I’m sure you’ve been in situations where you’re crunched for time; dashing to make an important meeting. But the simple three-minute walk to the meeting room takes 15 minutes as co-workers snag you along the way with questions, requests and friendly chatter. Needless to say, you’re late and annoyed. In network terms, we call this latency.
Latency is the result of delays experienced as data travels the physical distance over the network from point A to point B. In the case of satellite connectivity, where data has to travel very long distances, latency is represented by the time it takes packets traveling from a base station to the satellite, and back to the base station to complete a round-trip transmission.
Latency is fundamentally based on the physics involved in the round-trip-time (RTT). This physical limitation is common to all networks. However, this is just the beginning. Networks that deliver TCP, UDP and application protocols incur much greater levels of latency due to the extreme number of protocol handshakes, and redundant data. It is the excessive handshakes, web application turns and content delivery inefficiencies that factor into the total latency that inhibits overall network performance and wastes bandwidth.
Redundant data, such as text, images, attachments, and HTTP sent over the network adds latency. Networks can quickly get filled with unnecessary data that lowers performance and limits traffic, as data repetitively accessed by users saturates network links with requests for the same data and files.
Fortunately, enterprises can overcome these challenges by using WAN optimization technologies to reduce bandwidth consumption, and improve network quality to deliver applications more reliably and faster. Capabilities such as deduplication, caching, forward error correction, packet order correction, and traffic shaping can all help.
The reality is that there are huge opportunities and benefits for enterprises and service providers in taking advantage of the many applications used by computers, smart phones, tablets and other networked devices that ultimately add latency and consume large amounts of data. WAN optimization technologies provide the remedy for latency and congestion that keep your networks from delivering fast, reliable applications.