Maintaining application performance for branches and remote users, as apps, and increasingly infrastructure, are migrating to the cloud at an accelerating pace, is a daunting task. According to Gartner forecasts, enterprise adoption of public cloud services will have grown 86% between 2014 and 2018. If that includes you, you’re likely already addressing some application performance challenges with more on the horizon ahead.

When applications were all conveniently housed on-premises, and users were all connected directly to the enterprise network, application delivery controllers were a powerful tool, and managing application performance was a lot easier. But now with applications, data, and users highly distributed, spanning legacy architectures and newer cloud environments, the legacy model breaks down.

The breakdown is not a failure of the ADCs, but rather that the critical WAN architecture has failed to keep up. In a hybrid IT environment, application performance typically suffers from increased latency caused by the “tromboning” of centralized Internet access over the corporate hub-and-spoke network.

There are five steps you can take to improve application performance as you evolve toward a distributed hybrid IT infrastructure:

  1. Inventory where applications are currently hosted
  2. Consider where future application deployment is likely to occur
  3. Distribute security services and Internet access points
  4. Optimize access to private and hybrid cloud networks
  5. Deploy application-aware QoS and network management

If you’re interested how these steps play out in practice, tune into the Apcela blog where each week, over the next five weeks, I’ll take one of these steps and break it down based on real world implementations. For each step we’ll share some best practices from Next-gen WAN transformations designed to improve application performance in distributed hybrid IT environments based on deployments ranging from a couple dozen sites to hundreds of sites globally, in total spanning more than 160 markets in 40 countries worldwide.

Stay tuned for Step 1 next week: “Inventory where applications are currently hosted.”

In the meantime, if you’d like to get a head start, check out Gartner’s “Edge Manifesto: Digital Business, Rich Media, Latency Sensitivity and the Use of Distributed Data Centers” by Bob Gill, Research VP, 15 June 2017. You can download a free copy of the report from Apcela’s partner Equinix.