Cloud Application Delivery: Still A Work in Progress for Many - Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay It’s hard to overstate the key role of application reliability and performance for today’s organisations. To compete effectively and grow in modern digital markets, businesses must meet high customer expectations for a great experience.

Hybrid workplace strategies and work-from-home policies make it all the more critical to deliver a consistently high-quality experience wherever people work. Rising cyberthreats and an expanding attack surface call for a heightened focus on security. And agility is a must to support innovation and keep pace with fast-moving markets.

Organisations increasingly host their applications in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments to address these needs. In a recent survey, A10 Networks and Gatepoint Research asked senior technology decision-makers about their experiences delivering applications in the cloud. We also asked what today’s organisations need to achieve the digital resiliency their businesses depend on.

Application delivery performance is critical for digital business success. That only 34% of companies are highly satisfied with their application delivery controller (ADC) solution should raise eyebrows.

Modern Business runs on Hybrid Cloud and Multi-cloud Application Delivery

A key finding from the survey reveals the combination of cloud approaches used by modern businesses. Most respondents continue to host applications on-premises. Yet, 85% use public cloud platforms—usually more than one—and 43% use private clouds.

This approach offers several potential benefits. A more diverse application infrastructure allows greater flexibility to host each application on the optimal platform, in the optimal location, to ensure availability and responsiveness. By tapping into scalable resources on-demand, companies can quickly adapt to changing business needs, IT strategies and shifting customer demand.

Moving to more economical and flexible licensing and pay-as-you-go models can free up funds for innovation. And with the right tools, organisations can achieve better visibility into end-to-end application security and performance than a traditional on-premises data centre could offer.

However, the survey reported a low rate of satisfaction. Many organisations are hampered by application delivery technologies that fail to meet their requirements.

How Underperforming ADCs Undermine the Promise of the Cloud

Ensuring application delivery performance in a hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environment hinges on several key ADC functions. Global server load balancing (GSLB) is essential. Organisations must go beyond traditional disaster recovery requirements to optimise traffic and ensure availability across multiple data centres and clouds.

The vast majority of internet traffic is now encrypted. TLS/SSL offload makes it possible to perform TLS/SSL encryption and decryption without straining server resources or creating bottlenecks.

Application acceleration and optimisation capabilities, including application analytics, fast root-cause analysis, and performance feedback for developers, are invaluable for delivering an outstanding and consistent customer experience while keeping employees fully productive and engaged.

However, current application delivery solutions often fall short of these requirements. Half of the survey respondents reported ongoing struggles with legacy application delivery technology. Nearly a third face challenges addressing application security threats. Over one in four experience application downtime and slow performance. Meanwhile, more than 20% face visibility and reporting challenges.

To overcome these challenges and realise the full business benefits of their hybrid and multi-cloud strategy, these organisations will need to modernise their application delivery infrastructure.

The Agenda for Hybrid Cloud and Multi-cloud App Delivery

The gap between outdated application delivery solutions and modern requirements only continues to grow. Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud complexity are rising. Organisations need to be able to deploy and deliver applications more flexibly and efficiently. They must avoid being bogged down in manual tasks and gain greater insight to ensure that fast-changing environments maintain performance and availability.

These needs are reflected in the survey respondents’ key objectives for the coming year. 48% reported plans to increase agility with software/scale-out solutions. Meanwhile, 47% intend to drive operational efficiency by deploying hybrid cloud automation, management, and analytics capabilities.

Survey respondents understood that modernising the ADC will be essential to achieving these goals. When asked about the most important capabilities to ensure successful business objectives, 69% named faster troubleshooting and root-cause analysis. It depends on centralised management, analytics, and reporting to understand their environment and its performance better.

More than half cited automation as a need to overcome challenges in IT skills development in a fast-changing technology environment. A similar number saw a need for data analytics and application insights to guide performance optimisation, troubleshooting, security, and more.

Ensuring Digital Resiliency for Better Business Performance

As companies evaluate their existing ADCs and consider future investments, their priorities are closely tied to bottom-line performance. To maximise ROI, they will need to be able to both increase revenue and control expenses. On the revenue side, better application performance will help them deliver outstanding experiences to win and retain customers in competitive markets. It will also keep their workforce engaged, productive, and satisfied.

A modern application delivery approach is clearly needed to help organisations right-size investments. It enables more efficient management, reduces calls to customer support, averts costly and disruptive security breaches, provides agile software options, and leverages new advanced observability.

A10 LogoA10 Networks (NYSE: ATEN) provides Reliable Security Always™, with a range of high-performance application networking solutions that help organisations ensure that their data center applications and networks remain highly available, accelerated and secure. Founded in 2004, A10 Networks is based in San Jose, Calif., and serves customers globally with offices worldwide.


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