NGINX Conf 2018: Migrating Load-Balanced Services from F5 to NGINX Plus at AppNexus

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In his session at NGINX Conf 2018, ErnestoChaves, a Senior Network Engineer at AppNexus, describes how and why the company replaced all of the F5Networks BIG‑IP hardware load balancers in its global data centers with NGINXPlus. He details the motivations, pitfalls, and successes of the transition from proof of concept through to implementation. In this blog we highlight some key takeaways.

You can watch the complete video here: Solutions that were the best choice at the time don’t always stay that way. Six years after their initial deployment at AppNexus in2009, F5BIG‑IP load balancers were struggling to keep up with increasing traffic. They also suffered from hardware failures, random rebooting, and memory leaks, among other issues.

Hardware solutions usually come at a premium. The NGINXPlus solution for AppNexus’s issues was95% less expensive than the proposed F5 solution ($144,000 vs.$3,000,000), for the same or better performance. When it becomes obvious your hardware solution will not scale further, stop patching and spending time on workarounds.

Guided by your current requirements, determine whether you can modify the solution you have now or need to find a new one.