The recent events in the global economy caused me to think again on how application delivery controllers (ADC) can help IT organizations save money.
First, ADCs are designed to reduce some of the tasks from the Applications servers. Tasks such as SSL encryption and decryption can be done on the ADC using dedicated hardware accelerators, or caching of web traffic can be stored on the ADC rather than on the application servers or even simply compressing the traffic to reduce the bandwidth consumption. I saw some customers who significantly reduced the load on their application servers just by turning on the SSL hardware engine on the ADC. The load of the applications servers CPU was reduced by 60%, leaving enough CPU capacity on the application server to do the tasks it does best. Clearly, when you manage to reduce the servers load by such a significant percentage, you have greater capacity on each server to handle more transactions, resulting in fewer servers you need to purchase to deliver the same amount of transactions, and this can be a significant cost saving.
Second, similar to servers consolidation, ADC consolidation can also provide great cost savings. With ADC consolidation, IT organizations can consolidate 10, 20 or even 25 legacy ADC appliances into a single, consolidated device. The consolidated solution must guarantee, of course, the privacy and the resources of each one of the consolidated ADCs, but once the solution meets these requirements, the data center gains a lot of benefits: reduction in the amount of ADC hardware appliances, reduced rack space and real estate, reduced costs of power consumption and cooling and reduced annual service costs.
Third, IT organizations tend to buy equipment with bigger capacity than they actually need. Whatever the reasons are, this turns into much more expensive projects with higher budget than the actual needs. ADC solutions provide ‘pay-as-you-grow’ approach where you only pay for the exact capacity currently required and eliminate upfront over-spending on the initial ADC solution. Additional throughput capacity or new application-aware services can be added on demand to meet new business requirements when required and therefore to reduce the overall cost of the ADC solution.
With the right approach to ADC deployment, organizations can save significant amount of dollars simply by extracting more value from their current infrastructure.