Application Server Challenges? Try App Delivery Solutions

Application Server Delivery Solutions: The advent of cloud computing has reinvented business procedures. Gone are the days when employees were tied to their desks. Today, resources are shared with end users in countless ways. Application servers make this transition easier. According to Radian Insights, the market is expected to be worth $23.1 billion by 2020.

An overview of application server

In a distributed network, an application server plays the important role of providing business logic to an application through various protocols including HTTP. It operates between the front end GUI interface and the backend database to deliver the business logic. It is normally considered as a three-part system.

  1. Front end GUI server
  2. Application (business logic) server
  3. Backend database server

application serverApplication servers enter the picture when you have to integrate existing systems, databases, and websites. They help businesses with ecommerce, component reuse, and web-integrated collaboration. App servers are not to be confused with web servers. A web server receives a request from the user and provides the data to the user in the form of an HTML page. However, an application server can work with logic to provide real-time data. The XML web service has now reduced this difference. When an XML payload is passed to the web server, it can process data and provide logical results as well. Simply put, a web server is a subset of an application server.

An app server can be used as a single server to run a specific application. Another option is to run multiple applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and desktop publishing on the server. It can also be used to run an operating system; terminals connect to it to access resources. Oracle has introduced a new application server called the J2EE that can run applications accessed by multiple computers connected to that server in the network.

Pros and cons of application servers

Application servers provide an additional layer of security; by adding a firewall between the app server and web server, you can create a DMZ. Secondly, they help remove the business logic and heavy processing from the web server to optimize performance and resource usage. Thirdly, layered architecture is always a better design.

On the downside, an application server requires additional expenses. Networks with proper security and low resource usage have to unnecessarily spend more money for managing servers. Another disadvantage is the network delay. With a separate app server, you are creating coarse interfaces, which results in a network delay when the machine behind a firewall is called. Thirdly, extra code is required to manage an app server, as your web server or the remote machine has to talk to the app server. At times, you need two setups. Fourthly, logging is a big challenge. When you debug production issues, it is not easy to tie up messages associated with the web server making one or more calls to the app server.

Application delivery is a good alternative to app servers

Application delivery is a good alternative to installing an application server. With a powerful virtualization tool, you can centrally host applications and securely publish them to remote devices with ease. An Application Delivery Controller (ADC) is a key component in this setup. Application delivery addresses several challenges of app server networks. It provides the required scalability and agility, enabling businesses to dynamically scale up resources to meet changing business demands. Secondly, it provides a centralized management system wherein you can monitor and manage the entire infrastructure from a single dashboard. It is device-independent, which means you can access central resources from any device, anytime and from any device. There is no compromise on security. Most importantly, it significantly reduces costs. Parallels Remote Application Server, Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp)/Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop), and VMware Horizon are the leading providers of application delivery solutions in the market. Parallels Remote Application Server has an edge over the other two tools, as it is easy to install and manage, cost-effective, and supports a range of devices including Chromebooks.

References

Application server | en.wikipedia.org

Application Server Market Worth $23.1 billion by 2020: Radiant Insights, Inc | marketersmedia.com

App server, Web server: What’s the difference? | javaworld.com

Application Server Definition | service-architecture.com

Why use an application server? | social.msdn.microsoft.com


Parallels Remote Application Server

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