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Smart ADCs ensure app performance regardless of the access device and network used

Amir Peles, VP of technology, Radware | June 10, 2013
With the increasing use of Web applications from mobile devices and the variety of devices accessing applications through different types of networks, a new approach to application delivery optimization is required.

More advanced ADCs will also be able to apply additional acceleration methods, such as smart caching, compression, transport-level optimization (e.g., Hybla algorithm) and even perform invisible content modifications, such as optimized reordering of a page's objects. This works to enable faster application response time asymmetrically -- without installing anything on the user side. That saves Web development efforts and allows unification of Web applications across all browsers, rather than pending on customer adoption of mobile apps.

Any application delivery optimization done by an ADC will not only provide better application performance but also provide valuable server offloading. ADCs with optimized hardware for Secure Socket Link (SSL) termination and content compression can effectively offload those tasks from the application server. In addition, ADCs supporting smart caching can extend the amount of cacheable content, eliminating many of the requests from even reaching the servers.

Overall, the result can be significant server offload, enabling optimization on the cost of the server infrastructure per user transaction as well.

Maintaining high quality of experience -- at all times
While mobile Web application access increases usage, it also potentially puts QoE at risk. For Web applications that drive sales (like online shops, ordering systems, etc.), any drop in performance means lower customer satisfaction, lower conversion rates and lower revenues. Oddly enough, a study from Equation Research showed that users accessing Web services from their mobile device expect faster response time. This is why it becomes even more critical that Web applications servicing mobile users will continuously maintain a consistently high QoE.

A fundamental requirement to achieve this is to have visibility on the end user's QoE with an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool. This tool can indicate when users are experiencing slow response times or receiving error messages in real-time. It is critical that this type of tool not only measures the performance of the Web servers but also the time it takes for the end user to receive all requested content.

A good APM tool should provide performance drop detection and the ability to perform quick root cause analysis in order to determine whether the performance drop is occurring in the application servers, the network or even the specific access network. The tool needs to be able to assess if the problem lies with a specific mobile operator's network or with a specific type of user device.

The ADC provides a bridge between client requests and server replies. As a result, it is the most natural place to collect detailed performance information, oversee server performance and network delays as well as client rendering time. Ultimately, as ADCs become smarter, the performance information collected by the ADC can also be used to further fine-tune optimization methods applied per end user device type and even per end user.


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