A10 Networks' Harmony Controller brings per-app analytics to multi-cloud deployments

A10's cloud-native controller will become the analytics and orchestration engine for the company's entire product line, and also includes useful support for open-source load balancers.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor

A10 Networks has announced a new cloud management, orchestration, and analytics engine called A10 Harmony Controller. It's an extension of the cloud-native, microservices/container-based controller in A10's Lightning ADS application delivery services product, which launched in November last year following A10's acquisition of Appcito in July 2016.

"This really shows why we acquired Appcito," Paul Nicholson, director of product marketing at A10, told ZDNet, "which is to use it as an analytics and also orchestration engine for our entire product line, not just the existing Appcito things."

As well as Lightning ADS, A10's portfolio includes the Thunder family of hardware and virtual appliances covering application delivery, carrier-grade NAT, threat protection, SSL traffic inspection, and convergent firewalling.

"Enterprises are using multiple different locations to house their applications," said Nicholson. "For example, they could have some SaaS applications, or use something like AWS to load whatever apps they want, as well running things in the datacentre. Applications have become more agile, and when you look across this entire spectrum, the average IT manager needs better control," he said.

Image: A10 Networks

According to A10, the company's Harmony platform is "the industry's only controller-based platform that can deliver analytics, configuration and orchestration across such hybrid application environments".

Specific features of the A10 Harmony Controller include: SaaS or on-premises deployment; per-application analytics across A10's Lightning and Thunder ADC products, as well as open-source HAProxy load balancers; and native support for elastic load balancing and web application firewalling with VMware-powered private clouds and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

"Even though GCP has been around for a while, it's coming up more as an option which people are saying we must support, mainly because many people want to have a multi-cloud option," said Nicholson.

On Harmony Controller support for HAProxy load balancers, Nicholson said: "Developers should want this, because they'll be able to easily track down what's going on with their applications: we'll take the logs and present them in a very organised fashion, so that they can see, for example, the errors that are occurring in different elements of the configuration -- maybe it's the client that's slow, or there's a problem with a particular application server. Instead of going through logs, they can just drill down."

Image: A10 Networks

The A10 Harmony Controller and Thunder ADC integration, HAProxy load balancer analytics and native Google Cloud Platform load balancing and web application firewall offerings will be available in Q2 2017. Further integrations -- including SSL inspection, carrier-grade NAT and converged firewall -- will follow in the second half of the year.

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