Eric Flores at Packet Pushers writes about F5 making a lab edition of the virtual load balancing appliance available for USD$95 LIST PRICE
I was not looking forward to having to ask my boss for several more lab VEs. For several days I was rehearsing in my head all of the justifications I could come up with to persuade him to spend several thousand dollars, dreading the inevitable question that I would be asked “Why do you need to buy more of these when you already have two?”. So I called my F5 account manager asking him to add some lab VEs to my quote and to my surprise he told me “The price has been dropped to $95 list!” I’m thinking to myself he must be trying to get a quick laugh at my expense but then he answered “F5 wants everyone to get a lab edition. We need to get these out there so more people can get familiar with our product.” I asked if I could publicize it, he said “Tell everyone. We need to get the word out there.” I was ecstatic! I had no problem getting it approved. I could even buy myself one for my home lab!
At USD$95 I could almost get myself interested in load balancing applications again. I continue to believe that F5 needs to do something to survive the SDN impact on their business since their current products are largely irrelevant in an SDN world. But this is an excellent step in building customer engagement with their product.
Note to Cisco, Juniper and Brocade – how much are you planning on charging for your lab editions of your software ?
Juniper Junosphere is charging $50 per VM per month. Brocade points to the free version of Vyatta ….. and Cisco ? Well GNS3 is OK and VIRL is looking good but no news on pricing as yet.
Even free would be expensive for most people since you need hardware to run these emulators.