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Research: Remote Application Delivery

Jun 01, 2009

Anywhere, Anytime: Enabling Fast Remote Application Delivery

We just dodged a tsunami of demand for remote access to desktop applications—had the H1N1 flu pandemic proved deadly on a wide scale in the United States, governments and large enterprises were set to pull the trigger on massive telework contingency plans. So what, you say? The Federal Mobility 2.0 study released by the Telework Exchange reported that 1,250,980 federal employees were eligible to telework in July 2008, with that number growing. Most, 78%, use VPNs or remote-access clients. Add in state and local government and private-sector teleworkers, and our collective application delivery system could have been a high-profile casualty.

Other trends that force servers to work harder to manage sessions, like virtualization, cloud computing, the Webification of enterprise applications and porting of business apps to smartphones, as well as the movement toward data center consolidation, are also straining our ability to deliver applications with even acceptable response times. Forget about snappy.

In our InformationWeek Analytics Application Delivery survey, we asked business technology professionals in-depth questions about their strategies to improve application performance over distance. A large majority, 89%, support multiple sites, and many are undertaking data center consolidation—reflective of trends we're seeing in the marketplace. Setting up branch and remote sites in a hub-and-spoke distribution pattern around regional data centers is good for redundancy of operations and data management, but potentially a nightmare for IT groups that must deliver Web applications, legacy client/server software, remote desktops and other tools for doing business efficiently and securely.

Can today's app delivery mechanisms help? Our survey says yes. Most organizations using application delivery techniques are satisfied and have seen real benefits in terms of better performance, lower network utilization and increased reliability with a trimmed-down total cost of ownership. Advances on the technology front help, too. One example: Integrating teleworkers into application delivery systems no longer means putting pricey appliances in home offices; many of the symmetric optimizations and local caching features once found only in hardware can now be handled via desktop software, a welcome innovation. And, respondents expect to increase their use of application delivery technologies as streaming media and remote desktops become more prevalent. (690509)

Survey Name: InformationWeek Application Delivery Survey
Survey Date: March 2009
Region: North America
Number of Respondents: 267

Research Report