Successful application delivery

* The Handbook of Application Delivery

There has been a lot written over the last few years about various techniques such as caching, compression, and protocol acceleration that can be used to overcome the limitations of the WAN relative to supporting application delivery. However, as we have pointed out in previous newsletters, in the vast majority of instances in which an application is degrading, the end user notices the degradation before the IT organization. That fact says to us that enhancing application delivery is more complex than just implementing network and application optimization techniques.

We spent the last six months delving into the issue of application delivery and created a report on the topic entitled, “The Handbook of Application Delivery” - available free of charge here. However, unlike a lot of reports that focus on the enabling technologies, the handbook looks at the topic from the perspective of IT organizations that are chartered with ensuring acceptable application performance. It identifies the factors that are driving and inhibiting an IT organization’s ability to ensure acceptable application performance and develops a framework of what it takes to be successful with application delivery. The framework has four major components: planning; network and application optimization; management; and control.

In the fall of 2006, we surveyed 215 IT professionals to identify the importance of application delivery as well as some of the key impediments. Sixty percent of the respondents indicated that application delivery was gaining in importance in their organization, and only 1% indicated that it was losing in importance.

In order to gather additional insight into the topics covered by this report, five IT professionals were interviewed. One of the interviewees is a consulting architect who stated that within the last couple of months, managing application performance had become his CIO’s No. 1 priority. That CIO recently told the interviewee, “Managing application performance is the thing that I am getting the most flack on. We have to begin to work outside of the silos and get away from the application and networking organizations pointing fingers at each other.”

In the next newsletter we will look at some of the other factors that are increasing the importance of application delivery. We will also detail some of the organizational issues that get in the way of most IT organizations.

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