Driving Digital Transformation with Effective Application Delivery and Security

By: Adrian Taylor, Vice President, A10 Networks

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of digital resiliency in the modern era. With employees working from home, and a shift online for consumer activities from banking and retail and media, to entertainment and healthcare, ensuring application performance and application availability became a matter of survival for most companies. Whether people are working or going about their personal lives, they expect a high-quality user experience for the applications they use—every time, with no excuses—with cybersecurity they can count on to protect customer data and privacy. These demands have made the application delivery controller (ADC) one of the most important components of modern digital infrastructure.

At the same time, maintaining application performance and application availability for existing resources isn’t enough to guarantee survival. In today’s digital business environment, you have to stay agile and innovative to compete, grow, and thrive. In fact, even facing an uncertain economic outlook over the past year, businesses plan to invest in digital transformation spending during the pandemic. That puts DevOps front-and-centre in digital business strategy as companies seek simple, streamlined ways to develop, deploy, change, and manage applications. The results speak for themselves: companies that use DevOps achieve 46x more software deployments and 440x faster lead time for changes. Here again, the ADC has a critical role to play in enabling the full speed and agility DevOps makes possible.

Of course, simply deploying ADCs isn’t a solution in and of itself; meeting these requirements depends on having the right application delivery controller capabilities and deploying them in the right way. Here are a few things to consider, to ensure that your application delivery infrastructure is meeting the digital transformation needs of your business and customers.

Using ADCs to Ensure Application Performance, Application Availability, and Cybersecurity

Whether it’s customers or employees who are using your applications, the experience you provide has a direct effect on digital business performance. If customers become frustrated or are unable to use your applications or services effectively, they can take their cash—and their loyalty—to a competitor. Without reliable application performance and application availability, your workforce can grind to a halt, sending waves of disruption throughout your business. Gartner estimates the average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute which equates to more than $300,000 an hour.

Your application delivery controller solution can help you maintain a high-quality user experience by enabling a unified approach to managing performance, troubleshooting problems, and optimising traffic across complex environments with holistic visibility into devices, applications, policies, users, and more across data centres and clouds. By gathering and analysing data from across your hybrid infrastructure, you can work proactively to detect anomalies sooner, diagnose problems more accurately, and resolve issues more quickly. Global server load balancing functionality can intelligently guide application traffic to the best available site for each user to ensure the best possible service.

Ensuring high availability, disaster recovery, and rapid failover across cloud providers is essential to keeping employees productive and customers satisfied. As part of its global web traffic management capability, your ADCs can assess the health and response time of each site in your environment, then make intelligent adjustments to application traffic to prevent a failed server from affecting users. Similarly, an ADC solution can help you use a public cloud as a backup for your on-premises data centre using global server load balancing to determine when and how to tap into that capacity, then reroute traffic accordingly.

While application performance and application availability are the foundation of user satisfaction and loyalty, a cybersecurity breach can destroy that trust in a flash. As ransomware attacks, DDoS, and other threats grow in sophistication, and enterprise environments become more distributed and dynamic, cybersecurity and compliance become critical challenges. Your ADC solution can provide a unified policy infrastructure across every platform you use, making it easier to provide the same, consistent protection for applications and services wherever they are deployed. By managing authentication consistently across cloud and on-premises platforms, you can support a Zero Trust security model while providing employees with the right level of access for their needs. Protective measures such as security analytics, DDoS protection, web application firewalls (WAF), authentication, modern SSL/TLS encryption standards, and threat intelligence enable a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity for defence in-depth.

Supporting DevOps—While Simplifying Management at Digital Speed

DevOps isn’t just a core methodology for digital transformation—it’s also a set of technical requirements. To enable development and operations teams to collaborate effectively across the software development lifecycle, you need to provide simple, streamlined ways to develop, deploy, change, and manage applications. A standard set of automation tools across platforms can help teams work efficiently, bring new staff up to speed more quickly, and ensure consistent best practices. Real-time continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) visualisation can help teams catch costly errors before applications enter production.

The rapid pace of digital transformation can increase both cost and management complexity. By providing a single point of management across your hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environment, with comprehensive visibility and analytics for actionable intelligence, your ADC solution can help your staff use resources more efficiently, make better decisions, avoid errors, and simplify operations.

Gulf Craft’s Majesty 175 is named ‘Revelation of the Year’

Gulf Craft’s flagship superyacht and the world’s largest composite-built superyacht, the Majesty 175 has won the ‘Revelation of the Year’ honour at the prestigious World Yacht Trophies, held as part of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2021.  

Now in its 20th year, the World Yacht Trophies is one of the most prestigious recognitions for motorboats and yachts from all over the globe, ranging from 13 to 140 meters. With the world’s best of the best competing for the trophies, each vessel is meticulously assessed, and winners are selected by an esteemed jury comprised yacht experts, journalists and boat historians.

The Majesty 175 won the key recognition as the ‘Revelation of the Year’ for its outstanding design, build quality, performance and innovation. The superyacht awed the invitation-only audience of yachting connoisseurs with its exceptional features.

“The Majesty 175 has been making waves since its global debut in May 2021 and now to have the ‘Revelation of the Year Trophy,’ a great testament to the nearly four years of work that went into crafting this marvel, entirely at our manufacturing facility,” said Mr Mohammed AlShaali, Gulf Craft’s Chairman. “I would like to thank our talented team for designing and building this masterpiece. Building the world’s largest composite production superyacht is no small feat and this global recognition cements our commitment and dedication to innovating the science and art of yacht manufacturing.”

Designed and built to bespoke specifications at Gulf Craft’s integrated in-house production facility, the Majesty 175 is the world’s largest composite production superyacht, redefining the superyacht segment through using cutting-edge lightweight materials that enables her to effortlessly cruise in low-draft waters.

A masterpiece ‘Made in the UAE’

The Majesty 175’s exterior and interior design are by the award-winning Cristiano Gatto Design Studio in Italy while the naval architecture is by Massimo Gregori of the Yankee Delta Studio. She can effortlessly cruise low-draft areas, drawing just 2.05 metres of water, as she is built using advanced composite materials such as carbon fibre and vinyl ester. This enables close beach access, a key consideration for many marine lifestyle enthusiasts.

Built to the specifications outlined by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for yachts over 500 gross tonnage (GT), the Majesty 175 has a gross tonnage of 780. The Majesty’s stand-out features include a 5-metre infinity pool at the forward deck and a hybrid sky-lounge that can be converted to an open sun deck. The pool has a swim-jet system that creates a constant current of water.

The smart layout accommodates seven lavish staterooms and can host a crew of up to 10 members with six large crew cabins and a private captain accommodation. Electricity supply comes from 175 kW Kohler generators and two pairs of TRAC fin stabilizers. Safety features include a SOLAS rescue boat and an emergency generator. With the full speed of 16.5 knots and cruising speed of 10 knots, Majesty 175 has a range of 4,000 nautical miles, making her a transoceanic vessel.