Owen Garrett, CIO at Zeus Technology (www.zeus.com), says:

Survey results released at GigaOM Structure in 2010 from Zeus Technology revealed that 82 percent of U.S. organizations struggle to manage their website and services performance, stemming largely from growing IT complexities like virtualization, cloud computing and multi-site data center management. The survey also found that 79 percent of respondents lack resources to manage web applications across complex multi-data center environments, yet 95 percent of senior IT professionals surveyed were responsible for it.

Eighty-three percent of organizations surveyed also admit they’re more concerned about web application performance issues in their virtualized environments than their physical environments. This demonstrates a clear need for solutions that provide deep visibility into how virtual applications are performing.

Zeus launched the ZEAD platform in response to these challenges and is continually helping companies create, manage and deliver exceptional online websites and services.

When organizations deploy a website or service, they typically install an ‘ADC’ (Application Delivery Controller) or Load Balancer in their data center to manage traffic. ADCs are used for high-traffic sites, as well as sites or services where availability and customer service are paramount. They reduce CapEx and OpEx costs, while reducing time-to-market for new services. However, incumbent ADC devices are based on specialist hardware appliances, and require access to the physical data center where their service is hosted for deployment. Organizations are looking to host services and deploy them on-demand in the cloud, but this is not possible with hardware appliances.

The Zeus Elastic Application Delivery (ZEAD) platform is a pure-software solution that controls how end users interact with websites and other networked services. It improves the performance and reliability of these services, ensuring that end users get the best possible level of service and optimizing the capacity of the service so that it can sustain more users.

Luckily, ZEAD delivers the same benefits as specialist hardware appliances, at the same if not greater levels of performance and reliability. Zeus’ software runs on low-cost, general purpose hardware and can be deployed in any data center, including cloud data centers, such as Amazon EC2 and Rackspace. Zeus is the only ADC supplier to take a software approach to the problem, presenting a flexible solution that better understands the nature of the applications for which it manages traffic.

Benefit to IT and Data Center Managers
As applications grow increasingly complex, deployed across multiple sites and dispersed geographical locations, data center managers are seeing a growing need for visibility into application performance. By visualizing and manipulating the flow of traffic to and from their web-enabled applications, ZEAD ensures companies maintain a consistently robust web infrastructure and can deploy new online services quickly. Essentially, Zeus is making business’ internal and external online services faster, more reliable, more secure and easier to manage amidst growing data center complexities.

The Zeus Elastic Application Delivery (ZEAD) platform provides businesses with one application delivery fabric across multiple Physical, Virtual and Cloud environments. ZEAD combines Zeus Traffic Manager 7.0 and Zeus Multi-Site Manager to seamlessly deliver fast, secure and available web applications across any IT platform or environment. It is centrally managed from a single dashboard, which significantly decreases the time needed to manage web applications. With Zeus’ TrafficScript™, businesses can set and apply specific traffic management rules globally to easily accommodate changing business needs, such as prioritizing incoming traffic from key users.

The analytics module incorporated into the ZEAD platform provides deep, real-time visibility into how applications are performing, while the auto-scaling feature allows businesses to automatically increase or decrease virtual and cloud capacity based on peaks in demand. This feature also enables companies to burst capacity to the cloud when a physical data center is overloaded and automatically scale back when the need decreases. Auto-scaling is initially available in Amazon AWS, Rackspace Cloud and RightScale based environments.

The key to the ZEAD platform is that it is a pure software product. It is crucial for companies to start standardizing on software based components, especially as more and more look to migrate their data center applications into the cloud. Many large organizations’ applications are restricted by an expensive, inflexible hardware business infrastructure that is resistant to change. With software components in place, however, like Zeus’ ZEAD platform, companies are at liberty to take advantage of the cloud and the various cost savings opportunities it presents.

Unlike hardware, companies can easily deploy software components on a variety of environments across the entire enterprise in mere minutes, thereby avoiding lengthy processes and unnecessary man-hours. Software solutions also provide companies with seamless upgrades, opposed to the time-consuming hardware refreshes many companies have to undergo on a regular basis, which not only negatively impacts availability rates, but capacity as well. Companies are also really benefitting from software solutions’ superior performance, which grows over time as the underlying hardware becomes both faster and cheaper.