Working for an application delivery and security vendor, people often ask me, “so what is application delivery, isn’t it all about passing traffic from end-users to servers?” The short answers is no, it’s much more. The long answer requires explaining what are the challenges faced by organizations’ IT today, which require implementing an application delivery solution.
For IT, the day-to-day work is about ensuring business productivity, profitability and competitiveness, and these depend on reliable, secure, optimal, and agile delivery of business applications. The business availability of the business applications and user productivity during the workday are hindered by downtimes, sluggish performance of applications, and the disruptive effects of dynamic growth of user traffic.
Business reputation, productivity and profitability depend on 24X7 business application and Web site/portal availability. The financial implications of downtime and hence lost user transactions, due to application/hardware failures, can equate to about $900,000 for a small to medium-sized enterprise and could run into several millions of dollars for larger enterprises.
On top of this, as a result of growing workforce mobility and data center consolidation, there is an increase in the number of remote users who traverse WAN/wireless/cellular networks to access mission-critical applications, and an increased usage of chatty protocols, creating an increased pressure on the network. Therefore, data center servers are becoming highly utilized, without being able to process all requests in a timely fashion, at all times.
It is important to understand that business applications serve corporate business needs. The applications are typically very dynamic, based upon company growth and the number of users, whether they are employees, partners or customers. In addition, there are inherent seasonal peaks in business application usage such as end of quarter activity, end of financial year, etc, influencing capacity requirements.
Each of these changes is part of normal business practice and therefore must be implemented with minimal costs and maximum efficiency. This translates into the challenge of building the application infrastructure so that capacity can be flexibly changed, meaning that resources such as servers, storage or bandwidth can be added or removed transparently, on-the-fly, and new application-aware services can be enabled adaptively — without any application service interruption and without any application code changes.
The solution for all these problems is the application delivery controller (ADC), an ADC is designed to provides customers with several availability, performance and on demand scaling value propositions as follows:
- Application Availability – Services such as health monitoring, local and global traffic redirection, persistency, redundancy, etc.
- Application Acceleration – Services such as SSL acceleration, compression, caching, TCP optimization, etc.
- On-Demand scalability – The ability to add required capacity to the ADC as needed, based on the growth of end-user traffic and number of managed applications.
So as you can see, an ADC is more than just a traffic load balancer, it provides all the tools and services required to ensure application are correctly delivered to the organizations internal and external users.
If you want to read more about Radware’s application delivery solution, check out our web site.