With so many businesses and applications moving to the cloud, more and more companies need to worry about how they will manage their application availability and steer their application traffic. This concern is particularly challenging for organizations looking for maximum flexibility by utilizing multiple cloud service providers. The traditional solution is to setup a local (on the premises or “on-prem”) rack-mounted DNS load balancer to solve problems like load distribution, server responsiveness, and continuous availability. F5 now has a cloud-based solution available called the F5 DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service. It leverages the AWS SaaS Enablement Framework and is now available in AWS Marketplace. It solves these types of problems with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) alternative. There are advantages to both, but I thought I’d explore some of the advantages of the SaaS approach.
Let’s start with most obvious: There’s NO physical or virtual hardware! That means no worries about what size appliances, how many appliances, where to put them, or who’s going to rack and stack them. No worries about how to configure them for fail-over and 100% uptime, and the ongoing care and feeding. Effectively, your hardware is already installed and configured, and your software is already loaded. All you have to do is enter the specifics of your load-balancing needs and click “Activate.”
With no hardware, there’s also no large, upfront capital expenditure (CAPEX). Instead you pay for the ongoing load balancing service costs as an operating expense (OPEX). Avoiding the large, upfront expense really enables you to get access to world-class load balancing technologies you need without having to go through lengthy budgeting cycles and red tape-strewn acquisition processes.
Now you’re probably thinking about costs, and that’s another great thing about load balancing as a service—you only pay for what you need because DNS Load Balancer scales to your level of traffic. Costs scale with your need, so you always have the right level of capability at a commensurate cost. For a small, growing company, that’s like starting with a portion of a small load balancer stored in a closet and run by an intern—as if that were possible—and growing into a global network of load-balancing appliances to manage traffic for your mega web app. Or maybe you have traffic spikes during the holidays or for an occasional big event? Rather than paying for the worst-case scenario ALL THE TIME, SaaS based DNS Load Balancer scales up for those peak times, and then scales back down.
Enough on the money side; how about the convenience of being able to work with your load balancer from anywhere? Because DNS Load Balancer is in the cloud, like your web application, you can access it from anywhere you have internet access. And you have the choice to setup, activate, and manage your load balancing either through a web browser and our easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) or through our comprehensive application programming interface (API).
I also think it’s important for you to be able to focus on your business and the problems you are trying to solve. Architecting a globally distributed and DDoS protected load balancing infrastructure can be a complex project, and it takes specialized knowledge to do it right. Using DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service allows you to apply your expertise to your business and lets us load balancing experts handle your load balancing needs with the knowledge we’ve gained from a couple of decades of experience.
Are you convinced yet? Here’s one last thought: with DNS Load Balancer, you not only get the load balancer to meet your immediate needs, but you also have immediate access to our ever-growing list of cloud services. So today you need a load-balancer solution, but tomorrow you may need Authoritative DNS Cloud Service, or Application Security Cloud Services, or Bot Protect Service, or… You get the idea. These are just some of the benefits of a SaaS based load balancer. I’ve created two videos showing the F5 DNS Load Balancer Cloud Service in more detail. The first one shows how to do the setup with our easy-to-use GUI, and the second shows the same example using our comprehensive, declarative API. Or if you’re looking for a demo, stop by our booth at the AWS Summit in Toronto and ask me for a live walk-through of our entire Cloud Services portfolio.