Sunday, 21 July 2013

How to Accelerate Cloud Applications

As long as you have an Internet connection, cloud applications and cloud-based services are supposed to be just a few clicks away - and they usually are. However, the public Internet isn't necessarily the fastest delivery option out there. Not only can service be spotty, sluggish and inconsistent Internet performance means sluggish and inconsistent application performance. Fortunately, it is possible to accelerate cloud applications by using a third party acceleration service provider.

The Problem with Basic Cloud Application Delivery

In general, cloud services are typically set up using a client-server model with data flowing back and forth between the client and cloud-based server over the public Internet. Like all network traffic, this data is broken up into packets and transmitted over various nodes before being reassembled into usable form. While the Internet certainly works, it's not optimized for maximum performance.

How Cloud Acceleration Works

What if you could create your own private pipeline directly from the cloud application server to the client? If you could do so, you could avoid many of the issues associated with using the public Internet as a delivery path. For example, you could control the amount of network traffic using your network infrastructure and tweak various protocols to handle the demands of specific types of content including dynamic, constantly changing data typical of cloud applications. However, building your own private acceleration network would be cost prohibitive.

Cloud Acceleration Services

Third party acceleration service providers solve this problem by creating their own privately controlled networks that are optimized for speed, performance, and reliability. They use a variety of techniques such as traffic shaping, data compression, data de-duplication, data caching, data tunneling, network monitoring and troubleshooting, and network latency to optimize their wide area network (WAN). From there, they offer cloud acceleration as a service. These accelerated networks are privately controlled, optimized, and maintained by the service provider. The service provider then allows its clients to access the optimized WAN for a fee.

The provider has much greater control over the traffic that travels through its network infrastructure and can immediately intervene should a bottleneck occur. The service provider is also responsible for all network performance metrics including network load management, quality of service, and TCP/IP optimization. The entire delivery network can be fine-tuned and tweaked to improve performance, reduce latency, and enable the most efficient routing of dynamic content and data.

Choosing a Cloud Accelerator

Building a private cloud accelerator isn't an option for most companies, and it isn't necessary thanks to the availability of optimized WANs as a service. Several well-known and emerging cloud acceleration services exist, each offering superior performance for cloud-based applications.

Which is right for you? Start by comparing claimed application performance improvement rates, bandwidth consumption reduction figures, and guaranteed uptime. Next, look for providers that look like a good fit. For example, if you use Amazon Web Services, consider a cloud acceleration service provider that integrates with the Amazon Cloud and provides a meshed, optimized environment for accessing global and enterprise resources. Finally, sign up for a free trial and experience the thrill of an accelerated cloud!

Maxwell Pierce has been providing cloud acceleration for enterprise looking to improve their application and networking performances.

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