The Internet revolutionized the way companies conduct business: Virtually overnight, email and Websites replaced business processes that had been in place for decades. By the turn of the century, enterprises were converting nearly all of their operations to Web applications. While this greatly simplified business, it soon became painfully obvious from a wide-area network (WAN) perspective that this conversion was anything but simple.
As WANs became more popular, it became apparent that Web applications suffered poor performance over the WAN due to the amount of non-productive protocol traffic, or chattiness, created by such applications. In particular, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Exchange (Mail Application Programming Interface) and file share (Server Message Block / Common Internet File System) protocols proved to create an excess of protocol chat. While these protocols performed well on local-area networks (LANs), the large number of round trips due to protocol chattiness significantly degraded application performance across high-latency WANs.
The result was a poor end-user experience with these applications. Web pages loaded at a dreadful pace, and when too many Windows users tried to log on at once, the network slowed down considerably. Overall application performance was noticeably decreased, so companies began throwing bandwidth at the problem. Even using traffic shaping and route control solutions, they could only maximize their existing bandwidth. This was not solving the network latency issues caused by chatty applications.
Thats where Web acceleration and WAN optimization came in. With these technologies, companies could focus on the most basic application operations such as static object caching, encryption/decryption, and connection-level optimizations. Unfortunately, these solutions proved ineffective at reducing application protocol chatter.
In order to handle these application-layer protocol issues, solutions that incorporate Protocol Chat Reduction have emerged. Protocol Chat Reduction is a technology that improves WAN performance by reducing non-productive traffic and protocol dialogue, which frees up WAN bandwidth for other applications and enhances the user experience.