Delivering Network Services via the Cloud
One of the unfortunate tendencies when it comes to the cloud is trying to replicate the way everything that was done on premise within a public cloud computing environment. Rather than looking to consolidate layers of computing that over the years have emerged inside the data center, IT organizations often just wind up shifting the mess.
For that reason solution providers should be looking for new ways to deliver IT services via the cloud that actually transform how they are delivered. Case in point is Appcito, which this week announced that it is making its application delivery controller (ADC) available on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Purpose built for cloud computing environments, Siva Mandalam, vice president of products and strategy for Appcito, said the Appcito ADC provides a complete stack of Layer 4 through 7 network and security services that can be deployed on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or any cloud platform that supports the OpenStack cloud management framework.
Dubbed the Cloud Application Front-End Proxy (CAFE), Mandalam said CAFE provides HTTP (L7) and TCP (L4) load balancing as well as the offloading of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) processing. It also provides a Web application firewall, anomaly detection, Bot and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection along with a set of analytics through which organizations can automate the enforcement of IT policies. Just as importantly in the age of the cloud, CAFE also already provides support for microservices based on Docker containers.
By comparison, Mandalam said other approaches to providing proxy services make use of virtual machines to replicate the same functionality they provide on premise as they do in the cloud. While that technically works, Mandalam said that it fails to create an ADC environment in the cloud that is any simpler to manage than the one most organizations already have on premise. As a result, the incentive to move to the cloud is lessened because there’s no management benefit to the internal IT organization; especially when you consider that the internal IT organization now has to manage services that are being delivered on a remote data center they don’t actually own.
Mandalam said partnering with Microsoft is critical because when it comes to deploying network services across hybrid clouds the extensive base of partners that make up the Microsoft channel will play a critical role. The challenge those partners face, said Mandalam, is finding a way to deliver those services in a way that is actually more effective and cost efficient; as opposed to doing the same thing over again in a way that winds up being less efficient and ultimately more expensive.