WAN Latency #1 Cause of Application Performance Problems

FineGround recommends companies stop "throwing bandwidth" and reduce application response times by two-thirds

CAMPBELL, Calif., Oct. 6, 2004 -- FineGround, Inc. today issued a call-to-action for Global 2000 enterprises: "Stop wasting valuable IT dollars 'throwing bandwidth capacity' at application performance problems." Through experience implementing its application-delivery solutions at more than 100 enterprises worldwide, FineGround has learned that network latency, not network congestion, has the greatest impact on wide-area network (WAN) performance.

As organizations invest in Web infrastructures to support real-time global operations, IT is tasked with providing high levels of application service to users across the Extended Enterprise. According to a recent report issued by industry analyst firm Gartner, "In global networks running a typical Web-based application, the WAN latency is responsible for more than 50 percent (in a 128 Kbps network) to 95 percent (in a T1/E1 network) of the total application delay." (Gartner research note: "Latency: The Silent Killer of Application Performance," Mark Fabbi, Sept. 14, 2004)

When critical business processes are delivered via the Web, business performance is synonymous with application performance and the effects of latency can seriously impact the bottom line.

"Any IT organization that manages an extended enterprise knows that applications behave differently over the WAN. To compensate, IT managers typically make significant investments in WAN capacity either through buying more bandwidth or WAN optimization equipment," said Nat Kausik, president and CEO of FineGround. "Unfortunately, organizations are literally throwing money away. Millions of dollars' worth of bandwidth can't compensate for distance; as application users get farther away from the data center, packets take more time to travel. This is the reality of latency and the number one reason why applications are slow and unresponsive for many WAN users."

Gartner predicts that through 2007, 90 percent of organizations that do not address latency issues will not meet business-critical application service levels (0.8 probability). FineGround's Enterprise Application Delivery Suite addresses the negative impacts of latency head-on, helping enterprises tackle the most critical performance hurdle so they can drive down bandwidth costs while dramatically improving application response times. The Enterprise Application Delivery Suite works on optimizing performance via the application and delivers substantial gains in performance in the face of WAN latencies by reducing the number of network traversals involved in each application response.

"Network latency is the most important parameter in determining application performance," said Mark Fabbi, vice president of research for Gartner. "Companies that ignore latency issues when deploying new applications across the WAN will face poor performance, disgruntled users and the failure of major enterprise application deployment projects."

When Quantum Corporation, a global provider of storage solutions, began tackling performance issues in its employee and HR portals, the company realized that over-provisioning resources in an attempt to boost bandwidth would have little effect on performance.

"The need to provide faster access of information to a global user base was critical," said Chago Santiago, senior director for Global Applications at Quantum. "Our goal was to reduce our bandwidth costs and provide faster accessibility to corporate data worldwide. We recognized that purchasing more bandwidth and adding more network capacity would not address the performance of our Web applications."

Latency is the term used to describe the time it takes for a data packet to traverse a network. What many organizations fail to realize is that often application performance problems are due to this network latency, something that all the bandwidth in the world can't remedy. Organizations typically measure latency in terms of Round Trip Time (RTT). Over campus LAN's, the RTT is a fraction of a millisecond, while on a global WAN, RTT is hundreds of milliseconds. The three orders of magnitude difference in the RTT over the two environments adds up to serious degradation in application performance.

FineGround's Enterprise Application Delivery Suite is an integrated solution that minimizes the impact latency has on application response times by reducing the number of round trips each page or transaction requires. In the case of Quantum, FineGround's ability to overcome network latency yielded a 300 percent performance gain equivalent to taking a 30 second response time down to less than 8 seconds.

"The rapid deployment of the FineGround Velocity appliance allowed us to improve our PeopleSoft HR application and our employee portal significantly while reducing response times end-to-end," said Santiago.

As part of its efforts to educate IT managers on the impact of latency in application performance, FineGround partnered with Gartner to present a Webinar: "Enterprise Application Delivery: Driving Business Automation Despite WAN Latency," on Sept. 29, 2004. The session is archived for on-demand viewing at http://www.fineground.com/news_events/webinar/.

About FineGround

FineGround offers a fully integrated Enterprise Application Delivery Suite for automated performance optimization, end-to-end monitoring, and application security. Information about FineGround can be found on the Web at http://www.fineground.com.