IT Pro Start-Up Tour: A10 Networks

A10 Networks

Who are they?

Speed and simplicity are two of the key watchwords for today's IT managers. Everyone from CEOs to rank-and-file employees demand well-oiled LANs and WANs so they can get their apps and data fast.

For some unexplained reason, networking giants such as Cisco haven't focused on optimising application delivery. This left a niche for smaller, nimbler companies to fill, and A10 is clearly one of the best: it's made a big impact since its formation in 2004.

The faster your application delivery and the smoother your network, the more time and money you save

As you learn from the framed articles lining the walls of A10's foyer, the company has seen stratospheric growth: 16 consecutive quarters of increased revenue, to be precise. No wonder it was recently ranked fourth-fastest growing private company in Silicon Valley.

Chen at A10

The CEO, co-founder of Foundry Networks back in 1996, saw a potentially lucrative market in which other companies weren't dazzling. In particular, vendors working in the application delivery industry weren't supplying the kind of customer service they should have been, according to Chen.

Why should you care?

A10 offers a simple proposition: the faster your application delivery and the smoother your network, the more time and money you save. It aims to deliver this efficiency through its AX Series of appliances.

A10 appliance

The key technology behind all of the appliances is A10's Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS). The 64-bit software uses shared memory architecture, meaning a piece of memory is only stored once rather than on each core of a server.

We always try to be technical and strategic so we don't miss the big trends.

This shared memory architecture means each core knows what each other is doing. This provides greater efficiency, maximising usage out of each core and eliminating inter-process communication. A10 claims to be the first vendor to have this capability in the market.

And its claims go further still: it believes one of its 2U units with two quad-core processors could outperform a seven- or eight-rack unit.

To help companies run services over IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously something the vendor believes will be in demand for the next two decades at least - A10 has added a gateway to its portfolio.

So A10 has jumped on two key needs in today's IT landscape and believes it has the technology to help businesses take advantage of them.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.