The Active Advantage: Why Networking Leaders Are Embracing ADC Clustering

At long last, data centers have a more efficient high-availability deployment option for application delivery controllers. According to new research, that’s welcome news among IT leaders.

Few people outside IT know much about application delivery controllers, the Swiss army knife appliances that perform load balancing, caching, SSL offloading and a host of other vital data center tasks. Almost everyone inside IT, though, understands exactly how essential ADCs are to network uptime and performance. “They’re one of the most critical parts of the data center. You’ve got all your applications going through them,” says Graham Melville, director of product marketing at Citrix Systems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif. In fact, ADCs play such an important role in network operations that for years most organizations have deployed them in high-availability (HA) “active-passive pairs,” in which one unit actively provides services while the second sits passively in standby mode, ready to leap into action should the primary device fail.