samedi 13 avril 2013

The importance of Application QoS in the transformation of telcos

Currently, I am working on a WAN optimization RFP. The goal is to optimize the performance of the customer's networked applications by deploying physical probes behind WAN accesses.
there are two main domains in WAN optimization:
  • Application QoS: It's about monitoring and controlling the traffic of networked applications in order to satisfy the performance requirement of these applications according to their business importance.
  • Application Acceleration & Optimization: Accelerating the performance of an application can be done on different levels:
    • Network level: TCP optimization, byte caching and compression..
    • Application level: there is a myriad of solutions on this level, starting by simple protocol spoofing (ex: CIFS) to advanced solutions like Content Delivery Networks. I'll dedicate a post to CDNs very soon.
Many constructors provide WAN optimization solutions: Riverbed, Ipanema, Cisco... each constructor is more specialized in a domain. below is an image provided by Ipanema on their optimization solution:

I think that these technologies will be more and more critical to business in the future. Nowdays, business rely totally on the Information System which is being moved to the cloud. It means that everything passes through the WAN access, and thus critical applications should be protected smartly.

Telecom service providers are integrating this approach more and more. The historical proposed solution is to upgrade the WAN access and increase bandwidth. This approach doesn't resolve the problem, it just  postpones it. On modern WAN networks, Class of Services is implemented, and it allows the prioritization of important traffic in case of network congestion. Its a good basic network level solution but it's very limited. It should be combined with previous solutions to have a serious application optimization.

I believe that telecom service providers should start thinking about integrating these solutions in their standard network products in order to accelerate their transformation into service providers and not only dumb bit pipes.
This approach will help them get to know more their customers by understanding their applications, and thus detecting big business opportunities.

Achraf Souk

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