While the phrase virtual application delivery controller (vADC) can have a few meanings, it generally refers to running ADC software in a virtual machine instead of in a hardware-based appliance. While vADCs can add agility and performance to the virtual infrastructure, it isn't right for every environment.
Advantages of using a virtual application delivery controller
One of the potential advantages of a vADC is cost savings, as many vendors claim that vADCs cost roughly 30% less than hardware-based ADCs. Whether or not there is a pricing difference, and how much the savings will be, varies by vendor. As such, the relative cost of a vADC versus an ADC is one of the criteria that IT organizations should use when evaluating vADCs.
Another advantage of a virtual ADC is that it helps to make the IT organization more agile. For example, it is possible to move a vADC between physical servers in roughly the same amount of time that it takes to move a virtual machine (VM). It is also possible to deploy a vADC in less time than it takes to deploy a traditional ADC and in places where it would be difficult to install a traditional ADC—such as in a cloud computing service provider’s data center.
Testing a virtual application controller to for your environment
In most cases, just because an IT organization is considering deploying a virtual ADC does not change the requirements that must be supported. As a
Perhaps the biggest question that surrounds the use of a virtual application delivery controller is that of performance. There are lots of third-party tests that vendors are using to show whether or not a vADC performs as well as a traditional ADC. The bottom line is that as part of evaluating a vADC, IT organizations need to test the solution in their production environment and measure its performance.
In the final part of this series, read about next-generation application delivery controllers for cloud computing.
This was first published in October 2011