Application delivery refers to using a suite of technologies that ensure that application content and functionality are efficiently and reliably accessible by a large number of clients or users.

An application can be anything from a shopping cart at an e-commerce website, a program that provides insurance quotes based on user-supplied information, or a banking portal that lets users access their accounts and pay bills. Many applications must fulfill requests from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of concurrent users in a fast, reliable manner in order to boost customer satisfaction and revenue.

The core component of application delivery is an application delivery controller (ADC), which is an advanced load balancer sitting in front of your application servers and directing client requests to your servers in a manner that maximizes performance and capacity utilization. Further, an ADC sends requests only to application servers that are online, ensuring that clients don’t receive errors due to a server outage.

Hardware vs. Software

ADCs can be either hardware- or software-based. Hardware-based solutions package hardware and software together into a black box. As traffic grows, the IT organization must keep adding more boxes from the ADC vendor. Software solutions are considerably less expensive and more flexible. IT organizations can install the software on the hardware of their choosing or in cloud environments like Amazon EC2.

How Can NGINX Plus Help?

NGINX Plus and NGINX are the best-in-class reverse-proxy solutions used by high-traffic websites such as Dropbox, Netflix, and Zynga. More than 266 million websites worldwide, including the majority of the 100,000 busiest websites, rely on NGINX Plus and NGINX to deliver their content quickly, reliably, and securely.

As a software-based ADC, NGINX Plus that is considerably less expensive than hardware solutions with comparable capabilities.

NGINX Plus combines the capabilities of several servers in single cost-effective package:

When you insert NGINX Plus as a load balancer in front of your web and application servers, it increases your website’s efficiency, performance, and reliability, which maximizes both customer satisfaction and the return on your IT investment.