NFV (Network functions virtualization)

Kemp Looks to Fill Cisco's ADC Void

More than a year after Cisco Systems quit the market for load balancers, other vendors are still scrambling for the market share abandoned by the IP networking giant.

One of those hopefuls is KEMP Technologies Inc. , which recently announced that its application delivery controller software now runs on any Cisco UCS C-Series Server.

Kemp's LoadMaster Operating System completed Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Interoperability Verification Testing program, and can now enable streamlined application delivery inside the UCS infrastructure, rather than risking possible latency issues that could occur with communication to external load balancer appliances. That means Cisco customers that had used the vendor giant's Application Control Engine (ACE) with Cisco Catalyst 6500 products can now use Kemp's LMOS for Cisco UCS C-Series Servers in its place.

Kemp's move continues the scramble that began when Cisco pulled back on its ACE platform in September of 2012. Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR), A10 Networks Inc. , and Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) are among the other ADC vendors that looked to take advantage. Cisco later inked a resale partnership with Citrix, viewed by analysts to be the market share runner-up behind leader F5. (See Cisco Ready to Quit Load Balancers, Riverbed Intros ADC-as-a-Service, and A10 Gains From Cisco's Exit & Ericsson's Hand.)

Kemp, though, is a member of the Cisco Developer Network, and the company also brought in a ringer of sorts last month by naming Atchison Frazer as its chief marketing officer: Frazer used to be a marketing executive in Cisco's global enterprise group.

"SDN may be something of a threat to companies like Cisco, but by combining our load balancer software with Cisco hardware, we can add value to their hardware," Frazer recently told Light Reading. "That can help blunt the commoditization of hardware."

Still, like everything else, ADC hardware products themselves are gradually becoming more virtualized, a fact that leaves the current ADC market a bit flat for now, according to recent numbers from Dell'Oro Group. However, Frazer says Kemp considers itself a software company first.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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