Optimizing Mobile and Cloud Application Performance in the Enterprise

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Mobile Application Development: A Work in Progress

Mobile and cloud computing both share one common fatal flaw: They are both dependent on the quality of the network services being provided for success.

Unfortunately, the quality of both enterprise networks and the network services provided by Internet service providers varies widely. To address this issue, Akamai today is announcing the addition of two services that allow enterprises to use the global network Akamai built for its content delivery network (CDN) to optimize the performance of mobile and cloud computing applications.

According to Neil Cohen, Akamai vice president of product marketing, the cloud computing service, called Terra Alta, is designed to allow IT organizations running applications on private or public cloud infrastructure to take advantage of proprietary protocols that Akamai has developed to optimize the performance of those applications across a global network. The launch of that service comes on the heels of a recent alliance the company made with Riverbed Technology, a provider of wide area network (WAN) optimization appliances.

The Akamai Terra Alta service uses virtual machines running Akamai software that are deployed in the enterprise. That software then connects the enterprise to the Akamai CDN that together provide dynamic page caching, DNS mapping and load balancing.

Similarly, the company's new Aqua Mobile Accelerator service enhances the performance of mobile computing applications by caching content on nodes that are as close as possible to the mobile computing device. Further on, Cohen says Akamai will also continue to enhance the performance of mobile computing applications by integrating technologies that Akamai acquired when it purchased Blaze, a provider of browser performance optimization tools in February.

Cohen says that when you combine mobile and cloud computing with security issues and the rise of video as a component of applications, it's becoming increasingly clear that IT organizations need to rely more on outside help to optimize the performance of their applications. Many IT organizations are currently building a raft of mobile computing applications that need to be optimized for multiple browsers running on different platforms, while externally-facing cloud applications are regularly being accessed by customers and business partners around the globe. Rather than investing in the network infrastructure and skills needed to manage it, Cohen says Akamai expects that IT organizations will opt to circumvent network latency issues by utilizing Akamai services.

Most IT organizations struggle to maintain application performance levels on their existing internal network. Trying to maintain application performance levels across a global WAN is a daunting proposition for most of them. As such, it's becoming increasingly apparent that in an age of mobile and cloud computing, finding ways to augment fragile enterprise networks is going to become increasingly critical.