|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.
Opinions on how best to package and deliver applications are legion and, like many other aspects of the software world, are subject to recurring trend cycles. On the server-side, the current favorite is container delivery: a “full stack” approach in which your application and everything it needs to run are specified in a container definition. That definition is then “compiled” down to a container image and deployed by retrieving the image and passing it to a container runtime to create a running...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 223
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,191
If you are new to Python, you might be confused about the different versions that are available. Although Python 3 is the latest generation of the language, many programmers still use Python 2.7, the final update to Python 2, which was released in 2010. There is currently no clear-cut answer to the question of which version of Python you should use; the decision depends on what you want to achieve. While Python 3 is clearly the future of the language, some programmers choose to remain with Py...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 240
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 279
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Oct. 9, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 211
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 874
As we increasingly rely on technology to improve the quality and efficiency of our personal and professional lives, software has become the key business differentiator. Organizations must release software faster, as well as ensure the safety, security, and reliability of their applications. The option to make trade-offs between time and quality no longer exists—software teams must deliver quality and speed. To meet these expectations, businesses have shifted from more traditional approaches of d...
Oct. 9, 2015 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 225
Ten years ago, there may have been only a single application that talked directly to the database and spit out HTML; customer service, sales - most of the organizations I work with have been moving toward a design philosophy more like unix, where each application consists of a series of small tools stitched together. In web example above, that likely means a login service combines with webpages that call other services - like enter and update record. That allows the customer service team to writ...
Oct. 9, 2015 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 424
JFrog has announced a powerful technology for managing software packages from development into production. JFrog Artifactory 4 represents disruptive innovation in its groundbreaking ability to help development and DevOps teams deliver increasingly complex solutions on ever-shorter deadlines across multiple platforms JFrog Artifactory 4 establishes a new category – the Universal Artifact Repository – that reflects JFrog's unique commitment to enable faster software releases through the first pla...
Oct. 9, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 630
Somebody call the buzzword police: we have a serious case of microservices-washing in progress. The term “microservices-washing” is derived from “whitewashing,” meaning to hide some inconvenient truth with bluster and nonsense. We saw plenty of cloudwashing a few years ago, as vendors and enterprises alike pretended what they were doing was cloud, even though it wasn’t. Today, the hype around microservices has led to the same kind of obfuscation, as vendors and enterprise technologists alike ar...
Oct. 9, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 449
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes.
Oct. 9, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 219
With containerization using Docker, the orchestration of containers using Kubernetes, the self-service model for provisioning your projects and applications and the workflows we built in OpenShift is the best in class Platform as a Service that enables introducing DevOps into your organization with ease. In his session at DevOps Summit, Veer Muchandi, PaaS evangelist with RedHat, will provide a deep dive overview of OpenShift v3 and demonstrate how it helps with DevOps.
Oct. 8, 2015 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 655
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...
Oct. 8, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 591
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,253
The APN DevOps Competency highlights APN Partners who demonstrate deep capabilities delivering continuous integration, continuous delivery, and configuration management. They help customers transform their business to be more efficient and agile by leveraging the AWS platform and DevOps principles.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 235
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 213
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 227
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,093
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Oct. 8, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 141
“All our customers are looking at the cloud ecosystem as an important part of their overall product strategy. Some see it evolve as a multi-cloud / hybrid cloud strategy, while others are embracing all forms of cloud offerings like PaaS, IaaS and SaaS in their solutions,” noted Suhas Joshi, Vice President – Technology, at Harbinger Group, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff.
Oct. 8, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 439