We just published the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers (ADC), a market which many folks still refer to as load-balancers. We evaluate 11 vendors that meet inclusion criteria including A10, Amazon Web Services, Barracuda, Brocade, Citrix, F5, KEMP, Microsoft, NGINX Inc., Radware, and Sangfor.
I’ll cut straight to the chase: …the market is in a state of flux, with a growing divergence between the needs of traditional I&O and application-centric personnel…
For example, a common scenario we observe within our clients is that developers prefer open-source or their cloud providers’ embedded offering, but the corporate IT standard is a more established traditional player like F5 or Citrix. Consequently, each group goes off and does their own thing.
Thus, this Magic Quadrant covers mainstays like F5, Citrix, Radware and A10, but also the likes of AWS, Microsoft (Azure) and NGINX, Inc. This reflects the emerging user preferences for lightweight, low/no-cost, low-friction access for application-led and developer-centric initiatives…load-balancers are cool again. In fact, there are now four vendors (out of 11) in the Magic Quadrant without a flagship hardware form-factor product (Amazon, Brocade, Microsoft and NGINX) whereas just 3 years ago there was only 1 (Riverbed). Here’s the link: Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers.
This year, we also published an inaugural Critical Capabilities for ADCs as a companion to the Magic Quadrant. In it, we dive into the most common enterprise use-cases and evaluate the vendors against them. The specific usage scenarios involve using ADCs for: basic load balancing, standard enterprise apps, highly customized enterprise apps, Midmarket environments, and developer-led app initiatives.
PS – If you’re wondering why NGINX made it into the quadrant while other open source solutions like Varnish, Zen and HAproxy did not, here’s the explanation:
Magic Quadrants are used to evaluate the commercial offering, sales execution, vision, marketing and support of products within markets, which excludes evaluation of raw open-source software (OSS). The ADC Magic Quadrant includes only commercial-vendor-based offerings, and it does not include individual positions and evaluations for noncommercialized OSS projects, such as Nginx, HAProxy, Maglev, Varnish or Zen Load Balancer. However, vendors that provide commercial support and differentiation for OSS such as Nginx Inc., HAProxy Technologies, SofIntel IT Engineering SL (Zen Load Balancer) and Varnish Software are eligible for this Magic Quadrant, provided they meet inclusion criteria.