Avi rises on smarter load balancing for the multi-cloud age
Data Center & Storage Solutions

Avi rises on smarter load balancing for the multi-cloud age

“If there was an area that hadn’t seen innovation for 10 years it was application delivery,” says Chandra Sekar, Avi Networks chief marketing officer. “The old hardware tools did not match the needs of modern applications.”

That yawning chasm is the raison d’être for Avi (the name is Sanskrit for ‘rise’) which was founded six years ago in Santa Clara, California by a team of datacenter networking and storage engineers with shared Cisco DNA. Avi’s offer is to provide a software-only, highly manageable approach to application and service delivery for enterprise datacenters and public cloud platforms in order to lower TCO and accelerate the speed at which applications can be deployed. In some ways its vision makes it a smarter successor to the load balancing appliance, as was defined by companies such as NetScaler, now owned by Citrix, and F5 Networks. And in this age of highly motile architectures a core strength of Avi is that it works across private datacenters, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, bare metal, containers and VMs so that firms can have a highly flexible approach to tactics for handling changing workloads. 

Avi views the load balancer as sitting at the heart of modern IT.

“Fundamentally, a load-balancer plays the part of a traffic cop and ensures a great experience for end-users,” Sekar says. “It’s the most privileged position in the network, the air-traffic control tower. We provide a control plane and a source of intelligence.”

You might compare Avi to AppDynamics (now part of Cisco) or New Relic in the adjacent field of application performance management. All these companies are creating products that are attempts to help firms understand and deal with the new traffic characteristics of the multi-cloud, hybrid age by standing sentry, monitoring all activity and drilling down all the way to log files to identify the root causes of problems, security challenges, latency issues and bottlenecks. And there are useful spinoffs from these smarter architectures: Avi’s Vantage platform anticipates security challenges, for example, through its Web Application Firewall.   

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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