Businesses are continuously looking to adjust IT practices to improve operational efficiencies and reduce overall costs. The operational processes of current data center environments create numerous challenges.

This includes an increasing number of devices and solutions in the data center across multiple geographical locations, complex solutions comprised of several technologies with cross-dependent configuration and solutions that integrate with one another.

The virtualization of the data center adds another layer of complexity in managing and maintaining appliances and applications. The application is hosted in an environment that includes multiple form factors such as physical standalone appliances, modular chassis-based solutions with integrated modules, and software-based virtual appliances. The flexibility and ease of deployment for virtual versions of applications introduce the challenge of managing and maintaining your application instance inventory at all times.

More solutions and technologies are continuously being added to the application delivery infrastructure. Tools are available to accelerate web content, offer application-level security, and perform high-speed encryption/decryption. Business policies need to be centrally defined and applied to all of the policies through the solutions equally and consistently. Data center operators need to manage, synchronize and maintain configurations and policies across multiple devices, even as these devices are added and removed in the newly created virtualized environment.

The challenges of management and maintenance are highly relevant to L4-L7 services, including application delivery controllers (ADC). Automation becomes a critical requirement for such services to simplify and streamline the operational control of these services. When a new application is deployed and it is necessary to onboard multiple ADCs in multiple data centers as quickly and as reliably as possible, ADCs often perform high-speed encryption/decryption, so it’s important to obtain reliable and clear status of the SSL certificates across a range of ADCs and services (and being able to execute SSL related actions as a result). The increased complexity and integration of application delivery technologies highlight the need for automation.