Hardware Load Balancers & Software Load Balancers

Compare F5 Load Balancer & Citrix Netscaler with Avi Networks
Hardware Load Balancer Software Load Balancer
Avi F5 Citrix AWS (ELB/ALB) NGINX HAProxy
Elastic LB
Auto installation of a load balancer
Auto scaling
Auto Workload (VIP) management Limited Limited
Deploy a LB with different capacity in real time
LB methods
Round-robin
Least-conn
Weighted round-robin
Fewest servers (Cloud Optimized)
Layer 7 Switching
HTTP request / response policy with easy UI
HTTP content switching
Script Language DataScript iRule
Health Monitor
ICMP / TCP TCP
HTTP / HTTPS
DNS
LDAP
Database
Scripting support for health monitor
Persistence
Source IP
Cookie Insertion
App cookie (passive cookie inspection)
TLS ticket ID
Universal persistence Yes except for persistence based on entity in the body Yes except for persistence based on entity in the body Yes except for persistence based on entity in the body
SSL
SSL offload / SSL proxy for servers
SSL key exchange / management offload to HSM
SNI (Server Name Indication)
SSL configuration diagnostic
Elliptic Curve SSL Cert
Simultaneous RSA and EC cert support on a single VIP
Analytics and Visibility
Scoring for a VIP health
Scoring for a server health
End-to-end timing from client to servers
Per VIP traffic char w/ CPS/RPS/Throughput/Open connections Limited Limited Limited (Using Cloudwatch) Limited Limited
Anomalous traffic pattern detection
Event correlation on the single chart (e.g., configuration event, server status change, etc)
Full client logs with complete HTTP headers
Google-like search for logs
Detailed visibility into SSL metrics Limited
Intelligent packet capture
APIs
Native REST APIs (100%)
Macro (or template based) REST APIs
Centralized API endpoint
Ecosystem Integration (VMM, CMP, SDN, Public Cloud, PaaS)
vCenter Yes / Automation with a complex set of other tools, such as vCD, BIG-IQ, etc) Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation
OpenStack Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation No LBaaS
Cisco APIC, NSX Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation No Device Package No Device Package
AWS Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation
Azure Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation
GCP Supported / No Automation Supported / No Automation
Container Orchestration (Kubernetes, OpenShift-Kubernetes, Mesos, Docker Swarm) Supported / No Automation, basic and no extra value Yes but basic (no service discovery, no security)
High Availability for Data Plane
Active-Active ELB provides HA
Active-Standby ELB provides HA
N+M HA Limited (1-to-M) Limited (1-to-M) ELB provides HA
Hot-Standby ELB provides HA Yes (using keepalived) Yes (using keepalived)
Automatic Capacity recovery
Route Health Injection
BGP
OSPF
Layer 4 Security policies
L4 security policy
Security
Easy to use IP blocking
Layer 3 DDoS mitigation
Layer 4 DDoS mitigation Limited
Layer 7 DDoS mitigation Limited
Web Application Firewall
Visibility into security Limited Limited
Web Acceleration
Compression
Caching
HTTP / Transport Optimization
TCP connection pooling for backend
Multipath TCP
Remote Authentication
LDAP Remote Authentication
TACACs Remote Authentication
SAML Remote Authentication
Tenant & user isolation
Tenant isolation (scale restrictions)
Multi-user with role based access control
Automation tool integration
Ansible
Terraform Coming soon
Puppet
Chef
SaltStack
CFEngine
Applications & Protocols
HTTP / HTTPS
HTTP/2
IPv6 *
DNS Layer 4 Layer 4
LDAP Layer 4 Layer 4 Layer 4 Layer 4
Database Layer 4 Layer 4 Layer 4 Layer 4
MS Exchange (2010 & 2013 only)
MS Lync / Skype for Business (2010 only)
Skype for Business 2015
MS SharePoint
Citrix Xendesktop / VDI Layer 4/7 Layer 4/7 Layer 4/7 Layer 4/7
VMware View / VDI Layer 4/7 Layer 4/7 Layer 4/7 Layer 4/7
RADIUS
DIAMETER
LB deployment mode
Half-NAT (Inline)
DSR
Full-NAT (Source NAT)
Transparent (eg. Firewall Load Balancing, Transparent Cache Switching)
SSL Forward proxy Limited
Global Server Load Balancing
Global Server Load Balancing
Load Balancing for multiple cloud platforms
Load Balancing for multiple cloud platforms (Limited to AWS)
Avi F5 Citrix AWS (ELB) NGINX HAProxy
Hardware Load Balancer Software Load Balancer

* Beta