It depends on who's asking... ;-)
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” - Henry David Thoreau
When we talk about cost, what do we really mean?
If you are in charge of the budget you want to know the both the upfront capex and the long term expense (TCO).
If you are the person who implements, manages and maintains the product, what you really want to know is how much of a headache is it going to be?
So what is the “real" cost?
When choosing a load balancer it important to look at the following requirements:
- Does it do exactly what I want?
- Is it straightforward to install, configure and maintain?
- What is the standard of support (not only the SLA, what is the quality of the responses)?
- What are the performance and feature restrictions of the licence?
- What is cost to add more applications to the load balancer?
- Do they have customers like us (and what do they say)?
- What happens if it blows up?
- Can I change my mind?
- What is the contract lock-in, and does it auto-renew?
- Can I keep the perpetual licence, if I stop paying for support?
By covering all the eventualities upfront, you can make an informed choice based not only on budget but on the reassurance that it won’t come back to bite you within 6 months.
Someone will undoubtedly ask “do we need this?”
What is the cost of not having an application that never breaks, has the ability to scale and is easily maintained? I will let you argue that with the bean counters.
The answer is almost always “can we afford not to?”
You could rightly solve challenge this with open source products like HAProxy (we love it so much, we use it in our products). We always advocate taking this route if there are budget constraints. If not, you could choose to have a commercially supported product.
Customer driven product development
A common complaint with some ADCs is the complexity of configuration.
We listen to the customer feedback loop, through support cases and surveys and add features that make sense.
Our aim is always to deliver the features you want, without presenting you with a deluge of checkboxes. Anything extraordinary can be achieved via a separate manual config and we are always happy to build one for you.
The Loadbalancer.org way
We believe in making it easy to deploy highly available, scalable applications.
The goal is to achieve the best of both price and “real" cost. Our appliances are deliberately simple yet highly configurable and backed by our first class support.
We always encourage prospective customers and partners to test drive the appliance and support by downloading our free trial.