Paul Anderson, marketing communications manager for Array Networks (, says:

There is a lot going on in today’s data center. And there are several major trends creating challenges that IT managers must solve. On the server side, you have data center consolidation which aims to centralize applications to gain advantages in cost, security and ease-of-management. These advantages are not free; IT managers must select application networking gear that scales to cost-effectively support and deliver aggregated application traffic back to users with a fast, secure and always-on experience.

Load balancing, link load balancing and global server load balancing manage connectivity across multiple servers, WAN links, and data centers for efficient resource utilization and always-on applications. TCP connection multiplexing, SSL offloading, dynamic caching, adaptive compression, Layer-4 direct forward and Layer-7 turbo accelerate applications by as much as 500%. To ensure data center and application security, a stateful packet inspection firewall scans all traffic (encrypted and unencrypted) and prevents attacks from common hacks including DDoS attacks, malformed URL requests, worm propagation, SQL injection and many others. What’s more, application performance is not affected by high volume attacks and large rule sets.

It is important to note that in addition to securing, accelerating and providing high availability for applications, Array application delivery controllers create significant efficiencies and cost savings in the data center. By offloading connection handling and SSL processing, and by offloading request handling through caching, the number of servers required to support applications is dramatically reduced, saving businesses a large amount of money. In addition, using link load balancing in conjunction with compression and QoS, WAN bandwidth can be managed to not only accelerate application performance, but also to significantly reduce cost. Lastly, because the Array APV Series provides the best combination of features, performance and price as compared to other enterprise-class ADCs, IT managers can meet data center and application requirements while keeping to a budget that ensures productivity and service revenues that outpace infrastructure costs.

In addition to addressing the needs of application delivery, today’s IT managers must also address a range of transitions and modernization initiatives taking place in today’s data center. Due to depletion in IPv4 network addresses, NIST and CAs have mandated a move to IPv6. Due to security concerns with 1024-bit SSL, movement is underway to transition to 2048-bit SSL. Also underway is the move to virtualized infrastructure and 10GigE connectivity. Array APV 600 Series ADCs fully support and accelerate these data center modernization initiatives, boasting IPv4/IPv6 dual stack support, high-performance hardware 2048-bit SSL encryption, 10Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and VMware vCenter integration.

On the client side, users are becoming increasingly mobile and are demanding to access their virtualized desktops and applications from a wide range of mobile devices including smart phones and tablets. This raises a number of challenges for IT managers including how to provide “universal” secure access that supports these various devices, how to prevent data leakage, how to cost-effectively enable devices with required applications, how to manage a heterogeneous environment, how to deliver access to physical and virtual resources and how to ensure the performance of applications.

The Array DesktopDirect solution addresses these challenges head on. DesktopDirect is an enterprise-class remote desktop access solution thatallows users to quickly and easily register physical and virtual desktops. It then allows access to registered resources via a URL from any device including home PCs, laptops, smart phones and tablets. SSL encryption secures data in transit and advanced endpoint security including host-checking, secure desktop, anti-key logging and anti-screen capture and prevents data leakage. DesktopDirect leverages existing application and desktop infrastructure and security policies, thereby mitigating cost, security and management concerns.

Most enterprises cannot rely on ASPs to provide this type of functionality for security, control, performance and cost reasons. Array Networks provides the only enterprise-class remote desktop access solution for physical and virtual infrastructure that meets the requirements and challenges posed by an increasingly mobile workforce on an increasingly broad spectrum of devices.

As to priority in the data center, while data centers wouldn’t exist without servers, storage, routers, switches and so on, the impact of data growth, consolidation, modernization, public and private cloud computing, mobility and the consumerization of business cannot be ignored. These are huge trends and challenges that must be addressed, and Array Networks products and solutions go a long ways towards meeting them.