The G2 Fall 2023 Reports are in! And while leaves are on the verge of tumbling downward, HAProxy's acclaim across multiple categories, market levels, and global segments has only risen. For companies looking for—or migrating from—a load-balancing solution, HAProxy delivers simple adoption, scalable performance, strong security, and observable operation.
Altogether, across six product categories HAProxy featured in 58 reports and won 30 badges, including “Momentum Leader” in:
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
One major way HAProxy simplifies getting started is by providing flexibility to meet a wide range of use cases. We saw this in abundance in some recent reviews on G2, and thought this would be a good excuse to discuss some scenarios where HAProxy is helping users scale and modernize. We'll highlight some traditional and modern HAProxy use cases inspired by these real G2 customer reviews, including VM server load balancing, cloud migration, container ingress, and API gateway functionality.
Load Balancing VM Servers
Virtual machines (VMs) have been around for quite some time. Also called "virtual servers," they recreate the functionality of physical servers, and often exist as partitioned spaces within traditional servers.
Virtualization lets companies leverage multiple OSes and libraries simultaneously atop one piece of hardware. Because VMs can easily scale up and down, they also enable flexible resource management. VM web servers can receive web requests and send data back accordingly. Load balancing makes distributing web traffic between VMs easy and efficient.
Virtualization helps companies cut expenses by up to 31% by consolidating multiple server workloads onto fewer hosts.
What makes HAProxy an ideal VM load balancing solution?
Since VMs mimic their physical counterparts, HAProxy has no problem load balancing in front of them. Acting as a reverse proxy, HAProxy receives client requests and sends them to backend VMs according to our load balancing methods—such as least connections, round robin, and others.
And if redundancy is critical, HAProxy is ready to support you as you scale out your servers. Our users have taken advantage of these features. A G2 verified user in computer & network security touted HAProxy as "amazing," and has successfully used HAProxy to load balance traffic to several VMs.
Supporting this common use case has long been a priority. Customers enjoy HAProxy's simple adoption process and scalable performance, which are both critical to VM server load balancing. Our stateless design also powers our dynamic servers feature, which lets you add and remove servers from its load balancing lists on the fly. This is important in a VM context since these instances are so horizontally scalable—placing even greater emphasis on adaptability.
HAProxy even responds rapidly to dynamic load balancing requirements in a virtualized environment. As you add web servers, HAProxy automatically diverts traffic equitably to prevent new clients from directly connecting to each server. This gets you closer to 99.999% availability, even if one or more VMs suffer a fault. It also boosts service scalability.
Finally, features like SSL/TLS offloading, caching, and compression remove load from your VMs, letting them handle more sessions without batting an eye.
Cloud migrations involve shifting an organization's applications and data away from on-site (or on-prem) servers to public cloud servers. This typically involves external vendors, technical considerations, cost conversations, security concerns, and more. For this reason, cloud migrations have garnered a reputation for being complex, and smooth execution requires plenty of planning.
While the cloud computing market is diverse, it's ruled by the "Big Three" vendors: namely Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and Google (GCP). Together, these companies command 65% of the total market share. As a result, many of our customers deploy their applications on these public clouds. So, why does that matter?
Over 50% of organizations that migrated to the cloud note improved end-user experiences from apps running on the cloud.
How does HAProxy help ease cloud migrations?
We've designed HAProxy to work at any scale, within any environment or infrastructure setup. HAProxy works in nearly any environment, coming in a variety of form factors, and supports multi-cloud strategies with a cloud agnostic approach.
Accordingly, you can use HAProxy to gracefully shift application traffic between on-prem and cloud servers. You can even manage hybrid cloud load balancing and security via one central interface. HAProxy helps your organization modernize and divert traffic at its own pace, while remaining flexible enough to work seamlessly from start to finish.
HAProxy integrates with AWS and Microsoft Azure. We provide virtual machine images for both platforms in HAProxy Enterprise, letting you migrate confidently and quickly. HAProxy offers targeted support for AWS and Azure, and we've even covered best practices for running HAProxy load balancing on Amazon Web Services. And for GCP users, getting started with HAProxy is as easy as installing a few packages on a Linux VM.
Take it from enterprise customer Ryan F., who left this review on G2:
"Also we are on the quest to move our workload from on-prem to AWS cloud and the help we are getting from our [HAProxy] account manager and to the technical teams [...] were at the top. I also like how haproxy connects their pool of talents in Slack where they are just [a] message away. With good documentation I can say that I was from "Zero" to almost "Hero"..."
And if you're concerned about maintaining unified observability while applications live both on-premises and in the cloud, HAProxy Enterprise has you covered. HAProxy Fusion Control Plane enables streamlined monitoring, management, and automation of your load balancing processes—bringing transparency to migrations that might otherwise seem a little murky. HAProxy Fusion Control Plane helps you mitigate the fragmentation associated with migrations by housing all logs and metrics under one roof.
