In enterprise environments it is common for an application to be hosted by a pool of servers, either physical or virtual. Over time these applications also go through a lifecycle that consists of security patches, maintenance, upgrades to update capabilities, and changes to keep up with trends such as virtualization, consolidation and deployment in a hybrid cloud environment. For scalability, additional servers may also be deployed.
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Jim Frey is Vice President of Research, Network Management for Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) and is a featured guest blogger.
As organizations embrace the cloud, whether as enterprises looking to transform IT or providers expanding and enriching service offerings, traditional IT/networking technologies must be adapted to fit the form of the new reality. This is certainly true of load balancing (LB) as well as application delivery control (ADC), which has undergone virtualization and software programmability/orchestration evolutions.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service based clouds and, in particular, OpenStack have matured. This state of maturity involves “enterprise-grade” capabilities, in terms of features and manageability, which can be delivered as a service. This, and many other topics, will be discussed and analyzed at length during next week’s OpenStack Summit in Paris, where I have the pleasure of speaking at two seminars.
Whether you are building a private cloud or deploying applications over a public cloud infrastructure, you will be using application delivery functionality such as load balancing to scale out application workloads. The level of required application delivery functionality differs between environments. While cutting edge web applications are often designed using REST oriented architectures which require the load balancer only to distribute traffic evenly, typical applications heavily rely on application delivery functionality such as SSL offloading, L7 policies, and session stickiness to properly operate. Furthermore, due to the strategic placement of ADCs in the application stack – in front of the application – security and performance optimization are natural extensions to effectively optimize application delivery.