If asked about the type of work we do, in a social situation, my standard response is, ‘Replify makes the internet go faster’. Quick, snappy and relatable to even the biggest technophobes. But does this really mean that Replify can optimize internet traffic?
The truth is that Replify Accelerator often does a good job of optimizing internet traffic. Its simple too – if you have access to a data centre or cloud service that has good network connectivity.
We’ve been optimizing internet traffic as part of the standard testing procedure for our upcoming 6.2 release. All the employees are working from home. Some have good network connections over 200Mbps and some on less than 30mbps. All have the Replify Accelerator Client installed, connected to a virtual appliance hosted in Azure’s data centre in Dublin. With this setup, we’re getting around 50% data offload on average. On some traffic we are seeing over 90% offload.
What about SSL (or TLS)?
With encrypted traffic now making up the bulk of sites visited (see this Google report), it’s important that Replify can continue to provide acceleration. So, how does Replify achieve this?
Replify secures the connection over the WAN with TLS 1.2. From version 6.2 onwards, it’ll use TLS 1.3 by default for securing that WAN traffic.
To decrypt the traffic, Replify can be added as a trusted CA within your organisation. Alternatively, you can add your organisations trusted certificates on to the Replify node at your datacentre. Replify will generate, or issue, new certificates as required for the websites that are being visited. This allows Replify to apply it’s optimization to greatly reduce the payload before encrypting and transmitting it over the internat.
Where Should the Replify Nodes Be Located?
The location of the virtual appliance is important. To get the best performance possible, the Replify Virtual Appliance (VA) should be close as possible in network terms to the server that is being accelerated.
For example, If your client is in London, and your VA is in London also, it will not provide much of a performance boost if you attempt to accelerate a server in San Francisco.
Can I Deploy More than One Virtual Appliance?
An individual Accelerator client can connect to multiple VAs. This means you could have a VA based in Singapore to accelerate traffic for the Asia Pacific region, one in London for European traffic and ones in the US for east and west coast traffic. Depending on performance requirements you could add more and more servers to get even better performance.
What About CDNs (Content Delivery Networks)?
In practice, having a world wide network of VAs isn’t required for the majority of Internet traffic. Most people are accessing sites of local businesses or major sites that will be behind a Content Delivery Network (CDN). With free CDN services such as Cloudflare’s free tier, CDN is available to anyone who wants to use it.
CDN technology can work very well alongside WAN optimization. Let’s look at an example.
I’m at home in Belfast using a 3G connection and I want to read an article from the Sydney Morning Herald. Without any optimization technology, this would be a painfully slow experience as the latency would be over 200ms.
However, The Sydney Morning herald uses Cloudfront CDN. This means I can connect to a copy of their site that is hosted in London. That’s only 60ms away from me. This on it’s own will make the site much quicker to access.
Even better than that, if I start a Replify Accelerator Virtual Appliance instance in the AWS London region, this will only be 2ms away from the CDN copy. This may as well be on the same LAN.
If I connect my client to the AWS virtual appliance, I can optimize the site over the 60ms link which will result in further performance improvements. Even more than would be the case over the 200ms link.
Replify Accelerator can do a great job of optimizing internet traffic, however doing it really well requires some planning to ensure you are deploying your servers in the best locations.
If you want more information or want to try this out for yourself, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.