Improving application responsiveness (cloud acceleration)

Delivery of applications to end-users can suffer from the effects of the WAN: limited bandwidth, high latency, and/or packet loss.

‘WAN optimization’ improves application performance basically by minimizing the effects of data transport over long distance. The significance of these ”wide-area’ factors typically grows with geographical distance (between end-user and where the application is hosted).

A trade-off exists between the deployment of WAN optimization devices and the bandwidth capacity needed. This is because WANop devices ‘compress’ data, reducing the amount of bandwidth needed by remote branch locations. As availability of high-speed bandwidth has increased worldwide, this particular ‘data reduction’ feature of WANop devices has seen a steep drop in demand. This is also because WANop devices are costly and introduce (significant) complexity.

Another feature of WANop is Quality of Service (QoS) which assigns the total available bandwidth to applications in accordance with their relative priority. For example, ERP and voice traffic takes precedence over Facebook streams.

The more advanced SD-WAN solutions may include certain WANop features such as QoS and (TCP) protocol acceleration functionality. TCP acceleration uses a TCP proxy to reduce round-trips for connections to DC and cloud resources, thus enhancing application response.

Another great way to ‘accelerate’ application response by improving network performance is to use a dedicated backbone, basically to improve (shorten) the path between two points. An example of such a dedicated backbone to shorten the internet path is Azure virtual WAN.

Another example is the Cato SASE cloud, which incorporates a global backbone. AWS Direct Connect and Microsoft ExpressRoute link a corporate network directly to its cloud resources, which can be seen as another form of ‘cloud acceleration’.

For over 15 years, IPknowledge has successfully delivered various solutions to improve application performance for global companies.

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