Specifically, Appcito’s ADC was designed for a microservices model, where functions can be added on-demand and scaled up or down automatically.
“Nobody has a cloud-native offering among the leading ADC players,” says Kamal Anand, Appcito’s former CEO. With the acquisition, announced yesterday, he’s become the general manager of A10’s cloud business, meaning a good chunk of the company’s future is in his hands.
A10 is not abandoning its original business of ADC appliances. But there’s no denying that this business is being changed by the advent of the cloud. The specific functions inside an ADC — load balancing in particular — are increasingly thought of as ephemeral devices on the cloud.
This transition appears to be at the heart of a new product line from F5, the ADC market leader. Named the Shuttle series, the new ADC products will be programmable and will have more of a DevOps slant to them, F5 has promised. (Shuttle has yet to be announced but has been mentioned on F5’s last three earnings calls.)
Terms of the Appcito acquisition were not disclosed.
A10 was already headed in a cloudy direction and possibly could have completed this work on its own, but buying 2-year-old Appcito gives the company a significant boost, Anand says.
Among Appcito’s major contributions to A10 is its Cloud Services Controller — the element that handles orchestration of the virtualized ADC functions, including autoscaling.
Appcito had also developed a lightweight ADC based on the nginx open source load balancer. A10 will be using this element as well, because it’s been designed for east-west data center traffic and for container environments, Anand says.
One add-on that Appcito claims is unique, is the ability to feed information into other companies’ analytics dashboards, such as New Relic’s.
“Some of the PaaS [platform-as-a-service] services try to do this sort of thing with the autoscaling, but they don’t have the analytics,” Anand says.
Appcito was also going to run into competition with the cloud providers themselves. Amazon Web Services (AWS), in particular, has begun providing network functions on its own cloud, stepping on equipment vendors’ toes. Anand dismisses this possibility, though, claiming that AWS’ Elastic Load Balancing service lacks the capabilities of a full Layer 4-7 device.