The load balancing market evolved into ADCs and these devices are now competing with cloud-based solutions. As this evolution has taken place, Array Networks saw an opportunity to take a page from the carrier market and explore virtualizing network functions.
In an exclusive interview with Paul Anderson, Senior Director of Marketing, he told me the company has a new network functions platform for deploying virtualized application delivery and security functions with guaranteed performance. In their testing, the company took a Fortinet firewall (with the appropriate licensing of course) and realized they could get five times better performance using software over hardware.
The point here is you can begin to look at your data center in a new way – adding more flexibility than you might have thought possible. Their new AVX Series consists of an entry-level AVX3600, AVX7600 and AVX10650 with 35Gbps, 64Gbps and 128Gbps of throughput respectively. The 3600 is a 1RU device while the latter two are 2RU devices – all with with dual power.
Aside from the Fortinet firewall, there is also support for a Positive Technologies Web Application Firewall and an Array Networks Virtual ADC and Virtual Secure Access Gateway. Third-party solutions are also able to run on the platform – the good news is the virtual to physical port mapping is provided by the OS.
The company’s WebUI allows admins to drag-and-drop network functions as needed and service chaining is supported as well.
Is this solution for you? The company is targeting a few segments…
1) Companies looking to refresh their ADC platform and wanting to evaluate a new approach. Using software, they could conceivably save on power and cooling while increasing agility. Paul tells me the company will consult to advise whether a hardware or software solution makes the most sense for a customer. He said for example, sometimes a software solutions adds unneeded complexity.
2) Replacing an overloaded appliance – using virtual machines with guaranteed performance means a company can predict more reliably what real-world performance will be.
3) Supplying a service creation platform to MSPs. This is without a doubt an amazing opportunity for the reseller market sick of seeing their margins erode, only to make hardware companies wealthy. The way it works is a managed service provider doesn’t sell $20,000 worth of networking equipment to their customer, instead they provide services to their customer and perhaps charge $1,000 per month. Of course, the MSP would need to know how to provide the service, have a redundant data center, etc. but the idea is to generate more revenue via recurring services.
Software continues to eat the world with the help of managed services. Array Networks has made a bold move to become the platform of choice for NFV solutions to data centers worldwide.