A10 Networks Launches New OS and Cisco ACI Integration

Application Delivery Controller (ADC) vendor A10 adds new capabilities and Cisco ACI integration to its platform.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jan 23, 2015
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A10 Networks is seeking to expand its market footprint with the release of a new operating system update and an integration with Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) platform.

"The integration with A10 Thunder ADC appliances allows the Cisco APIC controller to communicate with the A10 ADC through REST APIs to push the necessary Layer 4 through 7 ADC service policies and allocate network path to A10 Thunder devices," Paul Nicholson, director of product marketing at A10 Networks, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet.

The Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) is the cornerstone of Cisco's ACI Software Defined Networking (SDN) efforts. The APIC first began shipping to customers on July 31, 2014. Nicholson said that ACI policies can be applied on a choice of high-performance physical appliances and flexible virtualized A10 Thunder appliances.

As to why A10 is integrating with Cisco, Nicholson commented that the Cisco ACI architecture simplifies operations with centralized automation and policy-based application deployment. He added that A10 shares a similar vision to deliver on-demand, policy-based mechanisms for dynamic Layer 4 through 7 services in a cloud environment.

"Together, Cisco ACI and the A10 Thunder ADC provide an automated approach based on application-specific policies that allow applications to dynamically scale on demand throughout data centers," Nicholson said.

ACOS

At the heart of the A10 technology platform is the company's ACOS operating system, which is being upgraded to version 4.0.

"ACOS is built on top of a Linux base," Nicholson said.

In terms of the ACOS 4.0 update, Nicholson said that the new update does not impact the performance of A10's Thunder appliance, but it does provide new features, including the Harmony architecture. Harmony is being positioned by A10 as a foundation for service integration.

Another key enhancement comes with the Secure Cloud Interconnect feature that provides a high-performance IPsec VPN.

"Agile configuration of dynamic security policies allows Secure Cloud Interconnect between different cloud domains and allows cloud providers to spin up new VPN tunnels on demand," Nicholson said. "Based on IPsec VPN, Secure Cloud Interconnect can support high throughput levels."

The new A10 also provides and improves SSL Insight features.

"In ACOS 4.0, A10 customers can deploy SSL Insight on the vThunder virtual appliance and they can decrypt additional protocols including secure mail and instant messaging communications," Nicholson said. "These were not available in the previous generation of ACOS."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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