Buyer's Guide

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Navigating the network ADC buying process

Application delivery controllers have evolved considerably from being just load balancers. Today's network ADC devices offer a full range of functionality. Learn how these advances can benefit your organization.


Application delivery controllers, or ADCs, are the Swiss army knives of today's networks. Deployed between applications and users, these physical or virtual devices intercept session traffic and enable a range of application, performance and security functions.

ADCs essentially serve as a proxy, making a pool of back-end application servers look like a single application server to users. Network ADC devices can block attacks, intercept and inspect encrypted traffic, and prevent unauthorized access to applications.

Today, in addition to directing internet traffic, ADC devices are also deployed on corporate intranets and inside cloud data centers connecting LAN-based clients to LAN-based application servers. Although most ADC devices manage traffic on the same LAN, other application delivery controllers provide global functions, where traffic is transparently redirected across the WAN to other remote application servers.

It's crucial to carefully evaluate ADCs and their capabilities when assessing their role in your organization's network. But before you invest in a network ADC, there are several key questions to ask. For example, what is the size of your network? On what platform will you be deploying your ADC? Do you need a product with built-in security? What about Layer 7 functionality?

This buyer's guide is designed to answer these questions and help take the guesswork out of buying an application delivery controller. By examining the features and functionalities each ADC offers and matching those to your requirements, you can select the ADC product that will best meet the needs of your network.

A roundup of these ADC devices provides an in-depth look at the features and functionality offered. Use this information and the accompanying product chart to compare the specific products to find the right application delivery controller for your organization.

Based on extensive research into the ADC market, TechTarget editors focused on those companies that offer the broadest selection of network ADC features -- both through appliances and through software only. Our research included data from TechTarget surveys, interviews and reports from other respected research firms, including Gartner.

1What is?-

Today's ADC devices offer high-end performance

Today's application delivery controllers include traditional load-balancing features, such as high-availability and server resource balancing, as well as advanced security functionality.


The network ADC market offers a diversified portfolio of products

Modern ADC devices offer a full range of functionality suitable to address the traffic needs of organizations of all sizes. Continue Reading

2How to buy-

Tips for vetting ADC vendors

Before you begin examining network ADC products, review this list of considerations to identify which items are the most important to your organization.


Questions to ask prospective ADC vendors

Use the features examined here to create your list of must-have network ADC capabilities and functions. Continue Reading

3Which should I buy? -

Choosing an ADC device

By examining what features and functionality each network ADC offers and matching those to your requirements, you can select the best ADC product for your network.


Examining products from the leading ADC vendors

Today's ADC vendors offer a mix of ADC devices engineered to satisfy high-performance demands from major e-commerce sites, as well as meet requirements from midmarket and SMBs with lower performance demands and budget constraints. Continue Reading

4A roundup of leading products-

What the leading ADC vendors offer

In addition to load balancing, the leading ADC devices offer features such as application acceleration, a built-in web application firewall and integrated security protection.


An in-depth look at the leading application delivery controllers

Examine the main features and functionalities leading ADCs offer, including deployment options, scalability and integrated security. Continue Reading

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