Web-based applications have become the most common way to deliver customer facing applications and services but doing so at enterprise scale requires solving a number of core problems including how to handle high transaction volumes with minimal delay, ensuring availability, fault tolerance, and protecting the web application servers.
Application delivery controllers (ADCs), are software or hardware appliances that provide these services along with other features to enhance performance and security. Often located in a DMZ subnet to provide a layer of security “insulation” between the internet and the application servers, Application delivery controllers (ADCs) act as reverse proxies, receiving client requests, decrypting the request, checking whether the request is valid, passing it to one of the backend servers, getting the server response, then finally encrypting, and sending the response to the client.
Because the Application delivery controller (ADC) is in the data path, functions such as application acceleration, traffic and performance monitoring, systems management, and security analysis can be performed in-stream. This also makes the application delivery controller a strategic component of enterprise security strategies because network segmentation is a key component of a Zero Trust architecture.
Earlier generations of Application delivery controllers (ADCs) were hardware-based and focused mainly on load balancing and caching. As networks and web applications became more complex, new features were added to enhance security and performance and, as cloud services evolved, ADCs also became available as virtual appliances.
Today’s advanced ADCs are key to delivering high-performance, secure enterprise web applications whether on-prem, in a single cloud, or in a multi-cloud environment.
The purpose of an application delivery controller is to deliver requests from users to web application servers and return data while ensuring availability, scalability, and optimized performance. Application delivery controller (ADC) features supporting application delivery include:
Because an application delivery controller is the connection between internet users and web application servers, they are the ideal location to gather performance data and apply optimizations. Application delivery controller (ADC) features that provide application acceleration include:
Security is a primary requirement of enterprise networks and application delivery controllers are the frontline defense for web application servers. Application delivery controller (ADC) features that enhance security include:
A10 Networks application delivery controllers are designed to simplify and streamline application delivery networking along with enhanced security and manageability.
A10’s Thunder series ADCs provide comprehensive traffic management features, load balancing methods, and health checks as both software and physical appliances to meet a wide variety of scenarios including on-prem, single cloud, and multi-cloud deployments. Moreover, as virtualization and the cloud become increasingly strategic in web application deployment and service, A10 offers the Thunder virtual appliance for VMware vSphere ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, Nutanix AHV, Amazon Web Services (AWS) AMI, Microsoft Azure VHD and QCOW2 for Oracle Cloud and others as well as Thunder ADC for containers and networking acceleration (SRIOV, DPDK) and management integration.
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