Which Is King? The Network Or The Applications?

May 26, 2021

Back in the day, network speed and throughput were limiting factors for the overall productivity of an organization. Gigabit Ethernet came onto the scene in 1999, and offered a quantum leap in performance over previous connectivity standards.

10GbE was approved by IEEE in 2002, and slowly gained more widespread deployment as the switch vendors and others adopted the standard. Now, 40GbE and even 100GbE are available (though industry analyst firm Infonetics predicts that within one to two years, 40GbE will phase out as 25GbE and 100GbE become the norm).

The Rise Of The Application

In that same timeframe, individual PC licenses for generalized office applications have been replaced by Software-as-a-Service offerings such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Adobe Systems’ Creative Cloud. It’s almost the de facto standard to host an organization’s email on Microsoft Exchange Server. Applications such as Oracle’s suite of products, as well as those of SAP, IBM, EMC and many others, are used for tasks from order entry to business intelligence to electronic medical records and have become intrinsic to the operation, competitive edge, and overall success of the majority of businesses and other organizations today. Can you imagine attempting to conduct your job without the myriad applications you use on a daily basis?

So, Which Is King?

Sorry, switch vendors. Ultimately the network exists to support the applications – and without applications, the network is just an empty pipe. Given adequate bandwidth and speed, and acceptable uptime standards, applications will run smoothly and end-users won’t flood the help desk with calls about application availability or slowness.

However, there is a caveat to that. What happens when dozens (or hundreds) of applications and their data are traversing the network? What happens when the same data (such as images, data files, etc.) is downloaded hundreds of times a day by end-users? What if multiple simultaneous connection requests overwhelm the application’s server? And how can you optimize application performance for mobile users on smart devices?

Array’s APV Series application delivery controllers (ADCs) and aCelera™ WAN optimization controllers can maximize the efficiency of servers and network connections, while providing application intelligence to optimize the end-user experience.

For example, APV Series dedicated ADC appliances can offload CPU-intensive connection management tasks, freeing server cycles for client requests. Connection multiplexing, developed by Array, also aggregates client connections to improve server efficiency by 50% or more.

APV Series ADCs can also apply caching, compression and traffic shaping to improve server performance, reduce bandwidth requirements, and assure critical applications take precedence over non-essential traffic.

aCelera WAN optimization minimizes traffic traversing the network, reducing end-user response times by up to 95% and ensuring a LAN-like experience regardless of end-users’ locations. aCelera also offers a mobile client to accelerate traffic between individual devices and aCelera appliances in the data center or cloud.

Long Live The King!

And the winner is: Your IT team, if your network resources are optimized to support the applications your company or organization needs in order to grow, thrive, compete and succeed. Explore our resources on application acceleration, WAN optimization, and application-specific deployment guides to learn more.

Paul Andersen

Mr. Andersen has more than 20 years of high-tech industry experience, and has previously served in various roles at Cisco Systems, Tasman Networks and Sun Microsystems. He served as Senior Director of Marketing for Array Networks for more than ten years, leading critical positioning, sales generation and marketing efforts as well as sales training and partner marketing, enablement and management. Paul holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from San Jose State University.