A10 Networks is making its play for the cloud, announcing a cluster of related pieces intended to give application delivery controllers (ADCs) the same level of automation found in other cloud infrastructure.
Collectively, the pieces are called the aCloud Services Architecture, and they form a way to automatically build service chains out of Layer 4-7 functions residing in the cloud. Such service chains are more typically built manually by activating one service after another and connecting them linearly, says Jason Matlof, A10’s vice president of marketing.
Here are the pieces being grouped together as aCloud:
- Hardware appliances, namely the Thunder series of application delivery controllers (ADCs). These now include support for VXLAN and NVGRE encapsulation.
- Virtual and hybrid appliances. The vThunder line is rather self-explanatory, and those virtual appliances are available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Windows Azure as well as from A10 itself. A little more unusual are the Thunder HVA line of hybrid virtual appliances, which are physical boxes that run multiple instances of virtual appliances. Functions such as SSL offload or DDoS protection can be mixed and matched up to an aggregate throughput of 100 Gb/s.
- On-demand licensing models: a utility option (pay-as-you-go) and a rental option (a flat rate per time period). Sometime around April, A10 will also introduce an enterprise billing model, where an enterprise can buy a bundle of licenses and reuse them at will.
- Integration with various software-defined networking (SDN) and orchestration platforms so that they can create service chains automatically and apply the right policies to A10’s appliances. For example, a hybrid appliance could be told which VXLAN or NVGRE tunnel to move traffic into. Platforms to be supported include AWS, Cisco‘s Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI), IBM‘s SDN VE, Microsoft‘s Hyper-V, and OpenStack. In each case, support is due to be available in the second quarter. Cisco’s APIC, a crucial part of ACI, might not be available by then; A10 has been working with the relevant APIs and Cisco’s controller, Matlof says.
A10’s announcement, made early Tuesday morning eastern time, includes some customers for these implementations as well. Most notable among them is Deutsche Telekom, which is using A10 in TeraStream, a new network backbone that’s well steeped in SDN and was also a major motivation for creating network functions virtualization (NFV). DT is using one of the pay-as-you-go licenses and is using OpenStack to provision services on A10’s appliances, Matlof says.