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User at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
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: PeerSpot 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.
IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Intuitive interface and can be used practically with any application in the backend
Pros and Cons
  • "I like that this is a Network Load Balancer that can be used practically with any application in the backend. They have how-to guides on how to set up Kemp NLB with Exchange, but you can use it as well for Sharepoint, RDS, or any other back end server."
  • "The product is really good as-is out of the box. If there is one thing I would change is to have the license file not be coupled with the MAC address of the device. This is actually not really useful in a virtual environment where if you have a single VM with KEMP LoadMaster and you have not set up static MAC Address, if you, for example, recreate the VM and just load the disk file on a new VM it will get new MAC address and the NLB will not work as it will not see a proper license."

What is our primary use case?

I used it as a front end to an RDS Farm. Its load-balancing port 80 and port 443 to multiple RDS Gateways. It's deployed as a virtual appliance on an on-prem virtual machine hosted on the Hyper-V server. Kemp LoadMaster is used by more than 1,000 internal users on a daily bases to access the application system at the back end. It's not exposed to the internet, it's used only from internal users inside the corporate LAN. We have daily VM backups setup as well as application backups from inside KEMP.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to have DNS round-robin based load balancing from some small applications but it was not highly available and if one instance were to do down half of the traffic would go down. We have tested the build it Microsoft Load balancer, but it was free and it was not reliable. Currently, we are using ZEN NLB for a few small applications that do not require many features but when it came to having a proper NLB for 1000 users the ZEN NLB could not handle the load. We have tested F5 and Kemp and Kemp were much cheaper and easier to setup.

What is most valuable?

I like that this is a Network Load Balancer that can be used practically with any application in the backend. They have how-to guides on how to set up Kemp NLB with Exchange, but you can use it as well for Sharepoint, RDS, or any other back end server. I like that the interface is intuitive, you have the option to load an SSL certificate on it so then the traffic can be inspected there, this is especially important when you have an Exchange server or RD Gateway at the back that heavily uses SSL Certificates. It has an option to be HA so if you need you can set up two of them to be up and running at the same time in Active-Active fashion. 

What needs improvement?

The product is really good as-is out of the box. If there is one thing I would change is to have the license file not be coupled with the MAC address of the device. This is actually not really useful in a virtual environment where if you have a single VM with KEMP LoadMaster and you have not set up static MAC Address, if you, for example, recreate the VM and just load the disk file on a new VM it will get new MAC address and the NLB will not work as it will not see a proper license. You need to call their support, explain what the issue is, and then they will generate a new license that you can apply. If this is a production environment and you just had an outage and quickly required the VM then you are extending the outage by the time it will take to get their support to help with the new license.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Kemp LoadMaster for more than two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's rock-solid and very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale easily, I believe you only need to load a new license.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is nice, they will help you over the phone/email but I had few questions about the design and even professional services were not purchased their support engineer did a screen sharing session to take a look on the configuration to make sure it's following their best practices for the use case we were using it for.

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

I have used ZEN NLB and Microsoft NLB.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy to get in touch with their sales and get it ordered.

What about the implementation team?

I have implemented it myself.

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

KEMP NLB is on the cheaper side of the spectrum but works great. If your license expires it will still run just you won't be able to do any changes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, F5.

What other advice do I have?

Its a nice and easy NLB to set up and operate on a day to day basis. I highly recommend it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IvoTuytens
Data Protection Office and CSO at ONVA-RJV
Real User
Excellent for internal business core applications and has the ability to scale up as necessary
Pros and Cons
  • "There are several levels of module so a company can upgrade if necessary."
  • "It's unfortunate that the network firewall isn't really a next generation firewall."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for an internet application called MyPension.be, where every Belgian citizen can search for information regarding his employment and pension. That's the primary application.

In addition, we use the solution for our internal business core application. We have 2,600 internal and external users. Theoretically, there are 10 million potential users but most don't access it. We've had times when we've broken records, and that's usually connected to publicity in the press. 

What needs improvement?

The most significant improvement would be to make the product cheaper. 

For additional features, it's currently unfortunate that the network firewall isn't really a next-generation firewall. If that were included, then we wouldn't have taken on Fortinet as well. Our problem is that we have a relatively small number of staff that is continually being reduced. It's easier to deal with one product and several screens rather than two products, Fortinet and F5. The inverse is also true, if Fortinet was a stronger product, then we probably wouldn't have taken F5.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the product for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had one problem with stability five or six years ago when we first started with VIPRION but since then it's been fine.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is scalable. We are using the basic VIPRION server. There are several levels of the module so a company can upgrade if necessary and the module we currently use can be scaled further. We started with the first module, and then migrated to the second. We can expand further if necessary. When we upgraded it was to give better support to cell traffic.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We generally rely on an integrator for support. We have several good specialists so rarely need to contact technical support. If there's a problem we make contact and open a ticket. We've worked with several integrators and we're satisfied with every one of them. 

