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Smart ADCs ensure app performance regardless of the access device and network used

By Amir Peles, VP of technology, Radware, special to Network World
June 07, 2013 03:58 PM ET

Network World - This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.

With the increasing use of Web applications from mobile devices and the variety of devices accessing applications through different types of networks, a new approach to application delivery optimization is required.

Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) at the edge of the data center can play a key role addressing this challenge, with their ability to apply contextual application delivery optimization based on a wide range of information accessible to the ADC in real time. This includes the type of device, size of its screen and the access network type.

[ HOW-TO: Shop for Application Delivery Controllers ]

We are all experiencing how mobile is changing our lives -- not only in terms of the content we consume but also when it comes to how, where and when we access the Internet. Compared to the old paradigm of Internet access through a desktop from designated locations (at work or at home), smartphones and tablets have made the Internet accessible to an ever-increasing number of users, many of whom own and use more than one device at the same time. With Internet access available practically anywhere and everywhere, it's no surprise the amount of time we spend online has grown exponentially. [Also see: "Accessing the Internet by mobile device doubled in 2011, data shows"]

Mobile trends are continuously evolving. More personal devices, like car accessories and gaming devices, now connect to the Internet, and with the strong adaptation of LTE, mobile networks are providing faster service with higher bandwidth. However, the reality of users accessing more content from multiple locations/devices at any time, has created a number of new challenges that must be addressed:

  1. Mobile service adaptation per device -- Gone are the days where it was enough to design your Web service optimized for just an 800x600 screen resolution. Today's Web applications and services must support different devices with different screen sizes (Smartphone/tablet/desktop), different user interfaces (touch screen/mouse/keyboard) and use different access networks (3G/LTE/Wi-Fi/LAN).
  2. New capacity requirements -- The increased number of users also creates large variations between average usage load and peak time usage load, which also varies across the different Web applications and services. This creates a need for contained yet flexible application delivery infrastructure capacity, which ensures each application receives the resources it requires when they are needed.
  3. Sustaining high Quality of Experience (QoE) -- This is now a critical online business requirement, which can only be achieved if you can actually measure and monitor user experience from end-to-end.

Contextual application delivery optimization

In order to optimize the delivery of application/content according to the device and where the request came from, it's necessary that the application infrastructure is able to recognize several characteristics of the originating client and user profile, including:

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