Staying Agile: The Importance of Flexibility in Your ADC

3 min read time
Staying Agile: The Importance of Flexibility in Your ADC

First-generation application delivery controllers (ADCs) hit the market in the early 2000s. Since then, we’ve seen the mass adoption of smartphones, a more than 82 percent increase in worldwide internet use, and the morphing of consumers into highly engaged users who demand applications that are feature-rich, fast, and flawless.

Agile and DevOps have laid the path to our new “continuous everything” reality, and many organizations find themselves struggling to scale processes and infrastructure to manage growth, keep up with increased performance demands on their systems, and find money in their budget to pay for it all.

Rather than maintaining inefficient, expensive infrastructure, organizations are moving away from traditional hardware-based ADC tools and adopting software-only ADC solutions. Software ADCs provide more agility and flexibility and offer a lower cost of ownership compared to hardware-based versions.

Scale Your ADC to Meet Changing Business Needs

In today’s fast-paced continuous delivery marketplace, you don’t have the luxury of growing pains if you want to remain competitive, so your ADC tool should be able to easily adapt to keep pace with the growth of your business. Software-only ADCs run on a VM or in a cloud environment, so they can be installed and configured in minutes and can be modified quickly to address changing load and performance requirements. No need to purchase and wait for additional servers or store and maintain unneeded hardware.

Additionally, software ADCs provide the flexibility to work from almost any location on almost any device. This is particularly important because many companies employ globally distributed teams.

Optimize Performance with Web Acceleration and Load Balancing

One of the major challenges we face in today’s ultra-competitive market is how to keep users happy and coming back for more. We usually only get one shot at converting a new user into a return user, and a slow-loading app or website is a surefire way to blow that opportunity.

If you aren’t convinced poor load time is a relationship killer, consider these numbers:

  • Forty percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
  • Forty-seven percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • Seventy-seven percent of websites take more than 10 seconds to load on mobile.
  • $2.5 million in annual sales is potentially lost because of a one-second delay on an e-commerce site making $100,000 per day.

[Source: Snapt Blog]

As your company grows, your web traffic will, too. This is a good thing … until it isn’t. Downtime will cost you customers as quickly as slow load time, making load balancing crucial for mitigating performance issues that can damage your revenue and your reputation. It’s almost impossible to predict when a traffic surge will occur, so it is imperative that your ADC solution provide Level 4–7 load balancing as well as global server load balancing to meet users’ expectation of 100 percent availability.

Agile Pricing for Every Size Organization

In the recent hardware-based ADC past, upgrading your system to include all of the functionality discussed above was cost-prohibitive for many teams. When a business experienced any significant growth, they would buy more hardware to accommodate the additional load.

Today’s software-only ADC solutions are not only robust, flexible, and easy to use, they are also budget-friendly and priced to fit your sizing requirements. When your company grows, you scale up your software with a few clicks rather than investing in new hardware only to outgrow it again. Many ADC vendors offer customized packages to fit companies of every size, from two-server startups to Fortune 500 enterprises running hundreds of servers. Use a sizing guide to help you determine the package that best fits your needs.

Traditional hardware-based ADCs can’t keep pace with the rapid growth of internet services. Many companies are seeking out agile software-only ADC solutions that work well in today’s DevOps environment. Software-only ADC tools support growth, manage load, increase site speed, and provide exceptional flexibility for a fraction of the cost of yesterday’s hardware-based options.

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