by Adam Jaques, Technologist at Pulse Secure
Once upon a time, Netman hated it when his CIO dragged him into meetings with the company’s business managers. They weren’t too keen on him either.
They used to whinge perpetually about a whole spectrum of issues: Business was growing and it was harder to keep customer satisfaction at high levels. Many customers were complaining that services were just not fast enough. Most were changing their data centre operations, while about half are actively seeking new ways to automate service delivery.
All that complexity and cost, all those headaches for the CIO, who usually pointed the finger of blame at poor old Netman.
Admittedly the knock-on effect of all those issues was worrying the whole IT team. Unpredictable demand, unpredictable peak scale, the need for new hardware was both time-consuming and expensive. The firm’s traditional application delivery controllers (ADCs) met their required workload needs only about half the time.
What Netman dreamed of was an ADC that continually monitors applications and services, allowing dynamic adjustment of bandwidth and performance. If only he could find a solution that would resolve all those issues while reducing his server estate by half!
Netman yearned for a solution that deployed applications from an underlying platform and migrated them to hybrid clouds. CIO reckoned that Netman had his head in the clouds! Undeterred, Netman also talked about being able to double the numbers of concurrent users with enhanced session management and ultimately build speed and reliability. If only such a dream solution existed!
Stop dreaming, Netman, and do a little research. In particular, drill down into virtual application delivery controllers (vADC)! Look for a solution that is designed for a virtual and cloud world, from clustering to the way in which services are presented. Legacy hardware ADC vendors’ offerings don’t do this, but vADCs do.
A vADC vendor with a pure software heritage and tech that is purpose-built for virtual and cloud, can make it much easier to automate deployment and configuration management in the upcoming software defined networking world.
A plus would be use of the TrafficScript programming language for the secure traffic manager, as this simplifies powerful programmability of sophisticated application traffic policies. It also cuts the time and effort needed to apply business logic to the way applications behave on the wire. vADC processes are orders of magnitude easier than traditional ADCs.
Netman is also advised to look for a licensing model that uses licence by pool rather than licence by instance, as this delivers the agility and flexibility to provide a listening model that can scale. Clustering capabilities mean increased reliability and scalability (up to 64 vTM nodes per cluster). The customer is empowered to scale up and out to meet the most complex needs. There should be no feature compromise even when at maximum scale.
An ideal vADC’s approach to application service delivery includes an elastic and adaptive services director. It automates licensing and metering of ADC services. A virtual web application firewall ensures safety and defends web applications against Layer-7 attacks.
Behind all this, a virtual traffic manager that includes load-balancing, traffic management and application delivery control is beavering away, providing advantages that include reliability, availability, offload and security.
Well, it took time and effort, but Netman found his dream vADC. It includes all the software and services needed to deliver secure access. It’s never been easier to secure the data centre, provide mobile access and enable new cloud services. It makes secure access simple to purchase, deploy and manage.
These days Netman and CIO are the best of friends. They even enjoy those meetings with the company’s business managers.
And why not… they all appreciate secure access to the data centre, a VPN accesses data centre apps, there is a mobile VPN and cloud-based visibility. They all bask in secure mobility, cloud security and network visibility, with cloud discovery and profiling, and cloud-based management. What’s not to like!