The Application Delivery Controller: What it Is and What's in it for You
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Data is being produced at a rate like never seen before. Ever since the advent of computers and the Internet, people have created more data than in the preceding ones in just a span of a few decades. This has had the most impact on the efficiency of corporate work.
With such evolving data systems and connectivity between them, things have just gotten easier. But the question is, how far is this true? Easier as in you can get more than your ancestors no doubt, but the risk comes along with it.
One crack in the wall can bring the whole thing down. If, in any case, important pieces of data get misplaced. Or, if someone with bad intentions gets hold of it, the owner of that data, as well as others associated, are in big trouble.
That is why we put so much emphasis on cyber-security. However, the belligerents, whoever they may be, are not sitting still either. That is where things like an Application Delivery Controller come into play.
Fundamental Technicalities of the Application Delivery Controller
You can easily visit any website from your handheld device. But, don't mistake that easiness for simplicity. It is not just a virtual entity floating around in thin air. It has data in it and doesn't matter what type, but lots of it.
Behind a successful website like that, there are teams of people working in offices night and day. Just to keep it running and also make it better, this is the face of the new information economy that we are all a part of.
A device like an application delivery controller comes into light in a situation like this. In simple terms, it is a computer network device, which is mostly part of an application delivery network. It is sometimes capable of delivering load balancing for user data.
That way, the majority of the data load is taken out of a particular website. Resulting in fast loading speeds and thus better performance online. You can generally find one of these between the network routers and the server firms.
The Application Delivery Controller Fallacy
In the previous section, there was a pretty simplistic definition of what an application delivery controller is. A device that distributes the data load in such a way that results in faster loading times for web pages. And, they also have it secure while it is doing that.
Now, you might just go ahead and think of it as just a state of the art load balancer, and you'll be right. Well, it goes way beyond that. And, all that can come in both virtual software as well as physical hardware formats.
This technology has in it multiple OSI layer 3-7 services that include the functions of load balancing. Also, offloading of Secure Sockets Layer and firewall functions for the various applications available from the web. This is just the surface level and it goes a lot deeper.
Delving Deep Into this Technology
Cloud computing has been a true disruptor in the sphere of data recording, management, and sharing. Instead of having one computer take the load of the all the vital data, multiple computers do that job through web connectivity. This ensures smoother and more efficient functioning for all the parties involved.
This is where the Application Delivery Controller comes in to facilitate the process. With this, there is a slim chance of any kind of upper limit to the scalability that one can have. Whatever the scope of the operation that you're running, it will be compatible.
It can give you three distinct types of load balancing, namely the Layer 3, the Layer 4, and the Layer 7 types. In case of the Layer 3 and the Layer 4 protocols, web traffic is distributed as per IP addresses and subnets. The Layer 7, on the other hand, does the bulk of load balancing for content. Here, it distributes the traffic on the basis of URLs, domains, and so on. It differs from one to another, depending on the capability to support various applications.
Going From More Primitive Versions to a More Modern One
New technologies are coming up and opening a different dimension. These changes are increasing the involvement of servers as well. So, it is critical to making sure that they are working well. The newer versions of this technology take into account the server healths. Only then can traffic be sent to that route, or else, you get a full-blown server overload.
These are also capable of monitoring, e.g. DNS, HTTPs, UDP, TCP and many such. This kind of Application Delivery Controller can compress the TCP sessions that you have. That'll help to save on network bandwidth and multi-signaling.
Multiplexing, in this way, is important as for the application servers. The load the device bears increases at a furious pace with the addition of more sessions.
Contribution of Application Delivery in Cybersecurity
The Application Delivery Controller plays quite a significant role in this niche. A fundamental cautionary step against the DDOS (distributed denial-of-service errors). This technology is able to provide firewall protection facilities.
Errors can come from the DNS too and for that, some of these sites have a DNS application firewall with them. That way, one can mitigate the risk of a drastic rush of traffic from the DNS to the servers. Some others among these can also give you protection from data loss. All in all, this is a very useful technology that is on the uprise.
To Conclude With the Overall Pros and Cons of ADC
Let's not ease into things with this one and go head fast into the cons of this technology. The variety of available ADCs is manifold and each individual has their unique algorithms. This brings in the possibility of hindered performance. On top of that, it can consume a lot of resources on your part.
Finally, for the good, it provides all the features we have discussed above. It has brought up the level of cloud computing with a lot of room for improvements, along with the ones that are still developing and not yet out in the market. You can expect a lot of improvement in their performance.
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