Equalizer OnDemand Emphasizes Ease of Use

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

With performance in mind, there are a few shortcomings with a virtual ADC; for example, there are no SSL-acceleration capabilities and no support for HTTP compression. Those features are normally found in hardware-based appliances.

Daily Operations

Ease of use is a major theme with the Equalizer OnDemand virtual appliance. All the major features can be configured directly from the management GUI, which is often simpler, but less efficient than using the Command Line Interface (CLI) for making configuration changes. Most competing products, such as those from Riverbed and F5 Networks, rely heavily on CLI input for configuration.

I was able to quickly create Layer 7 application traffic management rules to control application flow. I was also able to build rules to identify and appropriately route things like HTTP and SSL versions, type of browser, URL path names, file names, extensions and cookie data. In short, L7 routing lets administrators create flexible cluster configurations by specifying rules that direct traffic to servers, and hence applications.

Another intriguing feature was the support for IPv6. Here, Coyote Point's latest OS (EQ/OS10) adds some key capabilities, such as the support for migrating traffic between IPv6 and IPv4 networking equipment.

Simply put, EQ/OS10 enabled me to mix IPv4 network elements with IPv6 networks and then provide the necessary translation addresses as needed to handle all the cross-protocol routing. This was easy to set up, thanks to a wizard-driven model that let us almost instantly define the required elements for access to IPv6 content.

IPv6 simplicity is further enhanced with the use of virtual LANs, which are also easy to create and manage. With VLANs, you can define server access and cluster memberships of the IPV4 (and IPv6) devices on the network. That serves to create a simple paradigm, where I was able to create IPv6 subnets and then assign those subnets to server clusters and failover clusters.

Coyote Point relies on a partnership with Hurricane Electric to route IPv6 traffic over IPv4 networks, which supports IPv6 using 6-in-4 tunnel technology. That proves handy if a company's ISP or carrier does not offer native IPv6 support.

Equalizer OnDemand also includes full support for 802.1Q-tagged VLANs, as well as for untagged VLANs. The GUI makes it easy to discover or define VLAN elements, and I was particularly impressed with how VLAN elements could be defined using drag-and-drop. The visual representation of virtual LANs makes it much easier to quickly identify, define and control VLANs.

I was able to quickly create a VLAN that supported multinetting, a critical, must-have capability that allows administrators to create multiple subnets under a single Layer 2 infrastructure. Although that feature is relatively common among WAN optimization type appliances, it is still notable because it allows administrators to define multiple Layer 3 networks on a single infrastructure setup.

Equalizer OnDemand organizes and handles networking components by treating those elements as objects. It allowed me to create objects to represent the various networking components available and the build groups to house those objects. The group/object approach proved to be a much easier way to work, especially since a physical element needs to be defined only once and then can be placed in multiple server pools with drag-and-drop simplicity.


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 frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel