A10 Bulks Up Latest 'Thunder' ADCs With Security, SDN Services


A10 Networks on Monday expanded its next-generation "Thunder" line of application delivery controllers (ADCs) with three new entry-level appliances.

The new Thunder 3030S, 1030S and 930 rolled out Monday join the higher-end Thunder 6430, 6430S and 5430S ADCs A10 introduced in May. Thunder is being positioned by A10 as its new, flagship line of ADCs following its legacy AX Series controllers, which has been seen as A10's main ADC offering since 2007.

A10 refers to its Thunder line as "unified application service gateways," a term meant to underscore the fact that Thunder comes with new security and network services, on top of the usual application performance and delivery services provided through ADCs.

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"With the unified application services gateway, we have gone beyond the application delivery beginnings we've had and have started to layer on other solutions, which may not typically be in an application delivery controller," said Paul Nicholson, director of product marketing for A10.

Beyond providing the San Jose, Calif.-based company's bread-and-butter application services, such as server load balancing (SLB) for application acceleration, A10's Thunder line delivers a number of integrated security features not found previously in the AX line. Among them, A10 said, are a Web application firewall (WAF) for website protection, DNS application firewall (DAF) for DNS infrastructure protection, and SSL interception capabilities to inspect encrypted traffic. Also included are distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection and application access management (AAM) capabilities for setting up authentication rules.

Jeff Doyle, vice president of engineering at TorreyPoint, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based solution provider and A10 partner, said Thunder's integrated security services make the series stand apart from other ADCs on the market, and they allow Torrey Point to deliver a more complete, end-to-end solution.

"On the security side, not all vendors are integrating security capabilities into their [ADC] products," Doyle told CRN. "It's something that's pretty interesting to us, simply being able to get high-performance security features on a box that we are primarily using for server load balancing and that sort of thing."

Beyond security, A10's new Thunder ADCs delivers what A10 dubbed "next-generation networking" services or, namely, those focused on software-defined networking (SDN) and the cloud. A10 said the Thunder Series includes integration support for SDN solutions from vendors including Big Switch Networks, NEC and PlumGrid, along with Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) for IPv4 preservation and migration options to IPv6.

The new Thunder 3030S, 1030S and 930 controllers announced Monday are all one-rack-unit appliances based on A10's latest Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) architecture, version 2.7.1. The Thunder 3030S is targeted primarily at enterprise or large midmarket customers, has four 10-gigabit ports and 30 Gbps of application throughput.

The Thunder 1030S, designed for smaller enterprises, has two 10-gigabit ports and 10 Gbps of application throughput, while the lowest-end Thunder 930 also has two 10-gigbit ports but 5 Gbps of throughput. All three appliances are available now.

A10 told CRN it would continue to support its legacy AX Series line of ADCs, even as it moves forward with Thunder.

PUBLISHED JULY 22, 2013