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BLOG: How to choose an ADC

Vladimir Yordanov | April 3, 2012
ADCs, most often associated with load balancing to address availability and performance issues, have evolved to provide services to mitigate security threats, ensure availability, and improve performance within the data centre and into the cloud.

If an ADC is to be used as a firewall, certifications such as the International Computer Security Association (ICSA) certification help to assure companies that the product they choose is secure in ways beyond the mere addition of access control lists to a load balancer.

Manageability
An ADC should be able to consolidate web application security, access management, load balancing, and acceleration services onto a single, shared, and consistently managed platform. The goal is to reduce performance degradations caused by an architecture composed of multiple solutions and reduce the time and costs associated with managing multiple solutions.

All application delivery services should be available on a unified, consistent platform through which IT staff can integrate, automate, and replicate policies in an on-demand and highly agile manner for efficiency. An ADC should provide a consistent operational experience across all application delivery services.

Flexibility
A flexible ADC should be able to support new technologies and deployment models without requiring new solutions. Cloud integration models, for example, are variations on existing themes that rarely require brand new, often costly, products.

When evaluating an ADC, it is more important to examine its ability to support a wide variety of architectures than it is to look for a companion “cloud” product to provide functionality that almost certainly already exists within the core product.

Conclusion
An extensible, integrated application delivery platform is the foundation of future data centre architectures. Whether integrating cloud computing resources or providing a flexible infrastructure tier through which emerging mobile and VDI applications can be delivered, an ADC provides the critical application delivery services required to support the security, availability and performance requirements of current and future highly dynamic data centres.

Vladimir Yordanov is Asia Pacific Director of Technology at F5 Networks.

 

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