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Application Delivery Controllers – A Key to 2021’s Hybrid Work Model


Seth W Godin the American best-selling author and speaker, also known as ‘the ultimate entrepreneur for the information age’ once said – Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late. It would not be wrong to consider applying the quote to the current trend of the Hybrid Work Model which is a fusion of remote and in-house working.

Organizations across the world, with an exception of a few until 2020 relied heavily on the traditional work model where employees would be working sitting in their cubicles inside the office. This was despite the advancement in the field of information technology, security and other connected sectors. But nearly a year ago due to the pandemic, the companies and the workforce were thrown out of gear as organizations had to consider overhauling the system.

The immediate solution that emerged wasto allow the workforce to work remotely.However with the sudden remote working option emerged many other issues, be it in terms of security or employees feeling stressed due to continuous remote working with no flexible option. But as the pandemic situation came to control and restriction of movement was lifted there was a better option that organizations came up with and that was the hybrid work model. The pandemic accelerated the migration of business applications and infrastructure into the cloud. According to the Radware survey, 76% of companies adopted cloud services faster than they had planned.

According to a Salesforce survey, 64% of workers want to work from outside the office and another type of workplace, as opposed to working entirely remotely. As per the same survey, 74% of Generation-Z are likely to prefer to either WFH or split time at home and work. With more employees voting in favor of hybrid working, organizations have started taking all possible measures to make this possible. Hybrid working however has its own set of complications and it is Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) that supports the off-campus workload or the transition of operations from traditional to hybrid work mode. ADCshave gained traction within the last decade, largely due to the growing need for legacy load balancing appliances to improve the performance as well as to handle more advanced requirements associated with application delivery.

ADCs provide availability, scalability, performance, security, analytics and visibility, automation and control essential to keeping applications and servers running in their power band. These capabilities aid the organizations that want to or already have migrated to the cloud which is one of the options used for setting up the hybrid work method. ADCs help organizations achieve operational consistency across clouds as companies use public clouds and a heterogeneous mix depending on the cost and license of the vendors and the right ADC helps in cost optimization without any surprises in the billings. Mission-critical ADCs manage the uptime and delivery of applications and network traffic flow. It is imperative for application delivery fabric to provide the ability to allocate dedicated resources per new application’s service and to provision systems to fully integrate into the data center’s orchestration system. It reduces the workload of IT experts and also enables beginners to easily manage applications.

While many are of the opinion that ADC is witnessing a decrease in demand, the increase in the number of organizations opting for hybrid work is in fact fueling the demand for the ADC market because ADCs are no longer traditional in functionality, they have many other functionalities too.Digital transformation inspires new architectures and IT optimization initiatives and has a profound impact on ADCs since they are a core component of both application architectures and IT optimization.Almost any eCommerce website uses a load balancer or an application delivery controller in front of it, to improve its availability and reliability. The IT & telecom industry, through ADCs, can provide greater control over their infrastructure to leverage the existing data center resources to meet the dynamic nature of the current imperatives of business and operations.ADCs help with enterprise applications, support SaaS and IaaS, and help with SSL Offloading.

By implementing an ADC with the proper underlying functionality and integration points, organizations will not only drive the hybrid work model but there is a fair chance that this would be the next big transformation of the new decade.

(The author is VP- International Sales at Array Networks and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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