Citrix today announced that its application delivery controllers (ADC) have been validated to run on top of the Red Hat OpenShift application development and deployment platform based on Kubernetes.
Pankaj Gupta, senior director for product marketing for networking at Citrix, says as part of this effort Red Hat has also certified Citrix’s Operator software, which is designed to make it easier to deploy and managed instances of Citrix ADC on Red Hat OpenShift. Operator frameworks for managing Kubernetes tools and applications originally were defined as a framework by CoreOS, which was acquired by Red Hat prior to Red Hat’s acquisition by IBM.
Gupta says Red Hat OpenShift joins container cloud platforms from Amazon Web Services (EKS), Google Cloud Platform (GKE) and Microsoft Azure (AKS) as platforms based on Kubernetes supported by Citrix ADC. Support for Red Hat OpenShift is significant because it sets the stage for deploying federated instances of Citrix ADC across a hybrid cloud computing environment, as Red Hat OpenShift can be deployed on-premises or in a public cloud.
As part of that effort, Gupta notes that Citrix ADCs have already been integrated with a variety of open source tools employed in cloud-native computing environments, including Prometheus, Grafana, Spinnaker, FluentD, Kibana, Open Tracing and Zipkin. IT organizations also will have the option to deploy Citrix ADC on containerized platforms (CPX), virtual machine-based solutions (VPX), bare-metal Linux platforms (BLX) or existing MPX and SDX appliances from Citrix.
Gupta says rather than setting up and deploying proxy servers based on open source Envoy software or service meshes that only run on top of Kubernetes, such as Istio, Citrix is making a case for extending ADCs, which already are deployed to support monolithic applications, to also support emerging microservices-based applications running in Kubernetes environments, and managing them via the same central console. That approach reduces the operational overhead of the IT environment, as existing monolithic applications won’t be replaced on a wholesale basis, says Gupta. Instead, organizations will seek to modernize those applications by isolating specific processes as microservices over an extended period. Longer term, IT organizations also should expect to see service meshes integrated within a larger ADC platform, he notes.
ADCs also provide access to a richer set of services that go beyond what load balancer typically provides. For example, ADCs typically include a web application firewall (WAF), server monitoring tools and the ability to offload SSL traffic. In addition, the Citrix ADCs include the ability to create service graphs that enable organizations to track the overall health of a microservice more easily as the containers that make up that service are updated, Gupta says.
It may be a while before all the ADC dust surrounding microservices settles. The one thing that IT organizations can count on, however, is that given all the dependencies between microservices that will exist, not having something the equivalent to an ADC platform no longer will be an option.