A load balancer for less than $2K? Barracuda Networks offers two models by that description, and Logan Harbaugh tested the posher one, the $1,999 Load Balancer 340. At the same time, he tested the $2,499 Kemp Load Master 1500, likewise a bare-bones load balancer in terms of features but a step up in manageability, thanks to easy drop-down configurations for features such as cookie persistence and health checking. Here are Logan's Bottom Line summaries. Click the links to read the full reviews. For a closer look at products in this space, including other reviews, see "Test Center guide: Load balancers and Web accelerators."
Barracuda Load Balancer 340 Version 2.1.033
Bottom Line: The Barracuda Load Balancer is a good choice for any organization looking for a low-cost way to move from a single Web server to a Web farm. It has a good basic feature set, including cookie persistence, SSL offloading, and intrusion prevention capabilities. It's not as sophisticated -- or as expensive -- as some competing products.
Kemp Load Master 1500 Version 4.1-33
Bottom Line: Although initial setup is a bit of a pain, the wide variety of preset options in the Kemp Load Master make configuring persistence or sophisticated health checks easier than usual. The GUI is clear and easy to navigate, and drop-down menus handle functions that require creating scripts or custom rules in other products. The Load Master goes a step beyond the Barracuda at a slightly higher price.