Container Networking and Ingress
For companies prioritizing flexibility and horizontal scalability, containerization and microservices offer a now well-established architecture with adoption still rising. Container images are also portable packages. They can run in almost any environment without extra dependencies, aside from a container runtime on the host OS.
Container networking lets containers connect and communicate with one another while accepting external traffic—whether you're using Docker, Amazon ECS, or otherwise. Container orchestration also lets you scale your instances and run important workloads with high visibility. On the Kubernetes side, the "ingress" component of container networking encompasses external traffic flowing into a cluster of containers and their services.
More than 50% of Fortune 100 companies have adopted Kubernetes, signaling its importance as an enterprise container orchestration solution.
How does HAProxy enable ingress?
First and foremost, HAProxy Enterprise Kubernetes Ingress Controller routes incoming (North-South) application traffic to containers running in Kubernetes. Our ingress solution performs traffic routing using one IP address and port. This greatly simplifies your architecture while letting the Host header, request path, and more determine container routing.
HAProxy's ingress capabilities span three core focus areas: performance, security, and observability. First, HAProxy Enterprise Kubernetes Ingress Controller boasts incredibly-low latency, high throughput, and modern protocol support for web applications. It can load balance massive traffic volumes without compromising on performance.
Second, our ingress solution incorporates security measures such as IP allowlisting and denylisting, our Web Application Firewall (WAF), SSL termination, and rate limiting.
Third, native Layer 7 observability blends centralized management with support for Prometheus metrics. It's never been easier to understand how the Ingress Controller is operating in concert with your containers.
Numerous G2 customers use HAProxy to balance container traffic and simplify ingress. Matteo C. writes, "We can balance network traffic easily on different development kubernetes clusters, managing either the forwarding to ingress and balancing the API servers." Sivaram K., a mid-market CTO, also shared, "I have used HAProxy to handle ingress traffic and internal traffic in DC/OS cluster and as a[n] ingress controller [for] Kubernetes clusters."
Kubernetes API, Ingress API, and Gateway API support helps users configure and use HAProxy Enterprise Kubernetes Ingress Controller with the tools and workflows they know best. As a result, HAProxy Enterprise Kubernetes Ingress Controller simplifies TCP routing and HTTP traffic management.
API Gateway and Management
API management involves designing, developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining APIs. These interfaces form the backbone of communication between services and support critical functionality in today's applications. Sound management leads to good APIs, which are defined by their performance, intuitiveness, security, and documentation.
Scalability is another major factor. You should design and manage your API with growth in mind, to support an expanding user base and the higher volume of requests that comes with it.
83% of all internet traffic is attributed to APIs. API owners should work to safeguard them, scale them, and optimize them in the process.
How does HAProxy help support an API management strategy?
Mainly, HAProxy can act as an API Gateway for your applications. HAProxy helps you manage and scale the number of clients your APIs can support, and route clients to the correct API version, while incorporating security, observability, and high-performance load balancing.
HAProxy presents individual services at a single IP address and forwards clients to the appropriate service. We've made this flexible and customizable to fit any use case. Such an implementation requires strong security in the form of rate limiting, which prevents API abuse by capping activity over a defined time period. Plus, authentication and mTLS help your API server and service client identify each other. These measures prevent unauthorized access.
Security aside, HAProxy isn't a black box. You get advanced logging and access to over 100 metrics that reveal what's happening behind the scenes. While HAProxy Fusion Control Plane already offers excellent observability, you can also leverage Prometheus and InfluxDB support for added observability.
On G2, user Lorenzo C. praises HAProxy for its API scaling abilities. In part, user Wallace B. uses HAProxy to support API development, while another mid-market Verified User addresses pain points through API balancing.
HAProxy is the Users' Choice
If our latest G2 rankings and customer reviews prove one thing, it's that we're solving truly impactful problems for users with diverse needs. HAProxy's flexibility to fit broad use cases, combined with community-led and customer-focused development, make it a highly-practical solution to real world application delivery challenges. We couldn't have done this without valuable user feedback.
Dujko Radovnikovic, CEO of HAProxy Technologies, has highlighted the immense value of user feedback in shaping development. “Once again, we are pleased to see so many customers and users sharing their success with HAProxy. We have always prioritized doing whatever it takes to make customers happy, so it’s awesome to see the results of that approach. This dedication to customer satisfaction has led us to expand the breadth of our technology and the strength of our global community. The Fall 2023 reports show the growing influence of HAProxy at all levels, with fantastic opportunities ahead of us.”
HAProxy is here to support your use cases, whether they're traditional or modern. Remember to stay tuned on our blog to follow important announcements and releases! Plus, feel free to visit us at booth #C22 at KubeCon North America on November 6-9.Subscribe to our blog. Get the latest release updates, tutorials, and deep-dives from HAProxy experts.