A10 Lightning ADC Deployment Architecture

A10 Lightning ADC deployment has two core architectural components:

  • A10 Harmony Controller
  • A10 Lightning ADC

A10 Harmony Controller provides following for interaction.

  • A10 Harmony Portal
  • A10 Harmony API
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A10 Harmony Controller

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A10 Harmony Controller provides centralized management, policy configuration, control and big data analytics for the cloud application services portfolio. It resides in the control plane and is implemented as a hyper-scale centralized application services controller responsible for management and control of application delivery policies, and for collecting and processing of telemetry from an elastic and distributed set of LADCs to provide application insights and analytics. The controller provides a closed loop mechanism to take these analytical insights and drive policy changes.

The A10 Harmony Controller can automatically deploy or activate a logical A10 Lightning ADC (LADC) in front of the application. A single Controller virtually manages an unlimited number of logical LADCs front-ending applications running across multiple public and private clouds.

You can use the A10 Harmony Controller Policy Interface to specify policies for high availability, traffic management, traffic optimization, application security and more. All policies can be set via the Controller user interface or via the REST API service it provides.

The controller includes an indexed data repository and analytics engine to offer application insights and policy recommendations in both real-time and offline mode. The data store can retain massive amounts of time series data over extensive time periods. The controller analyzes and enriches the real-time data stream to identify anomalies, drive alerts and alter application delivery policies specific to an application.

A10 Lightning ADC

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A10 Lightning ADC (LADC) is an application-intimate, lightweight, full proxy that is deployed adjacent to your cloud application. A10’s LADCs operate in the data plane and are responsible for enforcing application delivery policies.

The A10 Lightning ADC (LADC) acts as the front-door to application traffic coming from clients to the application servers. LADC essentially replaces a load balancer, a reverse proxy, an application layer security device and a data collection agent when the application traffic passes through LADC. For high availability and load balancing, it is recommended to deploy LADCs in the form of a cluster. A cluster may have any number of LADCs deployed in active-active mode. Point to note is that an LADC cluster can front any number of application comprising of any number of domains.

A logical LADC resides in the data plane within the context of the application and is responsible for enforcing application delivery policies such as traffic management policies, performance optimization policies, and application security policies on the application traffic between the client(s) and the application servers. In this scenario, the LADC acts as a proxy, or as a reverse proxy and as such also load balances the application traffic among the application servers.

LADCs and controller work together in concert with your cloud application and cloud infrastructure to optimize application delivery.

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A10 Lightning Portal

A10 Lightning Portal is easy to use a role-based portal for managing application delivery infrastructure and associated policies on a per-application basis. The Self-Service capability eliminates the need for centralized IT admins to set up and configure the per application infrastructure, thereby maximizing agility and operational savings in supporting multiple application teams.

A10 Lightning APIs

A10 Lightning APIs make all capabilities of A10 Harmony Controller available through the RESTful interface. Orchestration and Configuration APIs can be used to integrate with deployment automation tools like Chef, Puppet, Ansible and CI/CD tools like Jenkins. Analytics APIs can provide access to per-application metrics, logs. They may be used to integrate with 3rd party tools or build custom dashboards.

Deployment Models

The A10 Harmony Controller is provided as a SaaS, hosted and managed by A10 Networks. A10 Networks’ customers can get an account on the controller and start utilizing elastic application load balancing, security and analytics capabilities in a few minutes. The controller manages LADCs that run inside the customer’s infrastructure in public, private clouds or datacenters.

In this deployment architecture, application traffic flows only via LADCs and never through the controller and the application traffic never traverses a third party cloud account. Only control messages and metrics are sent between the controller and LADCs over a secure messaging channel.

With this architecture, the customers get best of both words. At one hand they get self-provisioning, agility and complete control over the application traffic and the policies they want to apply on it and the other hand this significantly reduces the cost of infrastructure as well as management overhead directly bringing down total cost of ownership (TCO).

The A10 Harmony Controller is also available as software that can be installed as Self-Managed in customer’s network. The software can be installed on a few Linux machines as required for manageing the application service devices.