Coyote Point Delivers Virtual Appliance for Application Delivery

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-05-08 Print this article Print

Equalizer OnDemand is the latest in application-delivery controllers (ADC) from Coyote Point that blazes a new trail of application control, load balancing and failover options—all without proprietary hardware, thanks to its virtual nature.

Coyote Point rethinks the world of application-delivery controllers, or ADCs, with a virtual iteration of a physical appliance. Coyote Point€™s Equalizer OnDemand, released March 12, is designed to run on VMware ESX/ESXi V4.X platforms and brings with it application-control capabilities, such as load balancing, optimized application delivery and failover support.

The virtual appliance brings with it efficiencies, ease of use and management capabilities that were once only found in physical devices that could break the budget for smaller IT departments. Equalizer OnDemand starts at $5,749, including one year of support. Hardware-based appliances from competitors usually start at more than $10,000.

Coyote Point isn€™t the only player in the ADC games. Competition is abundant in the form of large vendors, including F5 networks, Barracuda and Riverbed, along with smaller players, such as Kemp and A10. However, those competitors are focusing on the physical realm, with proprietary hardware appliances that include capabilities, such as hardware-based Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) offloading and HTTP compression. Coyote Point also offers a family of hardware appliances with these features.


I tested the Equalizer OnDemand virtual appliance in a VMware ESXi test environment running on a SuperMicro SuperServer 6027R-3RF4+ (a 2U, Multi-Xeon E5-2600 series server). I also used a test environment hosted by Coyote Point to evaluate failover and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) routing capabilities.

Installation was straightforward and followed the normal conventions of installing a virtual machine under ESXi, which can be a complex process, depending upon what you are trying to achieve. Nevertheless, Coyote Point€™s documentation does an adequate job of providing you with the basics to get the appliance working under VMware ESX/ESXi environments.

While I used ESXi for the testing, a production environment may want to consider purchasing VMware ESX, so that they have access to VMware€™s advanced management features, reporting and other elements that come with a full version of ESX. Currently, Equalizer OnDemand works only with VMware based ESX/ESXi environments.

Deploying Equalizer OnDemand is straightforward for those with some networking knowledge and a good understanding of WAN and LAN routing principles. It all starts with deploying the virtual appliance and placing it between the servers and the WAN/LAN connections. Once the virtual appliance was functioning and accessible via a Web browser, I was pleasantly surprised at how well Equalizer OnDemand mimics a physical appliance from Coyote Point, which provided a small head start, since I labs reviewed Coyote Point€™s devices in the past.

That said, there were still some significant differences from Equalizer OnDemand and older iterations of Coyote Point€™s physical devices. I found that was due to a new operating system and software package released in January by Coyote Point, called EQ/OS10, which is offered on the company€™s physical appliances as well as Equalizer OnDemand.

The changes and enhancements are so significant with EQ/OS10, that it pretty much reinvents what an ADC is all about and is much more than just another release of the company's core software. Perhaps Equalizer OnDemand deserves to be placed in a new category, say an application gateway, as opposed to an application-delivery controller.

The performance of Equalizer OnDemand is a little harder to quantify€”after all, it is a virtual appliance and that means it is heavily reliant on host hardware. That is kind of a double-edged sword€“since performance can be increased by throwing more CPU cycles and hardware at the virtual appliance.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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