How was the initial setup?

The first step was the most difficult with the setup because we were starting from scratch with a new solution. By the time we went from Big-IP to VIPRION, it was less difficult and the migration was done by an integrator. We're not technical specialists so an integrator was necessary. We are using it and managing it, and we can change the policies and things like that, but when we have to do a big migration an integrator is essential.

What other advice do I have?

For others wishing to implement, you need to be very clear about what you want to do, how you want to protect your data and then search for a solution. It could be F5 or something else. When we asked for a review of the product, we provided a description of the features we wanted, and they proposed F5 and Fortinet for the same money. I think Fortinet has fewer features than F5.

Fortinet is okay, although it does require two appliances so if you also want a low bouncer you have to buy for the low bouncer and Fortinet. When you take F5 only one appliance is necessary and it's a simple configuration. When you low bounce it, you create your virtual server and it's very simple to connect or configure a security policy on top of that.
I would rate this product a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Eseoghene Charles-Adeoye
Head, Network Design at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to manage with good load balancing and fair pricing
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is easy to work with and manage."
  • "The solution should be able to scale more effectively than it does."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for load balancing and SSL offloading. It's mostly for load balancing, however, occasionally we use it for the SSL offloading and content switching.

What is most valuable?

The load balancing on the solution is excellent.

The fact that you can do content switching is very useful.

The pricing is pretty good.

The solution is easy to work with and manage.

It's cloud-ready and we can manage it both on-premises and on the cloud if we need to.

What needs improvement?

The multi-tenancy isn't ideal.

The solution should be able to scale more effectively than it does.

Technical support could be improved upon.

Recently, we tried to configure AAA authentification and we ran into some issues using the web-based GUI. When you are on the console it works, however, when you're on the web-based version when you log in with your AAA credentials, it's very very slow. That is something that we're beginning to see and something they need to address.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for over six years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay. We haven't dealt with any bugs at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

A big requirement for us is to be able to scale for multi-tenancy, and this solution doesn't really provide for that. We're looking into another model that might be able to help us handle this.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay. However, they could still improve their services.

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

I've worked with F5 and found it hard to work with and manage, in comparison to Citrix.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I wouldn't say that it was tedious due to the fact that the vendor who we got to assist us already had experience in deployment. They made it pretty easy. After the POC it was simple to deploy into the production environment.

We have less than 20 engineers that are working with and maintaining the product.

What about the implementation team?

Our vendor helped us deploy the solution. They made the process pretty efficient and we were satisfied with eh results.

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

The solution offers quite good value for money. For the amount you pay, you get a fairly robust product.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers.

I would recommend this solution to other organizations as it's quite easy to use. There's so much that you can do, compared to F5, for example. With F5, you have to do a lot of tweaking to be able to achieve certain things. 

With Citrix, due to the infrastructure, we run very very easily. We run on ECA infrastructure and it's a great thing. It's very very straightforward. With F5, it's not as good. 

That said, it has some flaws that need to be corrected.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate it at an 8.

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.
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Reseller
Top 20
User-friendly GUI, easy to configure, and technical support responds quickly
Pros and Cons
  • "The GUI is user-friendly."
  • "The integration with other products should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are a product reseller and this is one of the solutions that we provide for our customers. At this point, we have only implemented it for one customer.

What is most valuable?

The GUI is user-friendly.

It is easy to configure compared to solutions by other vendors, such as F5.

What needs improvement?

The integration with other products should be improved.

This product does not come with bare metal protection, so we need more network features. We don't want to be as dependent on a separate next-generation firewall.

The pricing could be made more competitive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the stability has been okay.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had a problem with scalability but we have only deployed it for one project.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good and they are fast to respond.

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

I have also worked with similar solutions by F5 and Barracuda. FortiWeb is easier to configure because the F5 product requires more technical knowledge. The Barracuda solution has the advantage that DDoS support is built-in and there is no need to integrate with other products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, although integration is more difficult. For example, if you want to have DDoS attack support then you need to integrate with the firewall. With the solution from Barracuda, the DDoS capability is already included.

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

FortiWeb is more expensive than some competing products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have a lot of requests for Barracuda solutions from our customers. One of the reasons for this is that the pricing is cheaper by quite a lot.

What other advice do I have?

While I have not done comprehensive testing with FortiWeb, I have no complaints so far.

My advice for anybody who is considering this product is that if they are not very advanced in terms of technical training, this product is a good choice because it is very simple to implement.

I would rate this solution an eight 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: reseller
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564,322 professionals have used our research since 2012.