What is an Application Delivery Controller (ADC)?

As web applications and protocols became more complex and cloud platforms became more strategic, a more sophisticated set of load balancing features was required and thus were application delivery controllers born.

Not Just Load Balancers

Application delivery controllers are not just load balancers. While they typically include standard load balancing features, they should also provide advanced functionality including:

Multi-cloud Application Delivery Controllers

Multi-cloud load balancing and application delivery needn’t be difficult as long as core operational goals including performance management, end-to-end monitoring, high availability, and support for modern application platforms such as containers and microservice architectures are planned for. A Polynimbus centralized control and management strategy is the goal for future proofing your multi-cloud deployment.

How A10 Networks Can Help

A10’s expertise in load balancing and application delivery has produced market-leading products including the A10 Thunder® Application Delivery Controller (ADC) which ensures server availability, protects vulnerable applications, and accelerates content delivery, and the cloud-native vThunder solution to optimize the delivery and security of applications in the cloud (private cloud and public cloud). A10 products offer superior processing power as well as outstanding cost-efficiency, typically 10x to 100x lower cost per subscriber versus traditional network vendors.

Agile Application Delivery & Security

From SMBs and large enterprises to service providers and cloud operators, organizations are managing a large and rapidly growing set of mission-critical applications. A purpose-built solution, A10 Thunder ADC ensures these applications are highly available, accelerated and secure. It helps reduce downtime, ensure business continuity and build highly available applications across global data centers and/or multiple clouds.

Thunder ADC delivers the capacity, scalability, multi-tenancy and programmability to adjust to an ever changing environment. Consolidate point products, reduce network complexity and achieve a substantial reduction in TCO. Thunder ADC delivers Layer 4 load balancing, Layer 7 load balancing and multiple layers of security via web and DNS application firewalls, single sign-on (SSO) authentication and in-depth support for advanced encryption, including high-performance PFS/ECC. Built upon A10’s Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS®) platform, Thunder ADC delivers application performance and security for any environment.

Enhance Application Availability

Organizations must guarantee their applications are constantly accessible. Thunder ADC utilizes multiple load balancing techniques to efficiently distribute workloads across all servers while constantly evaluating application health. Client requests are forwarded to servers that host the proper content and can best respond to ensure application and content delivery.

Ensure Business Continuity

With data centers proliferating worldwide, administrators must maintain around-the-clock global operational integrity. To guarantee cohesion and optimize app delivery among diverse sites, Thunder ADC includes advanced global server load balancing (GSLB) between locations. GSLB provides optimal site selection and status to ensure disaster recovery.

Accelerate Content Delivery

Applications must be responsive — no matter the location — to ensure a superior end-user experience, enhanced remote employee productivity and SLA mandates are exceeded. Thunder ADC overcomes the inherent WAN latencies, inefficient software programs and chatty protocols to provide fast and responsive service. Clients obtain a fast experience while organizations gain a competitive advantage.

Secure Communications

Internet sessions are rapidly adopting encryption to secure online data transport. Clients and servers, meanwhile, negotiate the most secure and complex methods mutually supported. Thunder ADC front-ends servers and offloads cumbersome, processing-intensive tasks associated with the latest cryptographic standards. This maximizes content protection, speeds delivery and lowers infrastructure expenses.

Protect Vulnerable Applications

Software development and testing can catch most, but typically not all, coding flaws. The resulting applications are susceptible to attacks that cannot be blocked by intrusion prevention systems (IPS), next-generation firewalls or sandboxing. Businesses lose revenue, suffer damaged brand reputation and confidential information is stolen. Thunder ADC provides protection against ‘zero day’ and other emerging application layer threats with DNS and web application firewalls.

Optimize Applications Via Multi-Tenancy

To optimize the delivery and security for potentially hundreds of apps in a given data center, IT administrators need a multi-tenant methodology. Thunder ADC provides the ability to granularly program more than 1,000 individual partitions on a single appliance for tailor-made policies by application, service, or user, as well as achieve appliance consolidation.

Consolidate Access Control

Organizations must allow external clients access to web portals, internal resources and mobile/BYOD apps. At the same time, security must be maintained with authentication and be transparent to the user. Thunder ADC centrally manages multiple facets of authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) with a systemwide perspective, while eliminating separate authentication points, for a true single sign-on (SSO) experience.

Polynimbus Operational Efficiency

In a multi-cloud, or hybrid cloud environment, it’s essential for IT operations to have a standardized ADC and service visibility from a business and OPEX planning perspective. A10 Harmony® Controller enables effective operation by providing deeper secure application service analytics, easy troubleshooting tools and centralized policy enforcement control.

Application Delivery Controller Articles and Assets of Interest


A Consistent Application Environment Enables Hybrid and Multi-Cloud (Report)

As enterprises adopt clouds, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud and container environments, it changes the way they deploy their applications.

A typical multi-cloud architecture utilizes two or more public clouds as well as multiple private clouds to get the best performance and redundancy possible while keeping costs manageable.

Read the Report