Corona-related exit restrictions still apply. Who can work from home, which is why the networks are more stressed than ever and applications often do not offer the necessary performance. This causes frustration and slows down employee productivity. Although mobile work and home office have become more and more normal, many companies are not yet prepared for suddenly all employees to work remotely. The IT teams do their best to improve the situation. But what exactly is slowing down performance and how can companies fix it?
Networks have changed across the board and are more complex than they were a few years ago – data is no longer hosted by a single data center, but is also located in remote branches and offices. There are also hybrid cloud environments as well as on-premises or SaaS applications and workloads. This makes it difficult for IT teams to keep everything going, because they have less transparent insight into the networks and infrastructures. If all of a sudden all of the employees work from home, the situation becomes even more complicated. All of these factors affect application performance, slow down the workflow of employees and impair availability.
Especially in the home office there are various challenges for the performance of the networks: the network connection and the WLAN at home may not be stable. For example, the neighbour’s WLAN is scattered and even household appliances such as microwave ovens can have a negative impact on performance. When the whole family is at home, others are likely to use the network, stream videos, or play online. If a video conference is pending or large files need to be shared at the same time, network performance can drop quickly.
It is often assumed that the problems can be solved with more bandwidth alone. The assumption is obvious – after all, more data can be sent through the network at the same time if more bandwidth is available. If the bandwidth is already fully utilized, this is particularly noticeable with large amounts of data such as videos. However, maximum bandwidth does not automatically mean maximum speed. After all, even with additional bandwidth, data only moves from point A to point B at a certain speed.
Network protocols also require applications and data to be sent back and forth between the server and client several times, which creates additional latencies. The greater the distance between the home office and the responsible server and the more often the data is sent back and forth, the slower the performance of the applications. This becomes a challenge, especially for applications in hybrid environments. In addition, there are other factors such as the quality of the hardware at home, the Internet line available or the location of the remote server responsible for the respective application. For this reason, the performance often fluctuates even with a fast internet connection.
So what adjustments can companies make to minimize these latencies? Here application acceleration can accelerate access to data and applications. Three factors are crucial to improve remote access work: First of all, the amount of data that is sent through the WAN must be reduced. Once the data is deduplicated, only a fraction of it has to be sent through the network. In addition, it is necessary to improve the network protocols and to adapt the rules that apply to data transport through the network, so that the data can be prioritized and sent without interference over long distances.
As another important step in the fight against latency, companies should also optimize communication between the server and client so that application data does not have to be sent back and forth across the WAN several times. However, it shouldn’t matter what type of applications and workloads are accessed and where they are located – on-premises, in your own data center, as SaaS or in the cloud.
All of these factors play a role in ensuring that applications are available quickly and consistently, whether from home or wherever the employees are. In order to avoid long access times and frustration, application acceleration can help. As soon as the above steps have been implemented, the employees can work undisturbed as if they were in the office and the application server is in the same place as them. This saves time and nerves. (hi / fm)