I am amazed at the number of client-server applications out in the real world. We hear every day about cloud applications and every aspect of monitoring and managing cloud performance, but there is very little chatter about venerable client-server (2-tier) applications. There are literally thousands of client-server applications ranging from packaged products like Sage 100, SolidWorks PDM, and many others to in-house applications for every kind of business imaginable. Riverbed sold a lot of WAN optimization, Steelhead, appliances and Citrix has sold a lot of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Xenapp, to enterprises around the world. These solutions are great if you are in IT and have a lot of time, resources, and money to install and manage hardware and software. They are also great for the vendors since, once installed, it’s a huge effort to move away from their platforms. In both cases, the impact to the end user is a side-effect. I mean, is it okay to let end-users suffer bad performance for months or years?
Regarding WAN appliances, there is an article in ComputerWeekly.com that talks about the pros and cons of WAN optimization appliances. Part of the article is focused on why that market is flat. He says, “WAN optimisation projects can prove costly and complex, and that is why the market has stalled in recent years.” Cost and complexity play into the vendors advantage as I say above. See also this entertaining article from Pinal Dave about how these appliances can be like using a sledgehammer to do a screwdriver’s job.
Regarding VDI, much of IT saw VDI as a panacea for addressing application performance. There was a perception that VDI was low cost compared to the WAN appliance options, but when objectively analyzed as in this article from NetworkComputing.com. The article concludes, “The bottom line is you can justify VDI for a number of reasons–easier support, better security, perhaps better availability or a more appropriate system for task workers–but you can’t justify it on hardware and software savings. The numbers won’t work.”
When we are talking about WAN appliances or VDI, what are we forgetting about? The end-users and the applications they are using. At Nitrosphere, we take the opposite perspective and are laser focused on improving application performance for the end-users. We are not selling hardware, a software framework, and services to install, train, and manage the WAN or VDI platforms. Customers don’t have to wait months or years and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the solution. We install in seconds and customers see benefits within minutes. We make application optimization fast, secure, and simple.