A10 Networks Acquires Appcito To Become 'First Cloud-Native' ADC Company

Partners say A10 Networks is fulfilling its vision to become a cloud-native application delivery controller (ADC) provider by acquiring Appcito, which owns a Software-as-a-Service-based application delivery cloud solution.

"Some of the things that I've seen the competitors come out with have been, quite frankly, boring. This seems to be something that going to set A10 apart," said Mark Miller, partner at M&S Technologies, a Dallas-based A10 partner, No. 355 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 list. "This is something that's going to be a very flexible, licensing-type of a product and that's going to play well into what customers need."

San Jose, Calif.-based A10 will integrate Appcito's technology with its own to enhance its application delivery technology and cloud-based A10 Harmony architecture.

[Related: A10 Networks: New Partners Coming On Board As Cloud Push, Cisco Alliance And Security Focus Pay Off]

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Kamal Anand, CEO of Appcito, said A10 is giving channel partners the opportunity to move in the same cloud direction as their enterprise customers, in contrast to competitors who are "stuck with the traditional technology."

"We are the only vendor today that has a cloud-native application delivery offering and it's very interesting to channel partners as it gives them an opportunity that is strategic to the enterprise, and an opportunity even for a replacement of other ADC vendors, as their customer base is moving to cloud," Anand said in an interview with CRN.

Anand, who will lead A10's new Cloud Business unit, added that its cloud controller delivered as a SaaS product, "allows you to manage infrastructure across both public and private clouds, as well as providing application delivery technology that is much more relevant in the whole context of containers and microservices."

A10 has already completed the acquisition of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Appcito. Financials details were not disclosed.

Appcito’s cloud-native Cloud Application Front End (CAFE) service unifies application delivery services, including load balancing, application security, continuous deployment, performance optimization and application analytics needed for delivering both traditional and microservices-based applications.

Purpose-built for the cloud and application operations teams, the CAFE SaaS offering is designed for AWS, OpenStack, VMware, Microsoft Azure and other public, private and hybrid clouds.

Miller, at M&S Technologies, also pointed out that A10 is gaining "a tremendous [number] of engineers" from Appcito.

"They've got to stay a step ahead of the big boys and by adding these engineering resources, it's going to be an incredible benefit for them. But at the same time they're broadening their portfolio," said Miller. "A10 seems to be more nimble and agile now and will be the ones that are stirring up the marketplace."

A10 is striving to bridge traditional and cloud-based application environments. The company's cloud-based A10 Harmony platform, which includes hardware and software capabilities delivered through its Thunder Series of appliances, is designed around delivering the same set of secure policies across public, private and hybrid clouds that are managed from one central location.

New A10 Harmony cloud offerings with integrated Appcito technology are set to launch later this year, according to A10.

Those new offerings will include a cloud services controller for centralized application policy management and orchestration, elastic application traffic management capabilities integrated with DevOps processes, deep per-application visibility and analytics, and support for microservices and container-based applications.

"Our strategy is to literally bridge those two worlds between those traditional and cloud-based application environments and our partners are facing the same thing. So we do feel very strongly that this [acquisition] is very rich for them," said Neil Becker, vice president of worldwide marketing and communications at A10.

"We started as a load balancing company and evolved into an ADC company. We've become a secure ADC company, and now with Appcito we're becoming really the first cloud-native ADC company," said Becker.

During its fiscal 2016 first quarter, which ended March 31, A10 reported that revenue increased 22 percent year over year to $54 million, including a nearly 30 percent jump in enterprise sales to $32 million.

A10 has also been winning over new solution providers with its channel community growing 25 percent over the past 24 months, due to partner initiatives around security and cloud, according to A10 executives.

According to Gartner's 2015 Magic Quadrant For Application Delivery Controllers, A10 was the fourth largest vendor when measuring ADC revenues, owning around 7 percent market share last year.

F5 is the dominant leader in the market, holding around 53 percent of the ADC market share last year. Partners expect the acquisition of Appcito to boost A10's market share.

"We’re seeing from A10 a vision to move forward and moving the sales away from their competitors and setting themselves apart," said Miller, who is also an F5 partner. "It's going to be some really new and different offerings that we didn't have before that we can talk to customers about [and] that not many people have."