Application delivery network adoption
A long-standing puzzle for myself and my various colleagues who cover application-fluent networking: Why don’t more SaaS providers adopt application delivery networks (ADNs), either via a service, or via application delivery controller (ADC) hardware?
Even if a SaaS vendor perceives their performance as being just fine for the typical US-based user, performance is often an issue in Europe, and frequently deteriorates sharply in Asia, especially China, and is erratic everywhere else depending on the quality of the country’s connectivity. (Change the names of the regions if the data center isn’t in North America.) Deploying an ADN helps to bolster performance for these users. And if it’s not cost-effective to do that for all users, why not charge extra for an accelerated service? (Yes, we understand that there are issues like “if we offer an accelerated service, are we implying our regular service is slow?” but really, that’s just a marketing issue. Performance can be a competitive differentiator and it’s also a revenue opportunity.)
Two interesting recent examples:
- Fog Creek’s CoPilot gets Akamai IP Application Accelerator service
- F5 does a China solution for its DevCentral portal
Yes, times are tough right now, so a SaaS company does have to evaluate the ROI carefully, but any SaaS provider with performance issues owes it to themselves to give this stuff a look. (And SaaS customers who have performance issues ought to be poking at their providers.)