The biggest buzzword in the network industry is Cloud: the majority of organizations have a strategy to use cloud-based services and applications, whether it be Public or Private clouds. Organizations have come a long way since ’migrating to the cloud’ discussions began . Take a look at this video recorded just a few years ago when cloud was still an enigma:
But Cloud has never been a new concept: IT professionals have been migrating applications to centralized datacenters for decades now…mainly to share recourses and save money by having less IT personnel supporting branch offices. Unfortunately, application performance as well as reliability and uptime requirements quickly became barriers to this centralization. Read More »
Earlier this year the Webtorials Analyst Division, co-founded by Dr. Jim Metzler, surveyed their subscriber base of IT professionals. Not surprisingly, 75% admitted that when a core business application degrades in performance, the end user notices before IT does. Therefore, 85% also believe that it is important, very important and even critical to senior managers that they take a more proactive approach to managing acceptable application delivery (See Figure 1).
Source: Metzler, Jim, “2011 Application & Service Delivery Handbook”, p. 14
Contributing to the challenges of ensuring good application performance are the very innovations that are meant to simplify business and IT operations. These include data center consolidation, virtualization and the wide variety of applications that IT must support– all of which creates operational issues for IT. Not to worry – there are best practices that IT organizations can implement as application delivery challenges continue to evolve. In Part I of this blog post on application and services delivery, I’ll share what I consider to be key learnings from Dr. Metzler’s comprehensive 129 page guide. We’ll start with some core challenges:
Key Application Delivery Challenges
Proliferation of different types of applications: Today, companies utilize a wider variety of applications than ever. Some applications are business-critical. Others enable other business functions. And still more applications support communication and collaboration. Not only do they vary in criticality, but they also vary in their demands on the network. For instance, video streaming, which causes a lot of strain on the network may be key on some occasions (think company-wide all hands meetings a la Apple’s tribute to Steve Jobs), but recreational during other times. IT managers must audit company-wide application use, pinpoint a select group of business critical applications and formulate and execute a plan for optimization.
If you got the Thanksgiving week copy of Network World, you’d have seen a feature article on the testing they did on the newest Cisco Wide Area Application Services, or WAAS for short. The Clear Choice test looked at the speed and scalability of the industry’s most scalable WAN Optimization appliance – the WAAS 8541.
Below, we provide an overview of the article, list the highlights of some great testing, and show a fun video that goes through the case for WAN optimization.
Dateline Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Citrix Summit and Synergy, October 2011
Last post I said I’d get back to you to give you, at least, my opinion of why Citrix and Cisco are partnering up. As you might have seen from the dateline above, it’s easy to find out when you get to Citrix Summit and Synergy. It has to do with the global and ubiquitous Cisco networks deployed by organizations everywhere. Citrix is doing great with XenApp (last I heard, well over 50,000,000 licenses) and is poised to do even better with XenDesktop.
“Remember the days of measuring bandwidth by the Baud?“1
The awesome guys at TechwiseTV just made a really fun video on understanding the Fundamentals of WAAS (Wide Area Application Services), Cisco’s WAN Optimization technology. They start off with the basics – what you need to think about for WAN Optimization – and finish up with where the technology is going.
“Hold onto your keyboards because this is where it really gets cool.”