If your organisation needs to run Internet facing web applications in order to run day to day services, then IT traffic management and acceleration should be the centrepiece of your strategy to optimise server resource load in order to minimise response times to your end users. Most peoples understanding of IT traffic management is simply that of load balancing, but actually, the functionality and role of the advanced IT traffic manager has grown considerably over the years, to a state where now we refer to the top of the range solution as ‘Application Delivery Controllers’.
Rather than simply deal with dishing out requests to available front end web servers, a good ADC will also perform SSL offloading, on the fly URL re-writing, bandwidth management, content compression, rate shaping and a range of security functions such as the ability to inspect poorly formed HTTP requests and deny them. Moreover, they will work with far more protocols than simply HTTP and HTTPS – but many others such as SMTP, SIP / VOIP, DNS and more.
As is usually the case what you put in is very much what you get out, and this is one of the primary reasons ACC have been staunch supporter of Brocades vTM since it was created by ZEUS (when the product was called ZXTM). As well as being a software based product which enabled easy provisioning on your own hardware / vm platform – ZEUS built into their ADC a powerful and easy to learn API based on Traffic Script. Any developer familiar with the PERL language would find Traffic Script extremely easy to get started with, and thus, together with a function ‘cheat sheet’ we have found that developers using vTM solutions have been able to create extremely powerful Traffic Script functionality for their ADCs – purely custom for their own business needs. So Brocades vTM really becomes central and completely ‘apart’ of the business, rather than simply an closed appliance with a limit set of features, or an API so complicated and confusing, it requires specific knowledge of the inner workings of the product, not something you want your development team to have to invest their time in.
In addition to Traffic Script and other ADC features, vTM also provides a significant amount of ‘real time’ session information which enables the administrator to essentially ‘stick their head’ right into the problem and see exactly what is going on – and then deal with it!