into it. I might in the future if I have a use case for it. But right now, I'm leveraging the free version, and it seems to fit well in this stack because I'm using the free Redis.   

What other advice do I have?

I would rate HAProxy nine out of 10. My biggest recommendation for any new HAProxy user is to read Load Balancing With HAProxy by Nick Ramirez. If you're thinking about using HAProxy and you want to get your feet wet, read this book and follow along with it. Determine whether you're trying to do an HAProxy for a web service or something else and concentrate specifically on those pieces. I read the whole book and enjoyed it, but you can focus on one thing if you need to. This book is short, and you can just read the whole thing to understand it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ST
Director at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Open-source, free, and has a lot of customizations, but needs more support and standard documentation for customizations

Pros and Cons

  • "Load balancing is valuable, and we are also using the WAF feature."
  • "There is no standardized document available. So, any individual has to work from scratch to work it out. If some standard deployment details are available, it would be helpful for people while deploying it. There should be more documentation on the standard deployment."

What is our primary use case?

We are just using this product in our UAT environment.

What is most valuable?

Load balancing is valuable, and we are also using the WAF feature.

It is a complete open-source product. The good thing is that there is a lot of customization and development.

What needs improvement?

There is no standardized document available. So, any individual has to work from scratch to work it out. If some standard deployment details are available, it would be helpful for people while deploying it. There should be more documentation on the standard deployment.

When you have to customize it for your application requirements, there are a lot of challenges. There should be more support for customization. To customize it better, there should be some kind of programming integration.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is completely open-source, so updates come very frequently. To the most extent, it is stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

It is an open-source product, so you have to work on technical support. You can take premium support from HAProxy, and that helps a lot, but it is not comparable to other enterprise products because it is a free-of-cost product.

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

I also use F5. I am looking to replace F5 with HAProxy for some of my non-critical applications.

HAProxy is open source. So, if you have cost concerns, you can go for it. It is good for basic application load balancing. If you don't have budget limitations or you have critical applications, you should definitely go for F5 because of the standardization and the product experience they have in handling mission-critical applications. 

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is easy and not very complex. If you have a general understanding of how containers and VMware work, it is not very problematic to deploy it.

The initial setup documentation of HAProxy is good, but when you have to customize it for your application requirements, it gets difficult.

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

It is free of cost.

What other advice do I have?

We have currently deployed it for one product. For non-critical applications, it is a good choice. You can definitely go for it if you have cost concerns, your application is not very dynamic, or you are looking for a basic load balancing product. 

I would rate HAProxy a six out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IY
Network security at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Works for application load balancing, but pricing, monitoring, and reports need improvement

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for application load balancing.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found the most valuable is that it works for my use case of application load balancing. I'm using it for PeerSense, and it's easy enough for PeerSense.

What needs improvement?

Pricing, monitoring, and reports can be improved. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have just started using HAProxy. In my organization, they've been using it for a year or two.

How was the initial setup?

It was a little bit straightforward.

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

HAProxy is free in the initial offer. However, pricing can be improved.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend HAProxy because it is free in the initial…

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for application load balancing.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found the most valuable is that it works for my use case of application load balancing. I'm using it for PeerSense, and it's easy enough for PeerSense.

What needs improvement?

Pricing, monitoring, and reports can be improved. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have just started using HAProxy. In my organization, they've been using it for a year or two.

How was the initial setup?

It was a little bit straightforward.

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

HAProxy is free in the initial offer. However, pricing can be improved.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend HAProxy because it is free in the initial offer, which would work for low budget enterprises that don't have much to start with. 

I would rate HAProxy a seven out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
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