Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Greg Ness, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Virtualization, Java, Linux, Cloud Expo, SDN Journal

Virtualization: Article

Network Automation: Leveraging Virtual Application Delivery Controllers

ADCaaS is beginning to gain momentum as enterprises move to virtual, cloud and software-defined data centers

With the growing number of applications in use in today's enterprises, you as a network administrator are surely noticing some new challenges. Many IT professionals responsible for supporting applications in data center and cloud environments continue to see growth in the number of applications being deployed and upgraded, which often goes hand-in-hand with data center consolidation, while IT budgets either remain stagnant or are reduced year-over-year. In other words, the adage remains: do more with less.

The good news is that changes with application delivery, one of the most critical services in the data center, can help enterprises overcome roadblocks to application and business performance and address the application and budget challenges that so many now face. By adopting a virtual application delivery controller environment, or ADC-as-a-Service (ADCaaS), location-independent computing can be cost-effective and help deliver flawless application performance.

Doing More with Less
IT budgets are essentially stationary. Recently, the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)[1] reported that a majority of the enterprises that they surveyed expected flat to reduced IT budgets year-over-year. As such, obtaining spending approval for modern data center technologies to support an increase in applications can be a challenge, but ESG also found that demonstrating a project's strong ROI is the most effective way to get that approval.

Despite static budgets, enterprise organizations are looking increasingly more like service providers in the transition to modern environments. With requirements for greater flexibility, agility and efficiency, IT delivers services to different business units in multi-tenant environments, leveraging cloud services when necessary. The ESG report indicated that the number of applications that IT organizations support will increase year over year in more than 84 percent of enterprise accounts, and that the average enterprise should also expect to upgrade between 11-25 existing applications over the next year.

Given the fact that a strong ROI is the number one way to get the necessary spend approval for new projects, if application-focused technologies can reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs, deliver a short ROI and maintain the same or better SLAs for application services, IT administrators will be in a better position to meet their applications demands while complying with a flat budget.

The Need for ADC
The Application Delivery Controller (ADC) is one of the key technologies for application delivery infrastructure. ADCs are used to help scale, improve availability, secure and optimize applications.

Virtual ADCs allow customers to dynamically deploy an ADC per application through ADCaaS. With ADCaaS, users can quickly spin the ADC up or down for a scalable, secure and elastic delivery of enterprise, cloud and e-commerce applications. It can also control and optimize end-user services by inspecting, transforming, prioritizing and distributing application traffic across environments, from physical and virtual data centers to public and hybrid clouds.

ADCaaS is beginning to gain momentum as enterprises move to virtual, cloud and software-defined data centers. ESG spoke with enterprise and service provider IT organizations and found that new technologies are required in the ADC space. A software-based, cloud-ready, highly automated ADCaaS approach can enable organizations to demonstrate the necessary ROI while significantly improving business processes.

Moving Toward ADCaaS
For enterprises ready to work toward a modern data center environment in the face of greater demands for applications, agility and flexibility, the following considerations may be helpful.

Provision Faster: The time taken to deploy an application can be heavily impacted by the time required to provision the application delivery infrastructure. ADCaaS can typically reduce the amount of time to provision this infrastructure by an order of magnitude, resulting in the ability to spin up new services in about 30 to 60 seconds compared with those with legacy ADCs that would report times in the two to six hour range.

Rapidly Move from Test and Development to Production: Many legacy ADC users find that the test and development environment does not match the production environment, which means a longer transition time from test and development to production. ADCaaS users typically can easily support test and development with all the capabilities of the production environment and deliver those services more quickly, which can translate to faster time to market.

Accelerate The Time to Value: Purchasing and deploying legacy ADCs can delay ROI by several months. Meanwhile, ADCaaS customers can download the software, type in the license key and be operational in a matter of hours. In addition, ADCaaS can be easier to use than legacy ADCs, which is useful for consolidated data centers that are large but must remain agile. Easy-to-understand interfaces mean that in some cases even less-skilled staff can configure and provision services.

