We just published the 2015 Application Delivery Controller Magic Quadrant. Over the past 12-18 months, there has been substantial change and disruption in this market. After years of mostly incremental (but very valuable) innovation (i.e., Load-balancers morphing into a swiss army knife of application delivery goodness), the market has dramatically been impacted by a new style of “buyer”. As described in the research:
This market continues to be very innovative as new application-centric buyers are emerging to drive change in the market, including changes in deployment, pricing and the overall vendor landscape for application delivery.
While this is an early stage trend in the broader enterprise market, this new app-centric (aka DevOps) buyer has a completely different set of interests and requirements versus the traditional network/infrastructure-centric buyer. For the DevOpsians, it is all about basic functionality (load-balancers are cool again), frictionless access, APIs/automation, software-only, scale-out (versus up) and per-app (not per-environment).
Thus, the DevOps teams’ typically prefer ELB (or whatever comes from their cloud provider), or open-source such as Haproxy/Nginx versus the corporate IT standard (F5, Citrix, etc). Meanwhile, this is happening simultaneously to many I&O-led initiatives to consolidate functionality onto the ADC platform (i.e., WAF, GSLB, Authentication, Authentication, v6/v4 Gateways, etc.)… As we describe in the research:
- Consolidation is led by traditional I&O buyers who are aggregating security, performance and availability, while deploying ADCs between users and applications.
- Disaggregation is led by application-centric buyers deploying lightweight, software-based ADCs primarily for load balancing and closer to the application logic.
So this Magic Quadrant represents a market in transition, dealing with these somewhat competing trends. Along these lines, there is 1 new entrant in the research this year (Amazon Web Services) and a re-entry of Brocade, neither of whom directly offer hardware-based offerings of their flagship ADC products (again highlighting the emerging software-centric trend). Additional vendors in the research are A10 Networks, Array Networks, Barracuda, Citrix, F5, KEMP, Radware and Sangfor. In total, we evaluate 10 vendors, which includes 3 leaders, 1 challenger, 1 visionary, and 5 niche players. Here’s a link to the full research.
Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers
Summary: The application delivery controller is a key component within enterprise and cloud data centers to improve availability, security and performance of applications. Application-centric personnel are increasingly influencing ADC selections, which is accelerating innovation and change in the market.