Experiences with A10 AX series Load Balancers?


We have built out our infrastructure around A10 and after doing our own due diligence on them, we like them for the following reasons:

1. The performance is outrageous (in a good way) in terms of:
  a. Total number of sessions supported
  b. Ramp Rate (New connections per second)
  c. Throughput, up to 37+ gig in our tests

Quite frankly A10 is the only company we found that could help us deliver on a secure 100Gig plus network that we designed for a client. Their specs were 100Gig today with scalability to 200Gig. The AX-5200 delivered as advertised for us. F5 didn't even come close to scaling to these levels in our testing.

2. The interface is reasonably decent, but could stand some refinement. The aPolicy is for the most part a one-for-one replacement of the F5 TCL iPolicy. So transitioning should be pretty straight -forward.

3. The company is a good company with good support. Lee Chen, one of the founders of Foundry Networks started A10. I went to California and met with him and his engineering team to see the type of folks we would be engaging with. They were extremely pleasant to deal with, unlike a lot of the other companies out there today.

The foundation of the system is that they came up with a process to make Parallelization far more efficient than the standard high-performance OSes like Linux and Unix. This lets them throttle through scenarios that bog down other systems. We have seen first-hand how the systems performance has addressed DNS DoS scenarios where F5 fell down on the job.

4. Finally, the cost is far more pleasant than the nickle and diming that F5 does for this license and that license. This is the one area F5 should really get dinged on. I don't at all care for the In our scenario it came in at roughly 40% less than F5.

All-in-all my advice is you can't go wrong with the A10 unless there is some specific feature that is missing. We have not found any for our purposes. Quite frankly I feel that many people are unnecessarily afraid to migrate away from F5. Not that F5 is a bad product or company, but competition is good and A10 is a good competitor. We are very pleased with our decision to go with A10.

I hope this is useful feedback for you.

Best Regards,