Cut Out the Chat

'Chattiness' remains a problem over the WAN - is Protocol Chat Reduction the answer?

April 27, 2005

3 Min Read
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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.

That’s 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.Protocol Chat Reduction allows sets of common requests to be bundled and sent as one across the WAN. In a Windows environment, Protocol Chat Reduction can reduce the bandwidth and performance issues caused by the “morning traffic jam” phenomenon. In large corporations when everyone arrives at work and tries to log in at the same time, thousands of requests are being sent simultaneously, causing delays and even dropped requests. This results in repeated requests.

There are some corporations where employees have complained of waiting up to 20 minutes in the morning before they were fully logged on and receiving email. Protocol Chat Reduction solves this problem by sending common requests in batches, rather than one at a time, enabling a much faster Windows login and a much better user experience.

Apart from improved user experience, another key benefit of Protocol Chat Reduction is the reduction in back-end infrastructure requirements. In a remote access environment, for example, Protocol Chat Reduction reduces non-productive traffic in order to increase usable bandwidth, thereby enabling an organization to support more remote access clients without expanding the amount of enterprise access servers on the back-end.

As more and more applications are put to work over the WAN, the application delay caused by unnecessary, non-productive traffic will continue to increase. Protocol Chat Reduction solves this bandwidth problem – freeing up your WAN for increased performance of essential applications.

— Ameet Dhillon, Director of Product Marketing, Swan Labs Corp.0

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