A10 Acquires Appcito, Makes Move Into the Cloud

The company establishes a cloud business unit that will complement the application delivery controller and security services appliances.

cloud networking

A10 Networks is accelerating its push into the cloud-based applications services market with the recent acquisition of Appcito, which sold application delivery services via the cloud.

Appcito, which A10 bought in June but is only talking about now, has become the larger company's cloud unit, which officials said will help A10 differentiate from such competitors as F5 Networks and Citrix Systems. A10, which went public in 2014, had been moving toward offering cloud-based application delivery and security services, but the acquisition of Appcito gave that initiative a boost, according to Neil Wu Becker, vice president of marketing at A10.

"We were heading that way anyway, but we're now there," Becker told eWEEK. "We were cloud-ready. With Appcito, we are cloud-native."

Becker and Kamal Anand, former Appcito CEO and now vice president and general manager of A10's cloud business unit, both said businesses are struggling to find ways to make their IT infrastructures more agile, scalable and secure at a time when the numbers and kinds of applications are proliferating. In addition, enterprises are looking for ways to make the leap to hybrid environments, where they can keep the security they have with on-premises technology while taking advantage of the agility and speed the cloud offers.

The combination of A10's legacy on-premises application delivery controller (ADC) and the cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) and secure application capabilities inherited from Appcito will allow A10 to bridge the gap and enable customers to make the move more easily to the cloud. A10 already offered a range of appliances that offered everything from application delivery and network management to secure web gateways, encrypted data inspection and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection. It also offers a threat intelligence service.

"We're not running away from our heritage … and we're not necessarily resisting the cloud," Becker said. "We're embracing both."

Becker and Anand said that capability will help A10 better compete in an ADC market that is projected to remain relatively flat this year. In its report on the ADC market in October 2015, Gartner analysts said that A10 was in fourth place behind F5, Citrix and Radware, with about 7 percent of the market. A10 officials note that the company has seen strong growth despite being a relatively flat market.

With Appcito, the company now has about 860 employees. In the first quarter of the year, A10 reported more than 5,000 customers—a 19.5 percent increase from the first three months in 2015—and 29 percent year-over-year revenue growth.

Anand told eWEEK that the combination of A10 and Appcito lets A10 address two key trends in the industry—the move toward the cloud and the evolving microservice and container architectures. Appcito brings SaaS solutions, multi-cloud capabilities—including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, VMware, OpenStack and Google Cloud Platform—and the microservices and container strengths into the mix, he said.

A10 officials also said Appcito's technology fits well with A10's Harmony architecture, which was introduced early last year and offers secure application services that run from the data center into private, public and hybrid clouds.

The A10 Harmony-based cloud offerings based on Appcito's technology will become available beginning this year and will include a cloud services controller that will enable centralized application policy management and orchestration and elastic application traffic management that integrates with DevOps processes. There also will be deep visibility and analytics for applications and support for microservice- and container-based workloads, company officials said.