Gartner has released its much anticipated (well, much anticipated if you're in the application delivery controller space) 2008 Application Delivery Controller Magic Quadrant. 

The interesting thing that happened is that for the first time in many years there were no new vendors added, but six vendors have been dropped, largely due to either not meeting new revenue requirements (2% of the total ADC market in 2007) or, in the case of Juniper, the abandonment of its application delivery controller line (the DX it acquired from Redline Networks a few years back). That narrows down the serious contenders in the market to merely seven and over half of them "niche" players, according to the authors of this quadrant, Mark Fabbi and Joe Skorupa.

Gartner's MQ for application delivery controllers is not overly dense in terms of analysis (that's done behind the scenes) but it does contain a great bullet point list for each vendor offering "strengths" and "cautions". This is great for you, especially if you're looking into the market because it's a handy reference that can help you start outlining a short list as well as getting a sense for what features/functionality should be included in any application delivery controller you might choose. In that previous life of mine I often looked to Gartner and its magic quadrants to provide guidance on products to evaluate when looking at new markets.

It's also great for us, the vendors, because we get a sense of where analysts, who spend a lot of time talking to customers and potential customers, think we need to improve. That's important, because although everyone at F5 is always pleased to see us where we are in the magic quadrant, we're also always looking to improve our products and continue to provide the value and technology leadership that keeps us there.

I can't talk about how we're going to do that, not just yet anyway, so I'll just leave you with a quote from BTO that sums it up:

You ain't seen nothing yet
B-B-Baby you just ain't seen n-n-nothing yet

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