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Application Delivery

Maintaining Your Data Center’s Agility and Making the Most Out of Your Investment in ADC Capacity

April 25, 2018 — by Fabio Palozza5

Deciding on an appropriate application delivery controller (ADC) and evaluating the need for supporting infrastructure is a complex, complicated, and challenging job. Such challenges result from the fact that ADCs are increasingly used across diverse environments and virtual, cloud, and physical appliances.

Insufficient ADC capability that is commonly associated with low SSL processing power may hinder the smooth functioning of applications by creating blockages in the applications’ infrastructure or by negatively impacting the agility of the organization. Additionally, the ADC appliance may call for an upgrade when it reaches its limit and this boils down to the fact that you will end up making losses on the investment that you made to purchase the last appliance.

On the other side, you may incur losses on account of overprovisioning. Simply put, spending on ADC capacity that you do not actually need at the present moment will increase your expenditure unnecessarily. One way to save costs that forklift upgrades may entail is to purchase ADC capacity that is more than twice the capacity that you actually need. This will also ensure that the ADC appliance that you have invested in will not turn out to be a bottleneck.

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As new trends continue to develop, you need to make appropriate arrangements to facilitate shifts of your existing ADC capacity from one environment to the other. And this holds true even if you have been using appropriately-licensed and properly-sized ADC devices. For example, when your applications need to be transitioned to the cloud, the ADC service running on a device in the data center will now be required to support applications in the cloud. Unfortunately, you cannot move your existing ADC capacity to the cloud as it can be used only in the appliance for which it was purchased. This means, you need to invest in additional ADC capacity to promote cloud-based operations.

You can appropriately address this challenge by opting for a purchasing model that would allow you to use the accurate ADC capacity that your organization actually needs while providing you with the autonomy and flexibility to distribute the capacity across various data centers, applications, and cloud settings. For example, if your organization needs 40Gbps of ADC capacity, you may go for a single license that will allow you to connect multiple virtual ADCs provided the total combined throughput does not surpass the 40 Gbps limit.

The model should support automation

The global ADC deployment model supports automation. It’s quite important to have the necessary on-premise component that can efficiently connect new virtual ADCs, distribute and authorize their licenses, and facilitate a high degree of automation.

Besides spinning up new virtual ADCs through advanced scripting, the solution should also provision high-availability systems, distribute their configuration, and authenticate service availability. Most importantly, the solution would make possible to be integrated in the top orchestration systems including OpenStack, Ansible, Cisco’s ACI, etc.

With such a model, you can move ADC workloads across various environments and form factors and thereby eliminate the need to employ manual resources or engage in working on manual configurations. You will also be able to easily move application delivery services from your private data center to the cloud with just a push of a button.

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The key advantages that you can capitalize on:

  • You can significantly cut your ADC infrastructure costs by avoiding overspending on overprovisioned ADC capacity.
  • You can stay protected against risks related to the capacity planning of the ADC infrastructure. The solution should allow you to invest in just one ADC capacity license that you can use for the entire organization without having to worry about the right combination of ADC instances that you require. Simply put, one license will cover multiple virtual ADC instances.
  • The model should allow you to exercise complete freedom to decide whether you should deploy the next ADC instance in the cloud or in the local data center.
  • You will benefit from the flexibility to make use of advanced ADC services such as web performance acceleration, WAF, SSL Inspection, and application performance monitoring.

Investing in such one-license model would mean that you will protect your investment and continue to generate long term value out of it. By having license distribution managed automatically in the background, you will make the most out of your investment and optimize your ADC deployment as well.

Read “Flexibility Is The Name of the Game” to learn more.

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Fabio Palozza

Fabio is Technical Director EMEA-CALA, responsible for Systems Engineering in the theater. With a long experience, he began his career in software development for aerospace systems before getting into IT vendor ecosystem with Bay Networks/Nortel and Juniper Networks, up to being Technical Director EMEA for the Telecom, Cloud and Content businesses. Fabio writes about technology strategy, trends and implementation.

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