Compare NetScaler to F5

NetScaler ADC features software-driven architecture that delivers performance and scale without a heavy reliance on custom hardware, blades, or chassis systems.

As businesses embrace the cloud, hybrid has become their new reality, resulting in a complete end-to-end network infrastructure from the data center to the cloud. Investment in hardware across the data center are being reconsidered as applications migrate to the cloud.

Five Reasons Why Market Confidence in F5 is Declining

When compared to F5, only NetScaler:

  • Provides flexibility to license ADC instances interchangeably between your on-premise data center and the cloud, across any form factor
  • Offers application and infrastructure intelligence for applications deployed on premises or in the cloud, as a service
  • Includes a complete end-to-end app delivery solution that encompasses server-side and WAN optimizations, in addition to securing access to SaaS environments
  • Provides a comprehensive device package for Cisco ACI deployments
  • Supports up to 115 virtual ADC instances on a single physical appliance
  • Provides support for heterogeneous digital workspace solutions include Microsoft Remote Desktop, VMware View and Horizon, in addition to unique integrations for XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenMobile deployments.

NetScaler ADC advantages over F5

Criteria F5 NetScaler Why NetScaler vs. F5
Single management console for configuration, orchestration, and analytics

NetScaler configuration management has unique capabilities:

  • Configuration advice and audit
  • Manage HAProxy instances
  • Integrated service orchestration with Cisco API, Vmware NSX, Openstack and Mesos

Advanced analytics
Anomaly detection with proactive alerts based on server responsiveness, uneven load balancing, and DNS vulnerabilities with machine learning
Security analytics


Yes Security-insights-based approach for threat and safety assessment, providing a visual representation of app vulnerabilities and attacks. Provides recommendations for configurations to increase security posture.
Gateway analytics


Yes Provides insights to help admins troubleshoot remote logon issues based on specific applications, users, and logons.
Criteria F5 NetScaler Why NetScaler vs. F5
Multiple form factors including containerized NetScaler leverages the same code base across hardware and software; including a native containerized service that runs in a Docker container. Includes support for Mesos/Marathon and Kubernetes.
Flexible licensing for shared capacity


NetScaler offers a pooled-capacity licensing model that allows capacity to be shared across hardware- and software-based instances. F5 only allows iSeries licenses to be transferred to the cloud on their virtual edition, no shared concurrent capacity allowed.
Support for virtual guest instances (multi-tenancy) on an appliance



NetScaler provides differentiated multi-tenancy:

  • Support for FIPS appliances
  • Third party workloads supported
  • Highest instance density on an appliance
Software based capacity upgrades (Pay-grow)


Yes NetScaler allows pay-grow for all appliance attributes. F5 only provides for SSL and HTTP increases, bandwidth is not upgradeable.
Instance and appliance clustering


Yes A complete clustering solution at L2 and L3, includes traffic steering capabilities across a single data plane.  
Criteria F5 NetScaler Why NetScaler vs. F5
Software centric design

Dependent on custom hardware

NetScaler leverages innovation and performance in software that can be deployed on commodity hardware or in the cloud.
Common code base across multiple form factors and deployment scenarios

Different versions across form factors, harware centric bias

NetScaler leverages the same code base/API across every form factor to ensure the highest levels of feature parity

How NetScaler outperforms F5

Independent testing by the Tolly Group shows NetScaler performance advantages in real-world testing scenarios:

  • Up to 4.8 times better performance over F5’s Big-IP
  • More consistent performance as more features are enabled
  • Significantly better performance when scaling multi-tenant, multi-instance configurations

Awards and accolades

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