Equalizer OnDemand Emphasizes Ease of Use
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 OperationsI 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.
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.