Network Accelerator Technology for SC4SB
This section provides an overview of the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business architecture with emphasis on the Akamai Web Accelerator Technology and its approach to enabling businesses and end-users to gain a superior software as a service (SaaS) experience.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business (SC4SB) leverages the Acceleration (Akamai) Network technology as part of its improved SaaS and web user experience. Acceleration networks achieve this by optimizing the route between the user's workstation and the service.
Network accelerator architecture
The current implementation of Acceleration network technology takes advantage of an acceleration network with more than 75,000 edge servers. The key benefits include more consistent and reliable application performance and routing. The numerous edge servers offer access points closer to the various locations from which our users access the services, meaning, they will have a consistent user experience from almost any location. Additionally, this highly available network infrastructure protects systems from single server/service failure while providing a more reliable performance experience.
The following figure shows the Network Accelerator architecture.
The key advantages of using this technology for SC4SB are:
- Overall improvement of the end-user experience
- Employing fast route determination and caching to speed network data transfer
- Network entry points (points of presence) typically world wide
Some of the important characteristics which can be gauged from the architecture are:
- Avoiding internet traffic congestion: The direct route between the origin server and the Akamai edger servers might be congested because of internet traffic. By using Sure Route for Performance, one can overcome this problem by identifying alternate routes that are more optimal.
- Optimizing TCP configuration: Akamai is able to optimize TCP connection windows, tune TCP time-outs, and maximize the use of persistent connections to maximize the throughput between Akamai edge servers and the origin server.
- Caching content: Most static content such as images, videos, and zip files can be cached. By caching these objects on the edge server closer to the end users, Akamai can reduce the number of round trips to retrieve static content from the origin server.
- Pre-fetching content: Akamai provides intelligent pre-fetching so that it can deliver all embedded content in an HTML page to the end user with the fastest response time possible.When the end user's browser requests the embedded content, it is already waiting for the user, in memory, at the nearby edge server because Akamai has requested the content slightly in advance of the actual browser request.
- Accelerating time to transmit content: Akamai can compress the content on the edge servers using gzip before sending it to the client. This decreases the time it will take to transmit the content. Objects larger than 10KB can benefit from Last Mile Acceleration.
The following figure illustrates the Point of Presence (PoP). The network entry point is determined at the time of DNS name resolution.