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Application Acceleration and WAN Optimization Fundamentals

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Application Acceleration and WAN Optimization Fundamentals


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  • Copyright 2008
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 1-58705-316-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-316-0

IT organizations face pressure to increase productivity, improve application performance, support global collaboration, improve data protection, and minimize costs. In today’s WAN-centered environments, traditional LAN-oriented infrastructure approaches are insufficient to meet these goals. Application Acceleration and WAN Optimization Fundamentals introduces a better solution: integrating today’s new generation of accelerator solutions to efficiently and effectively scale networks beyond traditional capabilities while improving performance and minimizing costs through consolidation.

Ted Grevers and Joel Christner begin by reviewing the challenges network professionals face in delivering applications to globally distributed workforces. You learn how accelerators are transforming application business models, enabling IT departments to centralize and consolidate resources while also delivering consistently superior performance.

Grevers and Christner show how to identify network consumers, prioritize traffic, and guarantee appropriate throughput and response times to business-critical applications. You learn how to use quality of service techniques such as packet classification and marking and traffic policing, queuing, scheduling, and shaping.

Next, you compare options for integrating accelerators and optimization services into your network and for optimizing content delivery. The authors show how to address application protocol-related performance problems that cannot be resolved through compression or flow optimization alone. In the final chapter, the authors walk you through several real-world scenarios for utilizing accelerator technology.

Ted Grevers, Jr., is the solution manager for the Cisco® Video IPTV Systems Test and Architecture (C-VISTA) team. He has extensive experience in the content delivery network (CDN) market, focusing on enterprise and service provider content delivery and application optimization needs.

Joel Christner, CCIE® No. 15311, is the manager of technical marketing for the Cisco Application Delivery Business Unit (ADBU). He has extensive experience with application protocols, acceleration technologies, LAN/WAN infrastructure, and storage networking. Grevers and Christner are key contributors to the design and architecture of Cisco application delivery and application acceleration solutions.

  • Provide high-performance access to remote data, content, video, rich media, and applications
  • Understand how accelerators can improve network performance and minimize bandwidth consumption
  • Use NetFlow to baseline application requirements and network utilization
  • Ensure network resources are allocated based on business priorities
  • Identify performance barriers arising from networks, protocols, operating systems, hardware, file systems, and applications
  • Employ application-specific acceleration components to mitigate the negative impact of latency and bandwidth consumption
  • Integrate content delivery networks (CDN) to centrally manage the acquisition, security, and distribution of content to remote locations
  • Leverage WAN optimization technologies to improve application throughput, mitigate the impact of latency and loss, and minimize bandwidth consumption
  • Optimize the performance of WANs and business-critical WAN applications

This book is part of the Cisco Press® Fundamentals Series. Books in this series introduce networking professionals to new networking technologies, covering network topologies, sample deployment concepts, protocols, and management techniques.

Category: Cisco Press/Networking

Covers: Network Optimization

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Overcoming Transport and Link Capacity Limitations Through WAN Optimization

