An application delivery network is a suite of technologies arranged in systematic order to provide application availability, security and acceleration. Technicians explains application delivery networking as the combination of WAN optimization controllers and application delivery controllers. At the data center end of an ADN is the application delivery controller, an advanced traffic management device that is often also referred to as a web switch or multilayer switch. The purpose of web switch is to distribute traffic among a number of servers based on application specific criteria.
Our internet was designed according to the end-to-end principle. This principle keeps the basic network comparatively simple and shift the intelligence as much as possible to the network end points, the hosts and clients. An Application Delivery Network (ADN) is basically enlarge the delivery of applications across the Internet by employing a multiple of optimization techniques. Most of these techniques are usually based on established practices used to optimally route traffic at the network layer including redundancy and load balancing.
Many people thinks an Application Delivery Network is related to a content delivery network. This two types of networks share many similarities and are both used to accelerate the web experience for users while reducing load times. However content delivery network is typically deployed to optimize static content and Application Delivery Network is more commonly used for web acceleration of dynamic content. This difference to understand and optimize applications, usually referred to as application fluency network. Application Fluent Network is based on the original concept called Application Fluency, also refer to WAN optimization techniques applied at Layer Four to Layer Seven of the OSI model for networks. Application Fluency states that the network is fluent or intelligent only if its best in understanding and being able to optimize delivery of each application.
Application delivery uses one or more layer 4 – 7 switches. These switches also known as a web switch, multilayer switch or content switch to intelligently distribute traffic to a pool, also known as a cluster or farm, of servers. The application delivery controller is assigned a single virtual IP address that represents the pool of servers. Traffic arriving at the ADC is then directed to one of the servers in the pool based on a number of factors including application transport protocol, client-specific parameters, application specific data values, current performance metrics, and availability of servers. An application delivery network provides the advantages of load distribution, increase in capacity of servers, improved scalability and increased reliability through application specific health checks.
Presently the application delivery network comprises a redundant pair of ADC on which is integrated a number of different feature sets designed to provide security, availability, reliability, and acceleration functions. In some cases these devices are still separate entities, deployed together as a network of devices through which application traffic is delivered, each providing specific functionality that enhances the delivery of the application.
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