|By Lori MacVittie||
|October 20, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
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.
While 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 incoming 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.
The battle over bimodal IT is heating up. Now that there’s a reasonably broad consensus that Gartner’s advice about bimodal IT is deeply flawed – consensus everywhere except perhaps at Gartner – various ideas are springing up to fill the void. The bimodal problem, of course, is well understood. ‘Traditional’ or ‘slow’ IT uses hidebound, laborious processes that would only get in the way of ‘fast’ or ‘agile’ digital efforts. The result: incoherent IT strategies and shadow IT struggles that lead ...
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SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
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SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 7, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 559
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 7, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 364
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
Feb. 7, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 185
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Feb. 7, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 333
The (re?)emergence of Microservices was especially prominent in this week’s news. What are they good for? do they make sense for your application? should you take the plunge? and what do Microservices mean for your DevOps and Continuous Delivery efforts? Continue reading for more on Microservices, containers, DevOps culture, and more top news from the past week. As always, stay tuned to all the news coming from@ElectricCloud on DevOps and Continuous Delivery throughout the week and retweet/favo...
Feb. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 171
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 7, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 348
[session] From Build to Scale: Lifecycle of Microservices By @fortyfivan | @CloudExpo #Microservices
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Feb. 7, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 155
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Feb. 7, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 349
If we look at slow, traditional IT and jump to the conclusion that just because we found its issues intractable before, that necessarily means we will again, then it’s time for a rethink. As a matter of fact, the world of IT has changed over the last ten years or so. We’ve been experiencing unprecedented innovation across the board – innovation in technology as well as in how people organize and accomplish tasks. Let’s take a look at three differences between today’s modern, digital context...
Feb. 7, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 163
Continuous Delivery and Release Automation for Microservices By @Anders_Wallgren | @DevOpsSummit #Microservices
As software organizations continue to invest in achieving Continuous Delivery (CD) of their applications, we see increased interest in microservices architectures, which–on the face of it–seem like a natural fit for enabling CD. In microservices (or its predecessor, “SOA”), the business functionality is decomposed into a set of independent, self-contained services that communicate with each other via an API. Each of the services has their own application release cycle, and are developed and depl...
Feb. 6, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 211
At the heart of the Cloud Native model is a microservices application architecture, and applying this to a telco SDN scenario offers enormous opportunity for product innovation and competitive advantage. For example in the ETSI NFV Ecosystem white paper they describe one of the product markets that SDN might address to be the Home sector. Vendors like Alcatel market SDN-based solutions for the home market, offering Home Gateways – A virtual residential gateway (vRGW) where service provider...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 147
In the Bimodal model we find two areas of IT - the traditional kind where the main concern is keeping the lights on and the IT focusing on agility and speed, where everything needs to be faster. Today companies are investing in new technologies and processes to emulate their most agile competitors. Gone are the days of waterfall development and releases only every few months. Today's IT and the business it powers demands performance akin to a supercar - everything needs to be faster, every sc...
Feb. 6, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 512
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
Feb. 5, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 799
Web performance issues and advances have been gaining a stronger presence in the headlines as people are becoming more aware of its impact on virtually every business, and 2015 was no exception. We saw a myriad of major outages this year hit some of the biggest corporations, as well as some technology integrations and other news that we IT Ops aficionados find very exciting. This past year has offered several opportunities for growth and evolution in the performance realm — even the worst failu...
Feb. 3, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 545
Are you someone who knows that the number one rule in DevOps is “Don’t Panic”? Especially when it comes to making Continuous Delivery changes inside your organization? Are you someone that theorizes that if anyone implements real automation changes, the solution will instantly become antiquated and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable?
Feb. 3, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 315
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Feb. 3, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 287
Test automation is arguably the most important innovation to the process of QA testing in software development. The ability to automate regression testing and other repetitive test cases can significantly reduce the overall production time for even the most complex solutions. As software continues to be developed for new platforms – including mobile devices and the diverse array of endpoints that will be created during the rise of the Internet of Things - automation integration will have a huge ...
Feb. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 641
I recently spotted a five-year-old blog post by Mike Gualtieri of Forrester, where he suggests firing your quality assurance (QA) team to improve your quality. He got the idea from a client who actually tried and succeeded with this counterintuitive move. The thinking goes that without a QA team to cover for them, developers are more likely to take care of quality properly – or risk getting the dreaded Sunday morning wakeup call to fix something. Gualtieri’s post generated modest buzz at th...
Feb. 3, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 618