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This report examines the evolutionary path of the application delivery controller (ADC), the development of a new application delivery infrastructure, and the integration of an application services layer with evolving SDN and NFV networks.


  • The modern ADC has moved beyond application delivery and load balancing to deliver a wide range of application services including security, policy enforcement, and analytics. It eliminates the manual management of individual services functions, instead functioning as a centralized control point for the wide range of available physical and virtual application services.
  • The adoption of RESTful APIs supports the integration of Layer 4-7 application services with network infrastructures based on SDN, NFV, and cloud architectures.

Features and Benefits

  • Describes how ADCs have evolved from hardware-based appliances to systems that provide an architectural framework for application services delivery
  • Examines how these new architectural models share many of the abstraction and virtualization concepts found in emerging SDN and NFV architectures
  • Looks at the role of leading ADC vendors in supporting a transformation to SDN, NFV, and the cloud.

Key questions answered

  • How have ADC architectural models changed?
  • What are leading ADC vendors doing to support the migration to software-based networks?
  • What SDN and NFV partnerships have ADC vendors entered into?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view

The ADC competitive landscape

  • A10 Networks
  • Avi Networks
  • Brocade/Riverbed
  • Citrix
  • F5
  • Radware


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Authors

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