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Like VoIP optimisation I’ve been blogging about recently, so I’ve been testing network (LAN and WAN in old money) optimisation solutions since the late ’90s.
The former, AKA Load-Balancing and Application Delivery Control (ADC) was historically very hardware oriented; sure, all the intelligence was in the software, but the horsepower came from the specialised hardware. So, when that ran out of steam – whether the platform itself or add-ons such as SSL accelerator cards, then the whole platform had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Just like it was with routers etc – and they’ve gone down the SDN route (which finally appears to mean something in product terms) and so it has happened with L-B/ADC solutions.
I was recently speaking with Avi Networks, one of the few in the genre not on m radar – but they are now. Essentially there’s a lot of ex-F5 Networks guys in there, so they know how to make a good product and – now – how to make a better one! So, it’s a software solution, naturally, so it can take advantage of low-cost, bare metal scalability; the smart bit is in the separation of the control and data planes – a logical cloud-esque solution, so the control is global, single-site and the data can be anywhere. That might seem suitably obviously, but making it work is another matter altogether. What it means for the “customer” – whether an enterprise or an xSP – is that the data plane can be completely bybrid – OnPrem, public/private cloud,, physical, virtual…
Importantly it also comes with total visibility, performance analytics and all the information needed to truly be in control of those applications and the deployment optimisation thereof. Of course, Avi isn’t alone in reinventing the genre; my old client jetNEXUS has introduced an AppStore approach to building out an SDN/NFV based L-B infrastructure; build as you go… makes total sense!
And here’s the bottom line to this approach – it’s far most cost-effective and budget friendly that spending millions up front…