Introduction to A10 Lightning ADC and A10 Harmony Controller


A10 Lightning ADC and A10 Harmony Controller make a cloud-native solution to optimize the delivery and security of cloud-native applications and services. It provides key application services including traffic management with advanced elastic load balancing, application security, and analytics for applications on public, private and hybrid clouds. It is purpose-built for containers and micro-services based application architectures and elegantly integrates with DevOps processes. Its software-defined architecture includes lightweight ADCs (LADCs) that provide advanced load balancing and Layer 7 web security and a multi-tenant controller that provides centralized policy management with self-previsioning, per-application analytics and orchestrates the LADCs to deliver an elastic, cloud-native solution. The controller is available as a SaaS from the A10 Cloud.


For organizations embracing cloud and agility, A10 Lightning ADC, increases operational efficiency and reduces risk. It allows IT infrastructure teams to empower application teams with a self-service model enhancing agility while providing per-application visibility and insights. Its multi-cloud capability and aggregate consumption-based pricing model increases deployment flexibility and lowers cost.

A10 Lightning ADC is available for public, private and hybrid clouds for a variety of use-cases:

  • A10 Lightning ADC complements traditional appliance-format (physical/virtual) Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) when applications are moving to public, private, or hybrid clouds.
  • A10 Lightning ADC operationally simplifies cloud-native solutions where customers are leveraging HA Proxy/NGINX/ELB based tools but are hampered by complexity, scale, manageability, security or application visibility.

A10 Lightning ADC Features

A10 Lightning ADC is purpose-built in the cloud for accelerating and securing cloud applications. It leverages micro services architecture and the elastic nature of the cloud to enable low-latency elastic cloud application delivery in OpenStack, AWS, VMware, and other public/private cloud environments. This approach provides tremendous flexibility and freedom of choice to customers.

A10 Lightning ADC offers integrated capabilities in the areas of content optimization and acceleration, application security, protection against application-level threats as well as simplified continuous delivery of applications along with continuous insights at all levels. The A10 Lightning ADC acts as a reverse proxy and also provides load balancing capabilities.

The A10 Lightning ADC features include:

Traffic Management Features

Layer 4-7 advanced load balancing with elastic scaling and integration with DevOps processes like Blue-Green or A/B deployment.

Policy-based traffic management with content switching allowing optimal management of how user requests are fulfilled

Performance Optimization for minimizing application response time. Reduce load on servers by offloading SSL, connection pooling to servers and offloading common tasks Rewrites of Request/Response headers/body, compression, caching.


Application Security Features

Elastic Web Application Firewall (WAF): includes rule sets that protect against common OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF), and application specific rules for popular applications like Wordpress, Joomla

Protection from Malware, known bad BOTs and Application DDoS Attacks: System monitors traffic parameters to identify and protect your business from application-layer Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and Bot attacks and Malware. Clean user traffic is allowed through while the system identifies and blocks malicious traffic before it can impact app server resources and availability.

This diagram shows the typical deployment of LADCs for protecting your cloud applications from threats/attacks. The LADCs enforce security policies at the data plane level.


Access Control: Using any information available in the HTTP request (e.g. IP subnet, country, browser or any custom parameter), access control can be exercised, and the user can be either blocked or can be asked to prove the identity.

Application Analytics Features

Per Application Analytics: Insights and Analytics at application level helping application owners proactively identify issues, do faster troubleshooting, and do capacity planning.

Comprehensive Reporting, Visualization and Analysis: Application Dashboard gives access to a broad range metrics for application traffic, security, performance, and health. Users can drill into gain deeper insights into a specific metric, time range or correlation.

Centralized Access Logs: Application access logs enriched with additional information provide the power to application owners for easily getting to the root of any issue so that it can be fixed quickly.


Solution Benefits

Split Architecture Benefits

Built-in high availability and Elasticity: LADC’s are automatically deployed in a cluster with a scale-out architecture that is managed by the controller.

Central Management: All the policies can be configured in a central place, irrespective of where the LADCs are deployed – across different cloud regions or different clouds.

Full Proxy Benefits

Improved Response Time for because of connection multiplexing technology.

Improved Availability of the application in the case of traffic burst by temporarily queuing additional requests or elastic scaling of the LADCs to handle sustained higher traffic.

Better security by absorption of application DDoS attacks, stopping BOTs and Malware, and ability to easily block traffic from compromised IP address.

Operational Benefits

Simpler and Faster Deployment and Management is achieved as traffic management, security and analytics are available for the application in a unified manner.

DevOps Agility: Integration with existing DevOps tool chains and processes in use. A10 Lightning ADC automates blue-green deployments and provides before-after analytics to increase the efficiency of continuous delivery.

Lower costs: Reduced infrastructure costs due to unified functionality and offloading servers. Very simple interfaces with self-provisioning by application owners reduces operational costs and with a subscription and consumption based pricing model increases organization’s flexibility and options.