What is Application Acceleration and Why Must Every Business Focus on it?

Application acceleration is optimizing web application traffic flow to facilitate increased backed server performance and fast content delivery to the clients. Common techniques for faster content delivery include traffic compression, web asset “minification,” client-side and server-side caching, and concatenation.

All these techniques are applied to reduce the request-response cycle between the client and server. They also reduce the time taken to respond to each request. You can also use an application accelerator to perform in-line optimization and accelerate web traffic.

Who needs application acceleration?

Network architecture has evolved from a centralized model to distributed model. In a centralized model, the application resources reside in one location. On the other hand, resources are located in different locations. This way, the distributed model ensures acceptable performance, while the centralized model saves on the cost of application acceleration.

In-memory data grid is distributed among multiple servers and pools their RAM together to enhance data sharing amongst different applications. Though centralization offers many advantages, it creates performance issues when serving applications dispersed in different locations. In most businesses, these applications are designed for use in LAN environments. These environments are less prone to bandwidth issues.

How application acceleration works

There are several technologies that are used in application acceleration. Advanced protocol optimization is one of the technologies used to mitigate latency and bandwidth issues. It helps protocol optimization processes like read-ahead, caching, and message prediction. Advanced protocol optimization is vital for small business leaders to compare the effects and the value of the necessary interventions needed.

Application optimization also uses throughput optimization to improve the transport protocols’ behavior and enhance the LAN environments’ working. Bandwidth optimization helps to minimize the transmission of redundant data patterns through compression and data redundancy elimination.

You can also tailor application acceleration to particular applications though the benefits may not be as significant as the targeted application. Caching the same information at the local site ensures that changes to specific information are communicated to the data center. Service request to the data center server for specific information is kept minimum, and a copy is locally stored in anticipation of additional needs.

Application acceleration ecosystem

Different ecosystems can be used for the application acceleration solutions, and they include:

Client accelerator

Just because it’s called a client accelerator, it doesn’t mean you are typically accelerating the client’s computer speed. It’s about accelerating data delivery to and from the applications to work effectively. 

In this case, the local agent communicates with remote SteelHead to help reduce the latency rate on the local links. Applications running on the local links are identified, and then the acceleration policies are applied to receive the information from the controller.

Cloud accelerator

The Client Accelerator agent often communicates with SteelHead in the Oracle, Azure, or the AWS Cloud for the public cloud. The network operators working for the organization can control both ends. As a result, there will be bookended solutions to improve the application performance for the hosted cloud apps.

SaaS Accelerator

The SaaS accelerator operates by leveraging the same technology under the hood in some applications. In this case, it can be hosted in Azure and offered as managed service.

Application acceleration technologies

One of the best application acceleration technologies is scaling a reverse proxy solution. Even though web application acceleration is often associated with the enterprise environment, small companies can use it to accelerate the delivery of web-based applications. It’s a relatively less expensive approach.

What you need to understand is that the needs of your web application increase proportionally to the growth of the business. With advanced reverse proxies, you can surgically manipulate the cache operations depending on what is cached and what’s not.

Monitoring and operating web application acceleration

Web application acceleration emits different metrics and loggings based on the acceleration. The metrics are often presented in default graphs under the Oracle Cloud Console. You can also use the full functionality of the OCI monitoring like APIs and Metrics Explorer. To provide visibility into the requests by the Web Application Acceleration, there is a need to integrate with the OCI logging.  

Benefits of application acceleration

For the companies that are looking truly for a virtualized solution, application acceleration and optimization are often delivered via software-based virtual tools. They deliver optimization benefits like history caching, compression, and traffic deduplication.

Below are the top benefits of application acceleration.

It helps leverage the benefits of virtualization

Virtual tools can take advantage of the core benefits of the virtual machine. This includes dynamic resource sharing and allocation. Virtual machines allocate resources to the systems based on the changes in the user requirements or load. You can apply the dynamic resource allocation and share it with the application acceleration virtual tools. It will help adjust their capabilities to match the changing business needs.

Another benefit of the application acceleration is the increased utilization. You can dynamically move the virtual tools or start separate instances without disrupting various processes. Most virtual tools can run alongside other virtual machines and enhance sharing of system resources. And therefore, instances of system resource underutilization are significantly less.

Unfortunately, there are so many businesses out there that are using load balancers. Well, load balancers often make the business application a tiny bit slower. Though they may add a bit of latency, they will help you achieve great scalability, reliability, and maintainability. Technically, you can add more servers to the cluster, improving the overall performance.

Flexibility to run on standard servers and hypervisors

Another benefit of the application acceleration includes increased flexibility to run on hypervisors and industry-standard servers. This eliminates tool sprawl, cooling, powering, and unnecessary management costs and consolidates server initiatives. Most of the virtual tools can run alongside other applications within the industry without limitations.

Conclusion

Application acceleration combines several technologies to enhance the application performance and the response time over different network connections. This technique was first designed for web-based applications using different server and browser caching techniques. The overall process of the application acceleration will help overcome network effects like packet loss, bandwidth congestion, and WAN latency.

Dee