How digital transformation is impacting application delivery

Bridging the gap between traditional and microservice application delivery will be a new challenge for evolving businesses

To meet the growing challenges of a competitive world economy, enterprises are undergoing a digital transformation. To be competitive, organisations need to be more agile, and need to be able to scale their applications to meet customer demands.

The new pillars in an enterprise digital transformation strategy now include leverage of cloud and new application architectures to drive profitability, while reducing security vulnerabilities and overall technical debt.

Applications play a critical role in this endeavour. As cloud adoption rises, it presents increasing challenges of complexity for organisations in managing multiple workloads across a diverse ecosystem of platforms.

Microservice applications are one way that these challenges can be met. Microservice applications are agile, configured to enable new features to be added without disrupting applications in production, and are designed to automatically spin up new instances in response to increasing user demand.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

This drastically changes the way that applications are deployed and managed, bringing a new level of complexity to network infrastructures as traditional applications are not going away. Applications will continue to be designed for both microservices and traditional 3-tier implementations, and organisations will need to maintain traditional IT practices while developing agile practices for newer DevOps microservice applications.

To bridge the gap between this new microservice application delivery and traditional application environments, some businesses are adopting hybrid application delivery infrastructures.

But supporting a hybrid application delivery infrastructure places unique demands on the business' Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) due to the diverse qualities of both models.

WIth microservices application delivery, ADCs are placed in a container and are deployed per microservice, whereas in legacy applications, they are in front of the application servers. There are also variations in the quantity of ADCs deployed; thousands may be required to support traffic with microservices applications, compared to just a few for traditional 3-tier applications.

These differing structural characteristics create a large management challenge that must be overcome to support both traditional and microservices applications in parallel. There are three strategies that can help businesses at different stages of digital transformation overcome some of these challenges:

Conventional Hardware - Most ADCs carry a fixed licensed capacity. Traditionally, when businesses needed to increase capacity, they either bought new appliances or upgraded the appliances they already owned. This buy it when you need it' strategy makes short-term sense for companies that prefer to manage hardware on-premise, and may not be ready to move to cloud. In the long run however, as business demands increase, recurring purchases can be expensive and disruptive, and can eventually lead to appliance sprawl' which is costly to support.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Consolidation with multi-tenancy - Many organisations are replacing multiple point solution appliances with a scale in' approach. Rather than continue to buy more and more devices, they choose to go in the opposite direction, consolidating existing load balancers, VPNs and firewalls onto a multi-tenant platform that can scale up as needed over time without the set-up and deployment requirements of complex upgrades.

Pooled capacity licensing - As applications transition to the cloud and the data centre evolves towards a software-defined model, the requirements for ADCs are rapidly evolving. A software-first ADC decouples software from hardware, freeing IT departments to allocate instance capacity flexibly across the network, in hardware or software either on-premise or in the cloud.

Featured Resources

Transform the operator experience with enhanced automation & analytics

Bring networking into the digital era

Download now

Artificially intelligent data centres

How the C-Suite is embracing continuous change to drive value

Download now

Deliver secure automated multicloud for containers with Red Hat and Juniper

Learn how to get started with the multicloud enabler from Red Hat and Juniper

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now


Business strategy

What is digital transformation?

7 Aug 2019
Business strategy

Oracle: Cultural resistance, not tech, is holding innovation

13 Feb 2019

Most Popular


Patch issued for critical Windows bug

11 Dec 2019
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Microsoft Windows

This exploit could give users free Windows 7 updates beyond 2020

9 Dec 2019
big data

Google reveals UK’s most searched for terms in 2019

11 Dec 2019