Riverbed Technology is introducing its new Stingray Services Controller, which is designed to make application delivery within data centers as flexible and agile as the increasingly virtualized resources around it.
The new solution, which is being demonstrated at the Interop 2013 show in Las Vegas this week, creates what Riverbed officials are calling an application delivery controller-as-a-service (ADCaaS) platform that will automate the deployment of application delivery services throughout the network, including software-defined networks (SDNs).
The automation introduced by the Stingray Services Controller also will help accelerate the deployment of the services as well as provision and scale their application delivery controller (ADC) services as needed, which will be particularly important to service providers and enterprises looking to leverage private clouds, according to Riverbed officials.
Traditionally, deploying ADCs has been a time-consuming task that can take days, weeks or months, which can be a problem in an otherwise virtualized data center, according to Jeff Pancottine, senior vice president and general manager of the Riverbed Stingray application delivery business unit.
“With the emergence of the virtualized data center, legacy ADCs can be a bottleneck and were starting to be excluded from virtualization strategies and cloud deployments,” Pancottine said in a statement. “With Stingray Services Controller, customers will have a hyper-elastic ADC platform that can adapt to workload changes.”
According to Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, traditional hardware-based ADCs are deployed on a per-application basis: Each new application requires a new ADC, as does migrating to a new hardware platform.
“Customers would sometimes repurpose older hardware, but given how fast hardware evolves, this was more the exception than the norm,” Kerravala said in a blog post on the NetworkWorld site. “Lately, the hardware platforms have evolved to where a single ADC could be shared and support multiple applications, but this still doesn’t give a true one-to-one ratio of ADCs per application.”
There are other challenges with hardware-based ADCs as well, Riverbed officials said: Enterprises can’t guarantee the performance of each application, and scaling ADC operations is cumbersome and requires having to overprovision capacity rather than dynamically scale up and down as needed.
Riverbed is aiming to change that with the Stingray Services Controller, leveraging technology the company gained in 2011 when it bought Zeus Technology. With the new controller—due out in the third quarter—businesses and service providers will be able to automatically create ADC instances when needed, use them as long as needed and then take them down when they’re no longer needed. They will be able to automatically provision, deploy, license, meter and manage their ADCs in a cloud-based model, Riverbed officials said.