Earlier this week, I wrote a post discussing how network optimization hasn't evolved fast enough to improve the performance of the cloud. More and more organizations are leveraging cloud-based applications and services, making Internet performance business-critical.
Shortly after the blog went out, I heard from Elad Rave, CEO of Teridion, a startup that came out of stealth mode this week to solve this challenge. This week, the company announced it had raised $20 million in funding to make the Internet faster. Rave told me that Teridion's technology could make the Internet run up to 20-times faster. Bold claims for sure, but it's certainly something we have seen before. When WAN optimization first emerged, it had a similar impact on private networks. Many thought it was too good to be true until they tried it, and then the market took off.
Performance improvement isn't where the comparison to WAN optimization stops. One of the benefits of WAN optimization is that the technology drops into the existing environments and works like magic. No changes to the applications, no software or gateways needed. Teridion has a similar proposition, as the technology improves performance by accelerating any content over the Internet with no coding, devices, or software.
One of the problems with existing networks that I pointed out in my previous blog is that the network looks one hop at a time. Traffic moves from one router to another and then the next path is computed. Problems occur when there is an issue between the source and destination point, as the entire route would need to be recalculated. This is why customers rarely achieve the bandwidth speeds that they purchase. Rave told me that he came up with the idea for Teridion when he was getting only 10Mb of throughput on a connection that was supposed to be 100 Mb. His theory was that there had to be a better way of moving traffic across the Internet.
To combat this problem, the company has built an overlay network that it calls a Global Cloud Network (GCN) that improves the routing between end users and Teridion customer data centers by improving the transport and routing architecture. Teridion's GCN is a network of virtual routers running in their customers' data centers (both private and public clouds) and orchestrated by Teridion's management system (TMS). The TMS provides real-time state information of the network, service type, and users location. Scaling the GCN up can be done by adding more virtual routers in more locations. The simplicity of the solution comes from the fact that it is cloud-based and end users do not need to install software or plug-ins.
Teridion works a little like Waze or Google Maps on steroids. It's continually computing the fastest path between two points, but more importantly it creates virtual overlay paths to avoid congestion. In a sense, think of what Teridion does as reverse load balancing. Also, Teridion performance is highly predictable. There's nothing more frustrating for users than unpredictable performance where an application might work great right now and then come to a halt an hour later.
Teridion's value proposition is strongest with Internet services that historically couldn't be improved with CDNs, caching, or WAN optimization. These include personalized, real-time, or bi-directional content. There's a growing movement by media, gaming, and other verticals to offer more granular, personalized content. Teridion's solution is well-timed.
While the company was announcing general availability of its GCN, it already has about 15 companies using its solution, including Egnyte and Lexifone. All of Teridion's customers are bandwidth-intensive services.
So if improving the performance of cloud applications has perplexed you, you're not alone, but there is a solution to those woes now.