Modern Application Delivery Moves from Clunky Hardware to Nimble Clouds

Manav Mittal
Founder & CEO-Instart Logic
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Manav Mittal
The adoption of cloud computing is rapidly accelerating due to the benefits of speed, deployment, scalability, elasticity, and cost efficiency. A primary driver behind cloud adoption is the prevalence of web applications coupled with mobile devices. Now more than ever, the cloud is becoming more desirable and accessible as companies are increasingly deploying new applications with a cloud first, mobile first mentality to support faster time to market, more flexibility, and more reliability in comparison to traditional on-premise approaches.

As web applications and content start to play an increasingly important role in modern businesses, the user experience is becoming imperative. To have that competitive edge, companies must provide a highly compelling and immersive online experience that can be accessed on any device. A critical aspect of the user experience is performance. A high performance application is imperative, as it will drive increased conversions, customer retention, and revenue. The concept of delivering a quality user experience sounds simple enough, yet is still met with a number of challenges.

Traditional approaches to improving the user experience were born out of the PC era, during a time when desktop computers, wired network connections, and simple websites dominated the landscape. These solutions attempted to solve problems that existed on web servers, in the datacenter, and in the core infrastructure of the Internet.

Over the last few years, the Internet, the devices connecting to it, and the websites and applications delivered over it have changed so dramatically. These changes have created new challenges: overcoming the latency and congestion of wireless access, increasing use of dynamic data, and dodging a broader range of security threats. Legacy application delivery solutions such as Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) that were designed on a centralized architecture are unable to cope with modern application development needs.

CDNs were originally developed over 15 years ago when websites were primarily static, with content being accessed over the wired, last mile network. The primary bottlenecks were latency and routing problems in the core of the bottleneck and the Internet backbone was much slower and less reliable than it is today. CDNs reduced the latency associated with static content traversing the Internet core and caching content closest to the end user. Caching, by definition, relies on relatively infrequent changes to content stored on the edge of the network. However, CDNs were not designed to address the new challenges of highly personalized, graphicallyrich, dynamic websites and applications accessed over wireless last mile networks.

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