A long time ago in a previous job, I worked as a consultant for a company that provided Records Management software. My job was to help customers and prospective customers deploy their systems in as optimal a manner as possible.
If there was a performance problem, there was a standard list of things we would check. For example, was there enough RAM? Were we maxing out the CPU? Did we have appropriate indexes in the database etc.
One of the things we would check was the network connection between the client and the server. Was there packet loss, was there high latency etc? If there was a problem with the network, it was frankly a relief for us. We were pleased that there was “nothing wrong with the software”. The network was someone else’s problem and I was able to go home.
Looking back, this was an awful point of view to have!
Software Needs to be Designed to Work Across a Wide Area Network (WAN)
Firstly, we were fairly arrogant in thinking that the software couldn’t be made more efficient. With the benefit of hindsight, I now know this was wrong. There was a lot of changes we could have made to reduce our software’s bandwidth usage across the network.
Secondly, we could have done some investigation to tune the infrastructure better. For example, could we have turned on compression on our webserver? Could we have suggested the customer installed with a different architecture?
Finally, there may have been nothing “wrong” with our software and my manager agreed I’d done a good job. However a slow user experience didn’t help my company sell more copies of their application.
It’s a long time ago and I was younger and more naïve, but I do believe we could have improved the performance of our application. It may have involved a lot of effort though. Alternatively, I could have suggested the use of WAN optimization software such as Replify. Some of my customers had very large budgets and implementing Replify Accelerator could have easily been part of these.
Replify’s Ease of Implementation
Some of our customers were already rolling out software to thousands of clients. Adding Replify Accelerator to the mix would have been straight-forward. We could have installed the Replify Accelerator appliance in the same data centre as our application servers. This can be installed on a Linux server, Docker, all the main hypervisors, as well as on most cloud platforms.
The Replify Accelerator Client is a standard software package that can easily be deployed to a large user population. For example on Windows, we could have installed and configured the software using Windows Group Policy.
Improve the End User Experience
Considering that many on-premise apps that were typically designed for and ran on a LAN in the past are moving to the cloud, the performance of these can be sub-optimal. It’s not the fault of those who developed the software. It’s just one of those things.
Re-architecting an existing legacy app to work effectively in the cloud can be very costly. However including WAN optimization with your application may be a much cheaper alternative that keeps your customers happy and helps you win new business.
You don’t want to confuse the customer by asking them to install multiple products? Not a problem! Replify Accelerator operates an OEM licensing model. You can easily integrate Replify Accelerator capabilities into your own software. The customer doesn’t need to worry about purchasing, installing and configuring an extra product and all of the associated paperwork etc.
The Replify Competitive Advantage
We previously written about how we’ve found ERP systems often run slowly on high-latency networks. If one ERP provider had WAN optimization capabilities included by default in their software, this would make them a more attractive proposition.
At the very least, considering adding Replify’s WAN optimization with Replify Virtual Accelerators and Replify Accelerator Clients, alongside your ERP makes perfect sense. With gains of over 80% offload possible, installing Replify will boost the performance while also freeing up WAN capacity for other activities.
How do I find out more about improving my network?
If the issues above are all too familiar to you, we’re happy to help. You can download the software and carry out a free trial. If you want to discuss this further, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.