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Download the sample chapter

Table of Contents


Managing Applications 3

    Testing New Applications 4

    Reducing Application Latency 5

Managing Distributed Servers 6

    Protecting Data on Distributed Servers 6

    Providing Timely Remote Service and Support 8

    Using Centralized Management Methods 8

Facing the Unavoidable WAN 8

Changing the Application Business Model 9

Consolidating and Protecting Servers in the New IT Operational Model 10

    Server Consolidation 11

    Compliance, Data Protection, Business Continuity, and Disaster Recovery 15

Summary 18

Chapter 2     Barriers to Application Performance 21

Networks and Application Performance 21

    Bandwidth 25

    Latency 33

    Throughput 45

Application and Protocol Barriers to Application Performance 50

    Application Protocols 51

    Network Stability 57

Operating System Barriers to Application Performance 61

    Microsoft Corporation 61

    Sun Microsystems 63

    Red Hat 64

    Hewlett-Packard 65

    IBM 66

Hardware Barriers to Application Performance 67

Central Processing Unit 67

Random Access Memory 69

Disk Storage 70

File System Considerations 74

Network Interface Cards 79

Summary 81

Chapter 3     Aligning Network Resources with Business Priority 83

Viewing Network Utilization 84

    NetFlow 84

    Network Based Application Recognition 90

Employing Quality of Service 92

    Packet Classification 95

    Pre-Queuing Operators 96

    Queuing and Scheduling 100

    Post-Queuing Optimization 105

Understanding Accelerator Control Features and Integration 106

    Overview of Accelerator Technology 106

    Integrating Accelerators into the Network 117

Architecture of Accelerator Services 121

Summary 125

Chapter 4    Overcoming Application-Specific Barriers 127

Understanding Application-Specific Acceleration 128

Application-Specific Caching 128

    Advantages of Application-Specific Caching 129

    Cache Validation and Content Freshness 130

    Streaming Media: RTSP, HTTP, and Flash 146

Web-Based Database Applications 149

Read-Ahead 154

Message Prediction 157

Pipelining and Multiplexing 159

Summary 161

Chapter 5     Content Delivery Networks 163

Evolution of Content Delivery Networks 164

Understanding CDN Solutions 165

A Common Content Distribution Scenario 166

Understanding CDN Components 168

Managing a CDN 173

    Identifying Target Content 173

    Understanding Protocol Requirements 173

    Choosing Suitable Content Acquisition Methods 174

    Managing Multiple Platforms Across Distributed Networks 178

    Managing Costs 180

    Usage Planning 181

Sharing the WAN 183

Using Desktop Management Suites with Content Delivery Networks 184

    Combining Solutions 185

    Combining Management Functions 185

    Establishing Storage Requirements 187

Using Centralized Network Settings 188

    Centralized Streaming Control 189

    Centralized Administration of Authentication and Authorization 189

    Centralized Access Control List Administration 191

    Centralized SNMP Control 192

    Centralized Monitoring 192

        Centralized Edge Management 193

Understanding Content-Serving Protocols 194

    CIFS 194

    HTTP 195

    HTTPS 196

    FTP 197

    RTSP 197

    TFTP 199

Streaming Media Live or On Demand 199

    Live Streaming 199

    Video on Demand 200

Authenticating Requests for Prepositioned Content 200

Acquiring Content 202

    Cookie-Based Acquisition 204

    Origin Server Content Placement 204

    Content Size Considerations 205

    Department-Managed Portals 207

Understanding CDN Distribution Models 207

    Direct Fetch 207

        Distributed Hierarchy 210

Understanding Time-of-Day Distribution 215

    Know the Network 216

    Unicast Distribution 217

    Multicast Distribution 218

    Encrypted and In-the-Clear Distribution 223

Understanding Software-Based Content Delivery Networks 224

    Native Protocol Playback of Streaming Media 226

    Streaming Media and Executive Demand 228

    Understanding Explicit and Transparent Proxy Modes 230

Using CDN Calculation Tools 231

    General Content Storage 232

    Streaming Media Storage 233

    Calculating Content Delivery Times 234

Summary 235

Chapter 6     Overcoming Transport and Link Capacity Limitations 237

Understanding Transport Protocol Limitations 238

Understanding Transmission Control Protocol Fundamentals 240

    Connection-Oriented Service 241

    Guaranteed Delivery 242

    Bandwidth Discovery 246

Overcoming Transport Protocol Limitations 250

    Of Mice and Elephants: Short-Lived Connections and Long Fat Networks 251

    Overcoming Packet Loss-Related Performance Challenges 258

    Advanced TCP Implementations 261

    Accelerator TCP Proxy Functionality 267

Overcoming Link Capacity Limitations 270

    Accelerators and Compression 271

    Accelerator Compression Architectures 281

Summary 289

Chapter 7     Examining Accelerator Technology Scenarios 291

Acme Data Corporation: Protecting Data and Promoting Global Collaboration 292

    Observed Challenges 294

    Accelerator Solution 295

C3 Technology LLC: Saving WAN Bandwidth and Replicating Data 302

    Observed Challenges 303

    Accelerator Solution 303

Command Grill Corporation: Improving HTTP Application Performance 308

    First Attempts to Improve Application Performance 309

    Accelerator Solution 309

Almost Write Inc.: Implementing Content Delivery Networking 314

    Observed Challenges 316

    Accelerator Solution 316

Summary 320

Appendix A Common Ports and Assigned Applications 323

Appendix B Ten Places for More Information 347


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