ADC Performance Metrics

What kind of information do you normally look for when you come to the point of choosing an Application Delivery Controller (ADC)? Of course, there are many factors to consider an appropriate ADC for your network. You may start with available features and capability, then physical elements such as type and number of interface ports, power consumption, and also you will definitely look into performance numbers, which all are available in the product datasheet.

ADC performance is sometimes explained with capacity and transaction speeds , which consist of hardware components and software. The capacity is related to hardware components, for example,  more memory (ECC RAM) can sustain more concurrent sessions. On the other hand, transaction performance really depends on the combination of software and hardware. As you know, A10 ADC products such as A10 Thunder and AX Series are built on the best-in-class Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) that can get the best performance out of the many hardware components used in the A10 ADC.

In the A10 ADC product datasheet (A10 Thunder and AX Series), you may be able to find the performance numbers for the following ADC performance metrics. In this blog, I would like to share the A10 definition of those metrics for your reference. (Note: L4 HTTP RPS will be available soon.)

Layer 4 Throughput

Description - Measure the maximum traffic in Gbps the A10 ADC can sustain when the Layer 4 VIP (TCP) is configured.

The L4 Throughput test includes the following transactions:

  1. TCP connection setup (3-way handshake) between the client and A10 ADC
  2. HTTP GET requests and responses within a TCP connection
  3. TCP connection teardown

Layer 4 Connections per second (CPS)

Description - Measure how fast the A10 ADC with an L4 VIP can handle new TCP connections (including 1 HTTP request) within 1 second.

The L4 Connections per second test includes the following transactions:

 

  1. TCP connection setup (3-way handshake) between the client and A10 ADC
  2. 1 HTTP GET request and response within a TCP connection
  3. TCP connection teardown

Layer 4 HTTP Requests per second (RPS)

Description - Measure how fast the A10 ADC with an L4 VIP can handle new HTTP connections (unlimited HTTP requests per TCP connection) within 1 second.

The L4 RPS (Unlimited) test includes the following transactions:

  1. TCP connection setup (3-way handshake) between the client and A10 ADC
  2. Unlimited HTTP GET requests and responses within a TCP connection
  3. TCP connection teardown

SSL Connections per second (CPS) – SSL key 1024/2048/4096

Description - Measure how fast the A10 ADC with an HTTPS VIP can handle new TCP/SSL connections (including 1 HTTPS request per TCP connection) within 1 second, for each SSL key certificate size (1024, 2048 and 4096 bit).

The SSL CPS test includes the following transactions:

  1. TCP connection setup (3-way handshake) between client and A10 ADC
  2. SSL handshake between the client and the A10 ADC device
  3. 1 HTTPS GET request and response within a TCP connection
  4. TCP and SSL connection teardown

Many ADC vendors have some performance numbers on their product datasheet. However, please keep in mind that each vendor may have their own testing methodology and/or use different terminology (naming). So, it’s important for you to understand the test methodology and compare the appropriate numbers for a valid comparison.

Yes, you now have some of A10’s metric definition, please go ahead and compare the performance numbers with other vendors!  I’ll be posting more on performance and methodology in the coming months.

 

 

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