Report: Application delivery controller sales up, but WAN optimization slipping

Preliminary figures suggest divergence between the two types of networking gear

A report on data center networking equipment says that sales of WAN optimization gear fell in the second quarter, but application delivery controllers were on the rise.

According to Infonetics Research, which will officially release its full report on Sept. 9, ADC revenues grew by 7% on a quarterly basis and 4% year-over-year. F5 was the top vendor in the market sector, followed by Citrix and Radware.

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Infonetics directing analyst for data center and cloud Cliff Grossner said in a statement that IT budgets have helped push ADC demand higher.

“Previously delayed tier 1 projects are back on track, and enterprise spending in North America is picking up,” he said.

Fellow analyst Matthias Machowinski said that WAN optimization hasn’t seen the same spending growth, thanks in part to a lack of impetus from the cloud sector.

“So far cloud services have yet to become a demand driver,” he said.

Enterprise Management Associates research vice president Jim Frey says this disconnect also has to do with the way companies consume these products.

“ADCs are much more closely aligned with specific application projects and budgets, and thus when there are new applications being rolled out (and there always are) there are new needs for ADCs,” he said in an email to Network World.

By contrast, demands for WAN optimization gear crop up less frequently, Frey added – and there are more alternatives available these days.

“This is a card that you can only play once in a while,” he said. “Also – there are alternative networking approaches that reduce the need for traditional WAN optimization, such as using multiple public Internet links to replace fixed/dedicated WAN links (i.e. Talari, Ecessa) or optimized/shared network services (i.e. Akamai, Aryaka).  Few such options exist for ADCs – either you use them or you don’t.”

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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