Barracuda Networks stepped into the application delivery controller market Tuesday, announcing both physical and virtual editions of a new ADC platform designed to blend the company's existing load balancing and security offerings with optimisation capability.

Barracuda was eager to highlight the integrated nature of its offering, characterising ADCs as "the heart and soul of modern data centers" in a blog post written by product management director Aseem Asthana.

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"What truly sets Barracuda's ADC solution apart from other application delivery controllers is the inclusion of advanced application security technology," Asthana wrote.

Prices vary among the two versions of the product officially announced -- the most capable models 640 and 840 start at $10,000 and $20,000, respectively. That provides for 5Gbps and 10Gbps of maximum throughput, and a range of network connections, including 1G, 10G copper and 10Gbfiber. The 640 is a 1U full-size unit, while the 840 is 2U full-size.

Enterprise Management Associates Vice President of Research Jim Frey -- who was not briefed on Barracuda's latest announcement specifically -- nevertheless notes that this type of aggregation of functionality is becoming more common.

"It does validate what we see as a general trend, which is consolidating security and application optimisation features because you need both of them in more and more use cases," says Frey. "What [Barracuda is] doing is a little bit unique in that they're doing this all on a single device. If you look at an F5, for instance, they can do most of these things too, but it's a very complex solution."

Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC, says that Barracuda will likely build from its existing user base at first, and then try to expand deeper into the ADC market.

The latter part of the strategy, however, could prove problematic, he adds.

"The ADC market is well established, particularly at the high end, and Barracuda will need to be tenacious, in its own efforts and in customer engagements with its channel partners, to emulate the successes it has enjoyed previously with its security products," says Casemore.