Welcome!

Apache Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, John Mertic, Liz McMillan, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Apache

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

The Game of Musical (ADC) Chairs

Now things are starting to get interesting…

Nearly everyone has played musical chairs – as a child if not as an adult with a child. When that music stops there's a desperate scrambling to pair up with a chair lest you end up sitting on the sidelines watching the game while others continue to play until finally, one stands alone. The ADC market has recently been a lot like a game of musical chairs, with players scrambling every few months for a chair upon which they can plant themselves and stay in the game.

clip_image001While many of the players in adjacent markets –storage, WAN optimization, switching – have been scrambling for chairs for months, it is only today, when the big kids have joined the game, that folks are really starting to pay attention. While a deepening Cisco-Citrix partnership is certainly worthy of such attention, what's likely to be missed in the distraction caused by such an announcement is that the ADC has become such a critical component in data center and cloud architectures that it would leave would-be and has-been players scrambling for an ADC chair so they can stay in the game.

ADCs have become critical to architectures because of the strategic position they maintain: they are the point through which all incoming application and service traffic flows. They are the pivotal platform upon which identity and access management, security, and cloud integration heavily rely. And with application and device growth continuing unabated as well as a growing trend toward offering not only applications but APIs, the clip_image002incoming flows that must be secured, managed, directed, and optimized are only going to increase in the future.

F5 has been firmly attached to a chair for the past 16 years, providing market leading application and context-aware infrastructure that improves the delivery and security of applications, services, and APIs, irrespective of location or device.

That has made the past three months particularly exciting for us (and that is the corporate "us") as the market has continued to be shaken up by a variety of events. The lawsuit between A10 and Brocade was particularly noteworthy, putting a damper on A10's ability to not only continue its evolution but to compete in the market. Cisco's "we're out, we're not, well, maybe we are" message regarding its ACE product line shook things up again, and was both surprising and yet not surprising. After all, for those of us who've been keeping score, ACE was the third attempt from Cisco at grabbing an ADC chair. Its track record in the ADC game hasn't been all that inspiring.

Unlike Brocade and Riverbed, players in peripherally related games who've recognized the critical nature of an ADC and jumped into the market through acquisition (Brocade with Foundry, Riverbed with Zeus), Cisco is now trying a new tactic to stay in a game it recognizes as critical: a deeper more integrated relationship with Citrix.

It would be foolish to assume that either party is a big winner in forging such a relationship. Citrix is struggling simply to maintain Netscaler. Revised market share figures for CYQ1 show a player struggling to prop Netscaler up and doing so primarily through VDI and XenApp opportunities, opportunities that are becoming more and more difficult to execute on for Citrix. This is particularly true for customers moving to dual-vendor strategies in their virtualization infrastructure. Strategies that require an ADC capable of providing feature parity across virtual environments in addition to the speeds and feeds required to support a heterogeneous environment. Strategies that include solutions capable of addressing operational complexity; that enable cloud and software defined data centers with a strong, integrated and programmable platform.

While Microsoft applications and Apache continue to be the applications BIG-IP is most often tasked with delivering, virtualization is growing rapidly and Citrix XenApp on BIG-IP is no exception. In fact we've seen an almost 200% growth of Citrix XenApp on BIG-IP from Q2 to Q3 (FY12), owing to BIG-IP's strength and experience in not just delivery optimization and the ability to solve core architectural challenges associated with VDI, but also compelling security and performance capabilities coupled with integration with orchestration and automation platforms driving provisioning and management of virtualization across desktop and server infrastructure.

Citrix's announcement makes much of a lot of integration that is forthcoming, of ecosystems and ongoing development. Yet Cisco has made such announcements in the past, and it leaves one curious as to why it would put so many resources toward integrating Citrix when it could have done so at any time with its own solution. Integration via partnerships is a much more difficult and lengthy task to undertake than that of integration with one's own products, for which one has complete control over source code and entry points.

If you think about it, Cisco is asking the market to believe that it will be successful with a partner where it has been unsuccessful with its own products. What we have is a vendor struggling to sell its ADC solution asking for help from a vendor who is struggling to sell its own ADC solution.

It's a great vision, don't get me wrong; one that sounds as magically delicious as AON. But it's a vision that relies on integration and development efforts, which requires resources; resources that if Cisco has them could have been put toward ACE and integration, but either do not exist or do not align with Cisco priorities. It's a vision that puts Citrix's CloudStack at the center of a combined cloud strategy that conflicts with other efforts, such as the recent release of Cisco's own version of OpenStack which, of course, is heavily supported by competing virtualization partner, VMware.

In the game of musical ADC chairs, only one player has remained consistently instep with the beat of the market drum: and that player is F5.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.