NLB Recommendations

I'm looking for recommendations for network load balancers. These, at
this time, will primarily be used to attach to a cluster of


although I would like a solution which can be repurposed to other
applications later. I am looking at F5's Big IP, Cisco's SLB, and
Foundry's ServerIron at this time.

We have Cisco 11503s and F5 Big IPs in our network. I bought the Big
IPs because I was getting rather fed up with the Cisco stuff. Each has
their quirks but I think I prefer the F5, especially for box-to-box
redundancy. That's really rough with the Cisco gear unless you want to
fork out a lot of cash for their ridiculously expensive ethernet modules
so you can get a direct box-to-box connection.

If you have load-balanced servers behind an F5 that also must be
available for direct connection, then the F5 is a huge pain, while that
is extremely simple with the Cisco gear. Other than that, I think I the
F5 is a better product and easier to manage once you get used to how it
works. If you've previously used the Cisco gear, you have to unlearn a
few concepts and terms in order to make sense of the F5 world.


For a list dedicated to load balancing products, I highly recommend this: