The worldwide application acceleration market was worth £186m in the first quarter of 2006, a 21% increase from the first quarter of 2005, according to research from Gartner.
By the end of 2006, Gartner expects the market to surpass £800m in 2006 - a 23% increase on 2005 - driven mainly by branch office server centralisation projects and the move to web browser-based applications. Comments Joe Skorupa, research director for Gartner: "[Even though] the overall market was flat, the first quarter of 2006 represented a period during which strong players with functionally rich products like F5 Networks, Citrix NetScaler and Riverbed took share from weaker competitors."
In essence, application acceleration appliances enable server/datacentre consolidation and deployment of browser-based application interfaces while lowering total cost of ownership. Gartner believes that the market is made up of two segments: application delivery controllers (ADCs) and Wan optimisation controllers (WOCs).
ADCs reside in the datacentre, generally in front of front-line web servers, and are in the case of datacentres only deployed asymmetrically to improve the performance of browser-based applications. ADCs accelerate end-user performance of browser-based and related applications by providing a suite of services at the network and application layers.
In the first quarter of 2006, the ADC market reached $209m by Gartner's calculations.