Click here to close now.


Containers Expo Blog Authors: Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, AppDynamics Blog, JP Morgenthal

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.


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
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th 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 cha...
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. Because they can be accessed via the Internet, these devices create a tremendous opportunity to inte...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...