Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Michael Jannery, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
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 @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed 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!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...