Application acceleration is a set of technologies, techniques, and services used to improve the delivery of dynamic content such as that generated by Web applications. Just as content delivery networks speed content delivery through the use of dedicated global networks optimized for the task, application acceleration does the same but for dynamic and streaming content.
Techniques used to accelerate the delivery of dynamic content include compression, caching, data deduplication, and protocol spoofing which combines chatty protocols into a single, protocol. Network monitoring and time of day routing are also commonly used.
Dedicated global networks with POP servers strategically located in countries around the world connect users to local servers which dramatically reduces the time it takes for client computers to communicate back and forth with servers. Such a system can speed webpage displays by up to 10 times as well as lower bandwidth consumption.
One of the goals of application performance is to reduce and shorten the amount of time it takes to send and receive requests between sender and receiver (Source: Application Performance by Aryaka). The further away clients and servers are located from each other, the longer it takes to deliver this information. Long distances mean long delays. In addition, the process involves many hops through various routers, switches and network appliances which affects latency. As a result of long distances, delays and sluggish performance are common. Other factors that can adversely affect WAN optimization include “chatty” protocols, excessive network traffic, and large file transfers.
By locating POP servers around the globe and caching frequently accessed data or copies of large requests locally, it becomes possible to deliver dynamic content more efficiently and with less bandwidth.
Thinking of making a change in order to squeeze more performance out of your applications? MPLS may seem like an obvious choice, but it has its drawbacks, especially if you have a global network and network traffic must cross oceans. For one, it’s expensive. Plus, its bandwidth isn’t overly impressive. Choosing an application acceleration solution such as optimized WAN as a service over MPLS makes sense for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
Better application performance – No doubt, MPLS is reliable and predictable within continents. However, it is less so when oceans must be crossed. Plus, MPLS struggles with delivering applications with CIFS performance and HTTP protocols. Using an application acceleration service routes your network traffic over an optimized WAN without the sluggishness of MPLS.
Lower cost – Choosing optimized WAN as a service can lead to a dramatic improvement in application performance over MPLS and at a much lower cost. Why invest limited capital funds in MPLS when you can pay a small monthly fee for the service out of your operating expenses?
Faster deployment – As you know, not only is implementing MPLS costly, it is also time-consuming. It could take several weeks, if not months, to implement MPLS. In contrast, you could sign up for an application performance accelerator service and be up and running within minutes (Source: Application Accelerator by Aryaka).
Flexibility – Application acceleration as a service is like other “as a service” services in that you can easily add or reduce capacity. It scales with you. Some providers even add “burstability” to the equation. For example, Aryaka offers the option to burst bandwidth by up to two times the bandwidth you pay for
These are but a few compelling advantages that application acceleration services have over MPLS. Better performance, lower costs, faster deployments, and flexibility combine to make application acceleration a high performance choice.