Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Nicole Bryan, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Greg Schulz

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Linux Containers, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: 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
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
Digital Initiatives create new ways of conducting business, which drive the need for increasingly advanced security and regulatory compliance challenges with exponentially more damaging consequences. In the BMC and Forbes Insights Survey in 2016, 97% of executives said they expect a rise in data breach attempts in the next 12 months. Sixty percent said operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other’s requirements, resulting in a “SecOps gap” leaving organizations u...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
"SpeedyCloud's specialty lies in providing cloud services - we provide IaaS for Internet and enterprises companies," explained Hao Yu, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...