Network World recently hosted the Boston leg of its IT Roadmap Conference (the tour arrives in Chicago on June 27). There were more than 500 attendees at the seminar as well as roughly 50 vendors. The seminar was comprised of six tracks and Jim moderated two of them. One track was on Network Management and the other was on Network and Application Acceleration.We have written extensively about the topic of network and application acceleration. In the past, we have looked at topics such as the coming together of security and application acceleration, and the factors that impact application performance. At the IT Roadmap conference, Jim addressed several other topics relative to network and application acceleration. One of those was a discussion of the appropriate layer in the OSI stack to implement network and application acceleration techniques.The answer to that question is the same as the answer to so many questions about how to best apply network and applications acceleration: it depends on what you are tying to accomplish.For example, some vendors advocate implementing network and applications acceleration techniques at Layer 3 of the OSI stack. They correctly make the argument that by applying techniques at this layer, these techniques can support a range of transport protocols as well as any application. They also correctly argue that since techniques applied at Layer 3 support all applications, this approach has the potential to simplify operations as it reduces the need to implement other acceleration techniques.In our next newsletter, we will analyze the argument that says that network and application acceleration techniques should be implemented at Layer 3 and make some suggestions for how readers can best answer that question in their environment.