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Application delivery controller

(also ADC)

Application delivery controller definition

An application delivery controller (ADC) is a networking component that oversees and enhances the allocation of web-based applications over numerous servers. By directing client requests, offering load balancing, and securing application integrity, it guarantees effective and dependable application distribution. ADCs play an essential role in sustaining application performance, accessibility, and security within contemporary data centers.

See also: packet capture, load balancer

Application delivery controller examples

  • Load balancing: ADCs distribute client requests across multiple servers to prevent overloading and improve application performance. They can use algorithms like Round Robin or Least Connections to determine the best server to handle a request.
  • SSL offloading: ADCs can handle SSL/TLS encryption and decryption, reducing the processing load on application servers and improving overall performance.
  • Content caching: ADCs can cache frequently requested content to minimize server load and reduce latency for end-users.

Comparing application delivery controllers to other similar terms

ADC vs. load balancer: While both ADCs and load balancers distribute client requests across multiple servers, ADCs offer additional features, such as SSL offloading and content caching, which improve application performance and security.

Application delivery controller pros and cons


  • Improved application performance.
  • Enhanced application availability and reliability.
  • Better security through SSL offloading and other features.


  • Additional cost and complexity compared to basic load balancing solutions.
  • Potential single point of failure if not properly configured.

Tips for using application delivery controllers

  • Choose an ADC that meets the requirements of your specific application environment.
  • Ensure redundancy and fault tolerance in your ADC deployment to avoid a single point of failure.