Last week, we analyzed different business platform solutions and their features. Today, we will delve into the trends that are forcing applications architecture to evolve, such as the emergence of MVC frontend architectures and microservices (both based on the modularization of components). These design proposals help make the technology in which they are implemented more flexible and scalable, as well as to reuse the development processes employed. (more…)
As of today, the solutions offered in business platforms are based on the development and exploitation of scalability features and cost-saving actions by means of platform virtualization using effective technologies designed to modularize their components. (more…)
Providing a wireless LAN for guests and customers is mandatory in many economic sectors where various business interests are pursued. In hotels, wireless LAN has been established for a long time. Cafés and system catering try to encourage guests to stay longer by offering wireless LAN and thus increase sales.
Without going into technology specifics such as the structure of a memory cell, the distinguishing characteristics of DRAM versus SRAM (static RAM) are basically twofold: (1) the full address is usually presented to SRAM just once, while it is multiplexed to DRAM, first the row and then the column; (2) DRAM also needs to be refreshed periodically to maintain the integrity of stored data.
Firstly, the move of IT infrastructure to the cloud means our current understanding of level 3 network traffic (IP) is insufficient to characterize applications transmitting over said network: Application servers had fixed, known IP addresses in traditional data centers, whereas IP addressing in cloud is no longer controlled by the organization using these services.
Secondly, far more applications (both corporate and personal) are in circulation today than a few years ago. Said applications have not, in general, been designed with bandwidth optimization in mind and all have different needs and behaviors. This means some applications can (and do) adversely affect others if the network is incapable of applying different policies to prevent this.
The vast majority of applications use http and https for communication mainly to evade, or minimize, possible negative effects arising from security policies or IP addressing (NAT) over the network. This means the transport layer (TCP or UDP port) is unable to adequately identify network applications as they tend to use the same ports (http 80 and https 443).
To further aggravate the problem, companies must provide connectivity to an enormous array of ‘authorized’ local devices. Remote local networks today, unlike the traditional single terminal of yesterday, are more varied and far less controlled: Wireless offices, guest access, home access, BYOD, IoT etc. Consequently, the difficulties in analyzing traffic, caching systems and CND also escalate
Finally this greater diversity increases security risks: viruses, malware, bots, etc. These, in turn, tend to generate “uncontrolled” network traffic that needs to be detected and characterized. At this point, the close link between visibility and security at the network level raises its head (with all its repercussions and analysis), a subject that we’ll tackle another day.
The above points make it very clear that analyzing network traffic has become more and more intricate over the last few years, boosting the need for new tools with greater capacity. Otherwise, we simply won’t know what is going through our network, placing it not only at risk but unnecessarily increasing its upkeep. Given the tremendous amount of information handled, using tools that are able to intelligently filter the information received and provide high level of granularity in analysis and reports is absolutely essential. It’s here where big data analysis technologies bring huge advantages when compared to traditional tools.
Well aware of this recent difficulty, users need application visibility and control solutions to meet these new needs.
- Said solutions must be able to scale down to small and medium corporate offices, and offer a sound compromise between CPU requirements (cost), needed for DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), and number of detected applications (customer service and quality of application detection).
- Integrating intelligent detection in remote routers and the use of a centralized management tool, versus current market solutions based on proprietor remote point polling and hardware appliances (also proprietor), allows for excellent detection granularity and affordable exploitation, scalable to any size of network.
- Instead of opting for proprietor solutions, it’s crucial to use suppliers who adopt standard protocols to communicate visibility information (Netflow / IPFIX for example). This allows customers to use their own information collection methods if they so wish.
As part of its access routers and management tool, Colibri Netmanager, Teldat offers visibility and control solutions for network applications capable of meeting the aforementioned market needs.
Customer branch offices frequently find themselves with limited resources for WAN connectivity, this being a common problem associated to communications. WAN optimization under these circumstances makes sense, as the rise in productivity results in improved end customer perception.
Through different techniques, optimization reduces both infrastructure and bandwidth costs, allows for centralized services and simplifies periodic traffic congestion management over WAN.
The most common WAN optimization solutions are compression, caching or improving TCP efficiency. These are usually implemented in two parts: using a remote hardware/software module at the branch office and a second module, correctly dimensioned, at the head office. By adding an intelligence layer, we achieve efficient management and monitoring of said system and, consequently, a functioning multi-office environment.
These solutions typically need specific components only dedicated to optimization, which come at a significant cost per office.
One of the most popular optimization options, given its simplicity and because it only draws from the resources of a remote office, tends to be a webcache service (since any analysis or characterizing of branch traffic almost always shows that the web uses a large percent of the available bandwidth).
Integrated optimization and communications
Currently, the market offers products that can equally execute said applications and act as the office communications router.
Both the core routing and the applications use device hardware, assigning or reserving resources for each purpose, and the whole is integrally managed from a single tool, which not only controls connectivity but also manages the application life cycles: installation, configuring, monitoring, updating, etc.
An alternative (in branches) is to separate the optimizing services from communications, which results in the need for different hardware with the additional drawback of increasing operation costs. This option can really only be justified where bandwidth availability takes the highest priority.
First optimization solution: Webcache
A webcache captures internet traffic requests, forwards them, and stores a local copy of the received response. This latter information is then readily available to the users.
You may think that local branch users would have different information requirements. While this may be true in some cases, on the whole a group of users tends to repeatedly ask for the same data and at different times. Consequently, the webcache service can represent an important saving in bandwidth within sectors such as banking, legal services, insurance companies, education, etc.
The resulting saving of bandwidth means other critical services can now use the available WAN resources for more than just applying QoS policies. In addition to the reduced traffic over WAN, saving bandwidth accelerates information availability and allows for the implementation of traffic filtering and prioritization policies.
While it’s obvious that embedded webcache software in communication devices does compete, to a certain extent, with dedicated hardware products and is not designed for a high volume of data (or even for a high number of users), there is no doubt it is both an economic and flexible solution, which customers should bear in mind for their small and medium sized offices, as frequently it only implies the purchase of application licenses.
Other optimization options
Once in the world of optimization through embedded applications, it’s easy to add additional product licenses for branch use, which further increase bandwidth saving. For instance:
–Video broadcasting applications: by concentrating local requests into a single petition, streaming the video traffic from different clients to the WAN and dividing the necessary bandwidth by n, you can remotely attend a presentation or a corporate event.
–File server application: this behaves as an NAS for branch users. The content from said NAS can be easily programmed to download during periods of WAN inactivity, such as weekends and at night.
–Bootserver application: this boots the network stations and provides both the operating system and appropriate configuration for startup.
To wrap up…
The world of WAN optimization, essential for availability, is far from irrelevant as, together with the increasing frequency of high speed lines, it’s fast becoming a critical need for branch offices to offer additional and crucial services to their clients.
Teldat has all the essential solutions for these scenarios, and continually offers innovate and more flexible products with greater processing capacity to meet all customer needs now and for the future.