Rapidly Scale the Environment: By leveraging a pay-as-go licensing model and the ability to deploy solutions in the cloud (IaaS), ADCaaS-enabled organizations are able to rapidly scale to meet demand while only paying for what they use. ADCaaS environments eliminate the time-consuming steps required by the physical domain, and eliminate the need to purchase and wait for additional appliances when more capacity is needed. Scaling an environment back down also happens faster with a virtual appliance, which is especially useful in test and development environments with constantly changing requirements.

Burst to the Cloud: As a virtual appliance or software-based solution, ADCaaS instances are easily deployed in IaaS environments, and many cloud providers either offer solutions by the hour/month or have bring your own license (BYOL) options in place. Enterprises can significantly lower CAPEX and OPEX costs by bursting to the cloud as well because a pay-as-you-go model eliminates the need to overprovision physical devices and pay maintenance fees for devices not always in use.

Traditional ADCs cannot inherently scale efficiently and burst to the cloud; it is clear that new, agile, software-based technologies are needed to support the demands of modern data centers. Enterprises that achieve this vision can experience location-independent computing, turn distance and location into a competitive advantage, and provide IT the flexibility to host applications and data in optimal locations while delivering flawless application performance and the best user experience.

Reference

1. ESG "ESG: ROI Benefits from Automating Application Delivery Solutions" by Bob Laliberte, Sr. Analyst, November 2013.

More Stories By Neil Abogado

Neil Abogado is currently a director of product marketing for Riverbed SteelApp application delivery. Before joining Riverbed, he worked at Cisco Systems as an outbound product manager for application delivery, Metro Ethernet, storage networking, and L2 VPN technologies. Throughout his career, he has focused on marketing application delivery, server virtualization, networking routing, and switching.

Neil received a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his MS in Telecommunications from DePaul University. He is a Routing & Switching CCIE and a VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5.0.

Outside of the office, Neil enjoys digital photography, following Chicago sports teams, and spending time with his family.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally - how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, will provide answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He will also tell us everything about Intercloud and Cisco investment on it.
Can we look to the paradigm of cloud computing from a completely different perspective? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Gundars Kulups, Sales Director at DEAC, will discuss what we can learn from our dining habits when choosing a cloud solution. Gundars Kulups is Sales Director at DEAC, full service data center operator. An IT expert, he specializes in European countries and has worked in the IT industry since 1992. He graduated from Riga Technical University (RTU) in Latvia and com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business to business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the communications and technology industries.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Parasoft will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 27 years, Parasoft has researched and developed software solutions that help organizations deliver defect-free software efficiently. By integrating Development Testing, API/cloud/SOA/composite app testing, and service virtualization, we reduce the time, effort, and cost of delivering secur...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-devic...
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based appl...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Dyn solutions are at the core of Internet Performance. Through traffic management, message management and performance assurance, Dyn is connecting people through the Internet and ensuring information gets where it needs to go, faster and more reliably than ever before. Founded in 2001 at WPI, Dyn’s global presence services more than four million enterprise, small business and personal customers.
IBM and Tencent Cloud signed a business cooperation memorandum to collaborate on providing public cloud with Software-as-a-Service solutions for industries. Both parties agreed to focus on emerging small and medium enterprises in the smarter cities and smarter healthcare industries as well as other fields. This will enable these industries to utilize mobile, cloud computing and big data tools to transform internal processes and operations, thus achieving cloud transformation in the era of mobili...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
European data center operator DEAC is the largest in the Baltics. The activities are orientated to provide data center services and IT outsourcing on Eurasia and America scale in order to create the primary or backup or additional data center for customer in the EU, to protect its business and, most importantly, reduce costs up to 40% within 3-5 years. DEAC is an IT outsourcing services and solutions company whose highly experienced and qualified employees offer various groups of services and...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Ashar Baig, Research ...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...