Faster apps delivery over the wide area network

There are opposing forces at play in the enterprise, and it’s the wide area network (WAN) that takes up all the tension. Globalization encourages the growth of branch offices to service far-flung regions across countries or even continents. At the same time, the benefits of centralization – cost savings, security and compliance pressure – are driving consolidation of data and applications back at the head office.

Combine that with the increasing bandwidth demands of new applications – like video streaming, voice over IP and backups — and the requirement for enterprise-grade ERP and CRM software, and the WAN is stretched to its limits. But it’s the branch office that suffers, with application latency, slow data access and lengthy back-up and restore windows.

Citrix’s recent white paper, Make Your LAN Work Like a LAN: A Guide to Fast Application Delivery At the Branch, outlines some strategies for closing the gap between performance at the head office and at the branch.

The paper outlines the culprits in the slow application delivery equation:

* The inefficiency of TCP/IP as a transmission protocol in high-latency environments;

* “Chatty” protocols like CIFS (drag-and-drop) and MAPI (e-mail) that might need tens or hundreds of round trips to complete a transaction;

* Packet loss, which causes retransmission of data;

* And competition for bandwidth that leads to congestion and dropped transmission.

The white paper outlines the shortcomings of traditional quick-fix techniques approaches to the problem – adjusting bandwidth in reaction to demand, building in more (and expensive) bandwidth and piecing together point products like accelerators and compression tools to deal with specific issues – and outlines a three-point strategy for optimization of WAN performance.

* Adaptive TCP flow control mechanisms that detect and adjust network usage and optimize bandwidth;

* Multi-level compression to shrink data size before it’s transmitted across the WAN;

* And protocol-specific accelerators to reduce chattiness and latency.

To read the full white paper, click here to register and download.

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