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Lori MacVittie

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Application Delivery Optimization (ADO)

Application delivery optimization (ADO) is a comprehensive, strategic approach to addressing performance issues, period. It is not a focus on mobile, or on cloud, or on wireless networks. It is a strategy that employs visibility and intelligence at a strategic point of control in the data path that enables solutions to apply the right type of optimization at the right time to ensure individual users are assured the best performance possible given their unique set of circumstances.

The technological underpinnings of ADO are both technological and topological, leveraging location along with technologies like load balancing, caching, and protocols to improve performance on a per-session basis. The difficulties in executing on an overarching, comprehensive ADO strategy is addressing variables of myriad environments, networks, devices, and applications with the fewest number of components possible, so as not to compound the problems by introducing more latency due to additional processing and network traversal. A unified platform approach to ADO is necessary to ensure minimal impact from the solution on the results.  infographic growth

ADO must therefore support topology and technology in such a way as to ensure the flexible application of any combination as may be required to mitigate performance problems on demand.


    • Symmetric Acceleration
    • Front-End Optimization (Asymmetric Acceleration)
  • Lengthy debate has surrounded the advantages and disadvantages of symmetric and asymmetric optimization techniques. The reality is that both are beneficial to optimization efforts. Each approach has varying benefits in specific scenarios, as each approach focuses on specific problem areas within application delivery chain. Neither is necessarily appropriate for every situation, nor will either one necessarily resolve performance issues in which the root cause lies outside the approach's intended domain expertise. A successful application delivery optimization strategy is to leverage both techniques when appropriate.


    • Protocol Optimization
    • Load Balancing
    • Offload
    • Location

Whether the technology is new – SPDY – or old – hundreds of RFC standards improving on TCP – it is undeniable that technology implementation plays a significant role in improving application performance across a broad spectrum of networks, clients, and applications. From improving upon the way in which existing protocols behave to implementing emerging protocols, from offloading computationally expensive processing to choosing the best location from which to serve a user, the technologies of ADO achieve the best results when applied intelligently and dynamically, taking into consideration real-time conditions across the user-network-server spectrum.

ADO cannot effectively scale as a solution if it focuses on one or two comprising solutions. It must necessarily address what is a polyvariable problem with a polyvariable solution: one that can apply the right set of technological and topological solutions to the problem at hand. That requires a level of collaboration across ADO solutions that is almost impossible to achieve unless the solutions are tightly integrated.

A holistic approach to ADO is the most operationally efficient and effective means of realizing performance gains in the face of increasingly hostile network conditions.

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More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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