In our last post, we discussed how growing workload demands in enterprise data centers requires a new approach to application delivery controllers (ADCs). Traditional appliance-based ADCs are slow and costly to implement, difficult to manage, and lack the flexibility and scalability needed in today’s dynamic data center environment. Software-based ADCs are less expensive because they can be deployed on commodity hardware but otherwise have the same drawbacks as the appliance-based approach.
Software-defined ADCs overcome these limitations. A centralized controller provides automated, policy-based management of a pool of ADCs that can be distributed across multiple environments. This not only streamlines administration, but makes it possible to scale ADC services up or down according to traffic levels.
The controller receives and analyzes a continuous stream of application telemetry data sent by the distributed ADCs. This enables the controller to automatically decide on service placement, autoscaling and high availability for each application. The control plane also monitors the “health” of the system and reacts to data plane component failures or any application changes.
Because the data plane elements are deployed on commodity hardware, they can be spun up or down dynamically wherever services are needed. Active-active high availability configurations can be set up at a fraction of the cost of traditional ADCs.
Software-defined ADCs can also provide advanced functionality, including:
- Application Performance Monitoring, Troubleshooting and Insights.The most powerful capabilities of the software-defined ADC is the ability to derive rich application insights. Administrators can troubleshoot application issues without poring over log files, and gain analytics on performance, security and users.
- DVR-Like Function.The system records all the transactional data and plays it back on demand through the central management console. This enables administrators and application owners to view roundtrip times and analyze application issues over time.
- Policy Repository.Many network administrators have to painstakingly document virtual service configurations (sometimes using spreadsheets) to ensure an accurate representation of their deployed services. The policy repository holds all of the system configurations, including the details of virtual services and pool members.
- Flexible Consumption Models.The software-defined approach makes it possible to consume local and global load balancing, web application firewall, and other functionality as a service, with Software-as-a-Service as an option.
The Avi Vantage software-defined ADC platform from Avi Networks provides software load balancing and an intelligent web application firewall in a centrally managed, elastic services fabric. It consists of three components:
- The Avi Controller for policy-based orchestration of multi-cloud application services
- Avi Service Engines (distributed data plane) that run on x86 servers, virtual machines, containers or in the cloud
- The Avi Console, which provides automated, self-service provisioning and advanced analytics to drive intelligent decisions
The platform adapts to dynamic environments, empowering IT administrators with next-generation tools for multi-cloud traffic management. The Avi Controller auto-scales load balancing resources based upon thresholds, and the Avi Service Engine scales out horizontally on demand. Based upon REST APIs, Avi Vantage provides end-to-end visibility and integrates seamlessly with the continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline for rapid application rollouts.
Rahi Systems is an Avi Networks partner with expertise in application service delivery. Let us show you how the software-defined approach provides the flexibility, scalability and visibility needed for today’s dynamic data center environments.