ADCs Move Beyond Load Balancing Into Critical Security Role for Enterprises

Radware Survey Finds ADCs More Pervasive than Ever, Increase in Virtual Deployment

Radware® (NASDAQ: RDWR), a leading provider of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers, released findings from a new research report, titled “ The Expanding Role and Importance of Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs),” which reveals that ADCs are assuming a growing role as critical security controls and as a defense-in-depth security strategy for enterprises. The research also found that ADCs are increasingly deployed as virtual appliances at an increasing rate and taking advantage of ADC functionality from the network through the application layer.

Radware partnered with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a leading IT research, analysis, and strategy firm, to conduct a collaborative research project that focused on the current utilization and future strategies of ADCs. Respondents included 243 IT professionals in enterprise organizations with more than 1,000 employees based in North America.

“Many IT professionals still think of ADCs as hardware-based load balancers, but this new research indicates a more evolved scenario,” said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst, ESG. “Organizations now rely on ADCs as an important part of their overall security strategy, and like other layers in infrastructure, ADCs are moving from physical to virtual – providing added and necessary flexibility in network management.”

Key findings from the research survey include:

  • Traditionally seen as hardware appliances deployed in data centers at large organizations for load balancing, ADCs are now far more ubiquitous – ADCs are used extensively in both large and small enterprises, supporting hundreds of web applications for business analytics, CRM, e-mail and human resources. According to the study, more than half (51 percent) of enterprise organizations surveyed have at least 21 ADCs in use today. Additionally, 82 percent of organizations believe that the total number of ADCs will increase substantially or increase somewhat at their organizations.
  • ADCs have become a critical security control as enterprises fine-tune security policy and enforcement – Many organizations are using ADCs as an added layer of defense beyond perimeter security devices (e.g., firewalling, IDS/IPSs, network segmentation) – nearly half (49 percent) of organizations leverage the security capabilities on all ADCs, while 44 percent leverage the security capabilities on ADC-supported applications containing sensitive data. Furthermore, this trend will continue to gain momentum in the next few years – 76 percent of organizations expect their use of ADC security capabilities/functionality to increase in the future.
  • Organizations are deploying ADCs as virtual appliances at an increasing rate and taking advantage of ADC functionality from the network through the application layer – While physical ADCs are still most common, two-thirds of organizations have deployed a combination of physical and virtual ADCs. Organizations also report that ADCs can deliver numerous benefits, such as delivering a higher level of availability (49 percent); improved response time (47 percent); better access to applications (44 percent); and an enhanced security posture (36 percent). Deployment of ADCs as virtual appliances will only increase as organizations embrace private and hybrid cloud architectures.

“ADCs can be programmed and fine-tuned at the IT infrastructure, security policy and even business level, providing a degree of flexibility that is difficult or impossible to implement in other IT technologies,” said David Aviv, vice president of advanced services, Radware. “Findings from our research suggest that enterprise organizations can be creative with their ADC deployments – for performance tuning, application-specific services, and critical system protection. CIOs, CISOs, application owners and network engineers need to be aware of the benefits and flexibility of ADC implementation.”

To download this collaborative research project about current use and future strategies of application delivery controllers (ADCs) please visit:

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