What do you know about Application Delivery Controllers? If the answer is not very much, then it would appear that you’re in good company. A recent research report by Quocirca – “In demand: the culture of online service provision” highlighted this problem. The survey of 300 IT managers in the UK, Ireland and Nordic region, found that not only do many businesses fail to understand the importance of application delivery controllers; they also lack the necessary skills and knowledge needed to deploy and manage them.
So what are ADCs and what do they do? Well, in simple terms ADCs direct traffic to different servers based on availability and load. In many ways they are similar to load balancers. However, ADCs offer much more than that. ADCs are next-generation load balancers and are now regarded as fundamental building blocks for advanced application and network platforms. They enable the flexible scaling of resources as demand rises or falls and offload work from the servers themselves. They also provide a number of other services that are essential to the effective operation of on-demand applications, such as:
- Network traffic compression – to speed up transmission
- Data caching – to make sure regularly requested data is readily available
- Network connection multiplexing – making effective use of multiple network connection
- Network traffic shaping – a way of reducing latency by prioritising the transmission of workload packets and ensuring quality of service (QoS)
- Application-layer security – the inclusion of web application firewall (WAF) capabilities to protect on-demand applications from outside attack, for example application-level denial of service (DOS)
- Secure sockets layer (SSL) management – acting as the landing point for encrypted traffic and managing the decryption and rules for on-going transmission
- Content switching – routing requests to different web services depending on a range of criteria, for instance the language settings of a web browser or the type of device the request is coming from
- Server health monitoring – ensuring servers are functioning as expected and serving up data and results that are fit for transmission
The very best ADCs, like the one Krypsys recommends from Barracuda, deliver all of these benefits and more besides. The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC distributes traffic among servers for efficient use of server resources and provides server failover for high-availability. Advanced features for application optimisation, geo-based load balancing, and integrated security put the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC far above other ADC solutions in terms of both performance and value.
Barracuda ADC Advantages
The Barracuda Load Balancer ADC is ideal for optimising application performance. It offloads compute-intensive SSL transactions from the server, preserving resources for applications. In addition, optimisation features such as caching, compression, and TCP pooling enable faster application delivery and ensure scalability.
Application Security provides superior protection against data loss, DDoS, and all known application-layer attack modalities. Automatic updates ensure comprehensive security for existing and emerging Layer 7 threats such as Cross-site Scripting (XSS), SQL injections (SQLi), and Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF).
Using health and performance checks, the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC distributes traffic for efficient use of server resources and employs server failover for high availability. Global Server Load Balancing allows redundancy across multiple sites enhancing availability and speeding disaster recovery.
Content routing and content rewrites enable full control of application traffic and customised application delivery based on users, regions, and/or devices. Client controls gives administrators the ability to throttle requests to ensure application availability even during periods of heavy traffic.
Barracuda’ Application Delivery Controller provides all of the above advanced features in a single, high-performance platform. For networking, it features Layer 4 throughput of up to 10 Gbps, a maximum of 32 networking ports, 10Gbps connectivity, and fibre and copper options: for customers that want to deliver applications from public or private clouds, virtual appliances are also available.
However, what truly sets Barracuda’s ADC solution apart from other application delivery controllers is the inclusion of advanced application security technology: the same technology that has proven itself in thousands of real-world deployments as the Barracuda Web Application Firewall. Thanks to this integrated security feature-set, Barracuda Load Balancer ADC can also:
- Provide masking of sensitive data such as credit cards and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in web pages being served to users
- Protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, OWASP Top 10, and other known application-layer attacks
Krypsys has a long pedigree as a leading European specialist in Barracuda’s WAF technology and we are applying this experience and expertise to help ADC customers. If you would like to find out how these solutions could help you protect and optimise your web applications, please contact us on 0845 474 3031.