As Web sites reach traffic capacity due to increased loads, quite often an application delivery controller or ADC is enlisted to help with the task of speeding of web performance as well as dealing with load balancing. A few areas where an ADC can come in handy are dealing with compression and SSL while allowing web servers to deliver web content. At last week's Interop 2010 in Las Vegas, it was apparent that this market was one of the hottest but I didn't see it gaining anywhere near the coverage of more mainstream topics like the cloud and security. I was a bit surprised at how many companies have decided that this is a market where they want to stake a claim.
The first company I met with at the show was Crescendo Networks and they differentiate themselves from the pack in a few ways such as using leading-edge technology - specifically a combination X86-based processors for the high layer functions while they have separate high-performance RISC/network processing components and FPGAs which are more applicable to low-level tasks such as compression.
The company compares this approach which packs 80 cores to a box for layer 7 processing as something akin to Cisco's QuantumFlow processor (related news from TMCnet's Michael Dinan). Moreover you get a redundant solution with the company's approach as one box can die (obviously you need at least one other) and the remaining devices can pick up the load. In addition the company touts the fact that you can turn on features and not see performance degrade as is the case with some other well-known solutions on the market.
A self-explanatory photo of part of the company's ADC product line
I spoke with Kristina O'Connell the company's VP of Marketing and learned about a second differentiator - HyperScale, a technology which allows a Web site to scale to greater levels of application acceleration by plugging in more devices which become part of a larger virtual machine. The maximum throughput of the solution is 100 Gbps and the target market for the company with employees in Israel and Silicon Valley is eBusiness sites, retailers and social media solutions. Some of the company's recent wins are Plaxo, Photobucket and CARFAX. Other customers of interest are Aeropostale, Friendster, fotka.pl (sounds dirty but isn't), Colgate, Forbes.com, Webkinz and Novartis.
What I like about Crescendo Network's solutions is the ability to not only scale as you grow but the further ability to mix and match solutions based on your needs. For example you can start off with one of the lesser boxes in the AppBeat DC CN-7000 series product line such as the CN-7710 and if you need more horsepower you can add in more powerful units like the CN-7740 or CN-7790.
Without a doubt, this is one of the spaces to watch if you want to see real competition in action. It will be interesting to see how the ADC market evolves this year and what technology each vendor will bring to the table to differentiate itself. As always we plan on keeping you up to date on the latest happenings in the market.
I spent a good deal of time interviewing the company's AVP Product Marketing Opher Dubrovsky and you can see the conversation in the video below