The XML appliance market has been sluggish since around 2005, but some say advanced messaging protocols and the rise of cloud computing may bring these devices back to the forefront. Over the past decade, XML appliances have gone from hardware-based XML acceleration and security to full-blown B2B integration tools.
Some find it convenient to have many of their integration and security features centralized in an appliance layer.
Just this month Citrix Systems released five new NetScaler Application Firewall appliances targeted at public and private clouds, as well as Web applications. One of the major functions of the NetScaler appliances is performing SOAP, XML and HTML security checks. The company offers both hardware and “virtual” appliances.
Where in the early 2000s these sorts of appliances were looked at more as a performance booster to XML crunching, Citrix is selling NetScaler as “application accelerators.” These newer devices include a host of features, including: traffic management, load balancing, content switching, content caching, SSL acceleration, Web application firewalls, network optimization and application performance monitoring.
Long gone is the heyday of the pure-play XML accelerator.