Four Opportunities Afforded by an ADC Refresh

By: Mohammed Al-Moneer, Regional Director, MENA at A10 Networks

An application delivery controller (ADC) refresh is a great occasion to look to the future and optimize your network for not only the applications you have in place today, but what you will have tomorrow. Odds are the box you’re replacing is out of date and more than five years old. A lot’s happened in the networking and application delivery spaces since you last purchased an ADC, meaning a refresh is the perfect opening to add new functionality to your network to help your business transition to the future. Here, we look at four key opportunities an ADC refresh presents.

1. Choice 

You don’t have a crystal ball. You can’t see what your network will look like or how your application ecosystem will evolve over the next two, three, four years and beyond. You want choice. You need a platform that can grow with your business and offers you choice for every possible need while ensuring you still have the agility you demand today. When examining ADC providers and preparing for a refresh, look not only at their existing products, but their roadmap and their history of innovation. Does that align to your business needs and goals? Will it fuel your desired business outcomes? Or will you be caught standing still and paying top-dollar for boxes that no longer meet your needs?

The ADC needs to be able to provide   consistent application delivery, security and analytics across your data centre and clouds, whether they’re public, private or hybrid. Whether your apps are architected using microservices and/or hyper-scale environments, you need it all to work together. The ADC needs to deliver any app to any user anywhere.

You should also have a choice of a hardware based or a virtualized appliance that runs in a virtual environment that features all of the advanced services any enterprise, service provider or web giant demands.

2. Security 

The threat landscape has evolved dramatically since your last ADC deployment, and that will continue. Think about the threats of the last five years – there have been monumental breaches, hacks of government agencies, you name it. That means your network has to be an impenetrable fortress, free from threat actors looking to steal data or take you down. When considering an ADC refresh, it’s imperative to examine the security offerings and services that have evolved from ADC technologies to perform specific tasks. Appliances need to be fortified with leading-edge security capabilities that ensure secure app delivery and dedicated SSL processing hardware options that can handle massive levels of encrypted traffic.

SSL Traffic - Threats are hiding where they never could before: in encrypted traffic. This creates a new attack vector that you and your IT team must be on the lookout for. The appliance should help you inspect, encrypt and decrypt SSL traffic.

DDoS Protection - While ADC technology incorporates DDoS defense for an application, more organizations are looking for single-point, network wide defense. The ADC should give you advanced DDoS detection and mitigation at the network edge, acting as a first line of defense for your network infrastructure. It needs to also offer multi-vector DDoS attack protection, scalability, easy network integration, traffic baselining, a programmatic policy engine, granular traffic control, threat intelligence and cloud-based volumetric attack protection to fortify your business from attacks.

DNS and Web Application Firewall - You want to enhance your data centre security. The appliance should offer an ICSA-certified web application firewall (WAF), which guards web servers against critical Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top 10 threats web-based application servers face. It should also feature advanced protection against domain name system (DNS) infrastructure exploitation.

3. Multi-tenancy 

If you’re thinking of refreshing, multi-tenancy ensures you’re ready for the future. If you’re undergoing an ADC refresh, partition density is an essential component to virtualization return on investment.

4. Cloud Integration 

The world is moving to the cloud. If you have a credit card, you can shift IT resources to an IaaS provider, spin up cloud-based ADC instances, buy cloud storage or start using SaaS with just a few clicks. As such, most applications are also moving to the cloud — and in droves. You want your business to be ready. An ADC refresh gives you the opportunity to choose a provider that’s not only cloud-ready, but also cloud-native. Even if you haven’t quite solidified your cloud application strategy, having a solution in place that can support public and private clouds and bridge the cloud and on-premises worlds puts you ahead of the game. You’ll want to take advantage of secure application services that bridge all of your data centres and clouds.