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A10 Networks Inc. has chosen Lightning as the brand for the cloud-native application delivery controller the company got in July with the acquisition of Appcito.
Introduced Tuesday, Lightning provides load balancing and all the other application delivery services of the original Appcito product. Also, A10 has made containerized versions of Lightning available for Amazon and Microsoft public clouds. The vendor plans to release a Lightning container for Google Cloud by the end of the year.
Analysts expected A10 to release a product like Lightning, so the announcement was not a surprise. The cloud-based ADC, however, "could be a model for the cloudification of A10's other appliances, like Thunder," said Jim Duffy, an analyst at 451 Research.
Thunder is A10's ADC for traditional applications running on dedicated or virtualized servers in noncloud data centers. A10 rearchitected Thunder nearly two years ago to make it easier for companies to insert application delivery services in cloud applications.
Appcito, however, went much further by building a cloud-based ADC for developers constructing containers and microservices in public and private clouds. As a result, Lightning is more advanced than data center ADCs retrofitted for the cloud by A10 rivals F5 Networks Inc. and Radware, Duffy said.
Nevertheless, A10 is not alone in offering cloud-native application delivery services. Avi Networks sells a comparable cloud ADC, Duffy said.
A10 introduced a new pricing model with Lightning. The company is offering usage-based pricing in place of the instance-based pricing of the Thunder ADC.
Appcito technology is more in line with DevOps teams that use application development methods more in tune with cloud environments. Members of those groups often have skills that are a blend of traditional application development and network operations.
A cloud development concept supported in Lightning is called continuous delivery. CD lets developers send their code through automated testing of all aspects of functionality, including business rule logic. CD boosts productivity by reducing the time developers spend manually testing their work.
Appcito had fewer than 20 customers -- all in social media, financial services and e-commerce -- when A10 bought the startup. A10, on the other hand, sells mostly to organizations with large-scale application delivery requirements, according to Gartner. Many of its customers are in North America and Japan.
A10 introduced Lightning two weeks after F5 announced a hybrid cloud partnership with data center provider Equinix Inc. The two companies said Equinix would offer F5's BIG-IP brand of application delivery services as an option to companies using the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which connects a private cloud running in one of its data centers to a public cloud.
F5, A10 and other ADC vendors are competing for IT infrastructure dollars companies are spending on public and private clouds. The money dedicated to cloud development is rising much faster than dollars going to traditional data centers.
Organizations will spend $37.1 billion this year on infrastructure for cloud computing, an increase of 15.5% over last year, according to IDC. Spending on traditional computing technology is expected to decline by 4.4%.
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