This content is part of the Essential Guide: Enhance service delivery model with WAN, application optimization
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Assessing the benefits of application delivery optimization solutions

These application delivery optimization benefits help meet your service-level agreement, which is a key component of achieving optimization.

In the second part of this series, we explore the benefits of application delivery optimization solutions, and how meeting your service-level agreement is the key component of achieving optimization.

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Applications benefit from enterprise WAN optimization

Integrating performance management and ADCs

Wireless network optimization for application performance

Being able to meet your service-level agreements (SLAs) is the number-one measure of optimization success. Optimizers help enterprise technology practitioners hit the SLA mark in several ways. These optimization benefits include:

  • Improved applications availability by minimizing time-outs and packet loss that results in failed connections;
  • Dramatically improved response times for an application. Users in remote sites no longer have to accept lagging and halting performance from even basic applications like file sharing or Web browsing because, by spoofing protocols, an optimizer can prevent numerous round trips and multiplex multiple connections in order to improve throughput;
  • Mitigated packet loss (even for UDP applications) that improves the performance of voice and video applications; and
  • Improved service to mobile and telecommuting staff when the deployed solution includes either a low-end optimizer (whether a physical or virtual appliance) or a soft client for installation on individual computers.

Read more from this series

Application delivery optimization strategies for a changing workforce

(Note: A soft client can't do as much as a physical appliance since it has only a single traffic stream to play with. For example, soft client user A in a small branch wouldn't benefit from caching content other users request, so he or she would only get the benefit of caching when repeatedly requesting the same assets. But if user B in a branch with a physical appliance downloads something before user A, when user A requests it later, the content has already been cached locally and user A gets an instant response. An advantage of a soft client is that it can be wherever the user is -- on a plane with in-flight Wi-Fi, in a hotel room or on a cell phone that acts as a mobile hotspot out in a park -- and it can accelerate and compress traffic.) In a SaaS-enabled environment, these types of optimization can be key to making an in-house solution as attractive as a cloud-driven one for mobile users.

  • Enabling more options to the enterprise in terms of where to place offices and staff by reducing the performance impact of distance. This may result in improved top-line results if, for example, sales reps are closer to the markets they cover. It may result in an improved bottom line by allowing the business to reduce real estate costs through office placement. It can also help improve employee satisfaction and retention if it allows the organization to locate offices closer to where employees live and empowers more robust telecommuting.
  • Saving the organization money. This can come in the form of hard-dollar costs -- as in money out the door to pay for bandwidth or real estate -- and in the form of soft-dollar costs, as employees spend measurably less time waiting for applications to respond. For example, if a typical salesperson waits 1.5 minutes to download a sales sheet for a client 10 times a day, that's 15 minutes of the salesperson's time spent just waiting. Reducing the download time to fewer than 18 seconds means spending less than three minutes waiting for an application to respond. Multiply these differences across even more downloads, or other operations and more employees, and the savings mount to unquestionable significance: 15 minutes a day per person means a full eight hours across 32 people, the equivalent of a 33rd staff member.

About the author
John Burke is a principal research analyst with Nemertes Research, where he advises key enterprise and vendor clients, conducts and analyzes primary research, and writes thought-leadership pieces across a wide variety of topics. John leads research on the virtual enterprise, focusing primarily on the virtual and mobile desktop, Application Delivery Optimization (ADO), and management and orchestration tools for the virtualized data center and the cloud. He also covers the security aspects of all of these topics, as well as server and storage virtualization, network and application performance management and monitoring, branch office IT and SOA.

This was last published in April 2013

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