Load Balancer Comparison – A Refreshingly Simple Comparison of load balancing hardware specifications.

“Where can I find good quality Load Balancer information?”

Well that depends if you want it to be biased or not. A lot of our competitors have started setting up dodgy comparison sites highlighting their best features and ignoring the draw backs.

I’m not saying that I’m un-biased when it comes to load balancers I have a pretty strong opinion. But, as far as I’m aware the chart below is an accurate comparison of load balancing hardware, price, performance and capability:

Loadbalancer.org, Barracuda, Kemp & CAI all use various flavours of LVS as their code base. Of these vendors Loadbalancer.org is the only one with strong UK support.

Barracuda, Kemp & CAI are based in California.

CoyotePoint is a long established brand, and a good quality product. It is a FreeBSD implementation with similar properties to LVS (but probably lower performance.). Support is completely through the channel, so varies with location. They are based in California.

Zeus & F5 are load balancing proxies (F5 also has switching and good layer 4 options). F5 is by far the best product on the market if you want an uber solution, good kernel code, good support, seriously expensive….

Zeus is perfectly good and has advanced layer 7 capability (same as F5) but its expensive not kernel based and therefore needs seriously powerful hardware to run at anywhere near decent speed.

Anyway onto the load balancing hardware comparison (last updated on 14 September 2011)

Load Balancer Model Warranty included
Support included
Max Cons Throughput RIP’s
Barracuda 240 1 Year none n/a 95 Mbps 10 n/a 0 n/a £1,349
Barracuda 340 1 Year none n/a 950 Mbps 35 150 2 n/a £1,799
Barracuda 440 1 Year none n/a 950 Mbps 50 200 2 n/a £3,599
Barracuda 640 1 Year none n/a 950 Mbps 250 2000 14 n/a £8,099
Loadbalancer.org Enterprise R16 3 Years 90 day
(unlimited calls)
3000K 1.5 Gbps 16 700 2 n/a £1,495
Loadbalancer.org Enterprise 3 Years 90 day
(unlimited calls)
3000K 1.5 Gbps Unlimited 700 2 n/a £2,995
Loadbalancer.org Enterprise Max 3 Years 90 day
(unlimited calls)
7000K 3 Gbps Unlimited 2000 4 n/a £4,995
Loadbalancer.org Enterprise 10G 3 Years 90 day
(unlimited calls)
7000K 10 Gbps Unlimited 2000 2 2 £5,995
Kemp 2200 1 Year 1 year (limited calls) 1000K 950 Mbps 1000 200 4 n/a £1,620
Kemp 2600 1 Year 1 year (limited calls) 2000K 1.7 Gbps 1000 2000 4 n/a £5,350
Kemp 3600 1 Year 1 year (limited calls) 4000K 3.4 Gbps 1000 5000 8 n/a £7,510
Kemp 5500 1 Year 1 year (limited calls) 30,000K 6 Gbps 1000 10000 18 2
optional @ extra cost
Coyote E250GX 90 Day 90 day
(unlimited calls)
n/a 600 Mbps 16 180 2 n/a £1,495
Coyote E350GX 1 Year 1 year
(unlimited calls)
n/a 850 Mbps 32 500 12 n/a £4,845
Coyote E450GX 1 Year 1 year
(unlimited calls)
n/a 1 Gbps 128 8500 12 n/a £7,645
Coyote E650GX 1 Year 1 year
(unlimited calls)
n/a 1.8 Gbps 512 14000 20 n/a £10,795
CAI 481SD 1 Year 1 year
(unlimited calls)
1400K 1.7 Gbps 65K 300 2 n/a £2,995
CAI 592SGQ 1 Year 1 year
(unlimited calls)
2800K 2.7Gbps 65K 600 4 n/a £2,995
CAI 680PG 1 Years 1 year
(unlimited calls)
5760K 4 Gbps 65K 4000 20 n/a £4,495
F5 BIG-IP 1600 1 Year none n/a 1 Gbps Unlimited 5000 4 n/a from £14,995
F5 BIG-IP 3600 1 Year none n/a 2 Gbps Unlimited 10000 8 n/a from £18,045
F5 BIG-IP 6900 1 Year none n/a 1
Unlimited 25000 16 n/a from £41,250
F5 BIG-IP 8900 1 Year none n/1 2 Gbps Unlimited 58000 16 2
optional @ extra cost
from £70,875

You can make of this what you will, and no doubt we will get tons of emails from other vendors with small corrections etc.

If you have any more information or factual corrections don’t hesitate to let me know malcolm@loadbalancer.org ,Thanks.

10 thoughts on “Load Balancer Comparison – A Refreshingly Simple Comparison of load balancing hardware specifications.

  1. I’m a bit new to WordPress and it keeps on deleting the table when I go into visual edit mode. I note your IP is mulder.f5.com… haven’t added F5/Citrix et al. yet, but will do soon.. I will probably need far more tables :-).

  2. What does RIPS mean in this context? The techie bods here think they’re to do with server load balancing? – yes you’re right, in this market, terminology is very confusing as there’s just no standard terms for anything any more.

  3. We use the terms ‘real server’, ‘backend’, RIP (Real IP Address of a Real Server)…
    So its not confusing at all really is it?
    And yes all Loadbalancer.org stuff is real server (inbound) load balancing i.e. traditional server farms.

  4. Can you suggest a h/w load balancer to manage a cluster of 3-6 webservers.

    There would be 3-6 identical web servers in a cluster. The load balancer will route the request to one of the available (live) webserver one by one. It should stop sending a requests immediately to the server which goes down. This has to handle 56 requests per second with each request of about 5 kb and response of 20 kb. I’m not sure if response has to go through loadbanacer or it goes directly from the server.

  5. Hi Sandeep,

    All of the vendors listed above will be able to provide a solution for your requirements. For price/performance, I would suggest that either us (Loadbalancer.org) or Kemp are most suited to your environment. Here’s links to both companies product matrix pages:


    Whether the server responds directly to the client or bypasses the load balancer is dependant on your configuration. We support both methods.

    If you would like a more detailed response then please contact our sales team (sales@loadbalancer.org).

  6. HI Malcolm,

    Just to let you know KEMP is actually not an open source LVS in fact its propotiary linux kernel based product and has been since 2003. This is consistient across all our range.

    Ray Downes

    • Ray,
      I hate to disagree, Kemp have produced a great product but considering in your documentation you still use the LVS MIB for SNMP I don’t see how what you say is possible. And I would hope that if anyone asked for your modifications to LVS code you would provide them under the GPL. But obviously I don’t have access to the code on your boxes (and to be honest I’ve never even used one). I’m aware that your layer 7 stuff is based on the old German B1000 appliance from 10 years ago and of course their is no obligation to share that under the GPL. At Loadbalancer.org we try our best to give back to the community, we even helped a barracuda networks engineer to copy our LVS SIP Call-ID implementation and integrate it into their product. Anyway just my thoughts and I’m usually wrong :-).

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