Applications of all stripes are heading to the cloud. And yet, with the cloud relying so heavily on public networks, app performance is apt to suffer unless the cloud architectures are designed just right.
Cloud service providers and platform developers are only too keen to ensure equal or even better performance compared to local data center infrastructure, which is why many are looking to integrate the latest acceleration technologies into their systems.
A case in point is F5 Networks, which this week took over the application delivery wing of defunct Israeli firm Crescendo Networks. F5 has been somewhat cagey as to exactly what it purchased and what it plans to do with it, although it's a safe bet that the deal involves Crescendo's AppBeat Application Delivery Controller, which acts as an offload engine for functions like TCP multiplexing, load balancing and SSL acceleration. The technology would make a nice fit with F5's BIG-IP platform, which is already packed with a range of traffic and policy management features, along with application security and link connectivity modules.
Application acceleration is emerging as a crucial component of cloud-based storage platforms, which are seeing new solutions integrated directly onto the component layer. LSI Corp., for instance, has added new CacheCade caching software into its MegaRAID controller cards. The system is the first to offer SSD cache for both reads and writes, according to the company, and delivers a 13-fold performance improvement using a unique ability to tap frequently accessed data for immediate cache onto solid-state storage. The software is targeted for immediate release on MegaRAID SAS 9200 series controllers.
At the same time, EMC has quietly purchased a portion of Atlanta acceleration specialist Asankya, developer of the HyperMesh system that acts as a data flow manager in highly complex network environments. Through techniques like parallel networking, multipathing and TCP/IP optimization, HyperMesh would be a big help to EMC's efforts to improve traffic into and out of cloud-based storage architectures, according to the The Register's Chris Mellor.
This focus on application acceleration has elevated the technology in the world of enterprise infrastructure. No longer is it a luxury aimed at improving connectivity with branch offices and remote facilities. As action heats up in the cloud, it will be a key differentiator between a cheaper but still adequate IT environment and a forward-leaning architecture designed to meet the data handling needs of the coming decade.