Follow the App. A complete end-to-end Application Delivery Network relies on more than just a single appliance inserted into the DMZ. An Application Delivery Network occupies the entire stack of the OSI Model, and stretches from the client, through the network, to the server farm into the application delivery infrastructure. Applications are best managed and delivered using a Reverse Proxy Load Balancer and Application Firewall. Forward proxies are less effective as they don’t perform TCP Multiplexing.
An Application Delivery Network (Application Delivery Infrastructure) is one that is capable of advanced server offload using load balancing, caching, compression, ssl acceleration, content switching. Scalable open architectures that include physical and virtual appliances. End-to-end security while delivering ease of use through prebuilt configurations and auto-configuration using visual tools. Any modern ADN of course needs dynamic workload response for capacity scaling in the datacenter and the cloud.
Citrix is best suited to fill the role of offering the products that complete the Application Delivery Network, starting with Citrix Receiver, XenClient, Branch Repeater WAN Optimization, Access Gateway for SSL Encryption and Offload, NetScaler for Load Balancing, Caching and COmpression, Vyatta for Routing, OpenvSwitch for Switching, XenDesktop for VDI and XenApp for application delivery. Whether you implement these technologies as physical appliances or virtual machines is entirely up to you, but if you are going to virtualize your infrastructure, you will definitely want to be using XenServer, the only high performance bare-metal Hypervisor in the market.
Whether it’s content delivery network, application delivery network, application delivery infrastructure – you can’t do it unless you have all of the pieces end-to-end. Currently there is only one vendor that does – Citrix Systems.
Performance is always important, so do the research on the platforms you need to scale up to your traffic needs. After all these years in the business, I’ve learned one thing for sure, not all vendors perform the same. Some use inferior hardware and spagetti code to cut costs – so make sure your device is engineered well.