3 Effective Ways to Optimize Cloud Applications

Cloud applications are software programs that function in the cloud, which in other words means that all or most of the processing takes place on a remote server. The user interface, which the user can access from a workstation, tablet, smartphone or other device, handles user input; performs process and data retrieval requests from the cloud; and presents information on the display. There are several important ways that you can optimize cloud applications.

1. Reduce the Amount of Data Transferred.

Memory and storage are inexpensive in modern computing environments. Transferring a large block of data for convenience isn’t a big deal in a local environment. This isn’t the case with cloud-based processing. Every byte matters and should be treated as a resource not be used indiscriminately. For enterprise-level applications, you can often alter structs and other data types to minimize the size of data. Even many basic applications will have settings that let you limit the sizes. In some cases, it’s even preferable to have the user portion of the app handle some processing in order to limit the data needed.

2. Employ Compression to Limit the Data Amount Further.

The benefit and cost of compression must be weighed carefully. In a local environment, the cost of compression often isn’t worth it. In a cloud-based scenario where the data has already been reduced as much as feasible, then compression can provide the solution that gets the size down to the necessary amount. Keep in mind that compression has both a cost on the cloud and on the app running on the user’s device. Also note that if the data is already being encrypted, then the cost of added compression can be greatly offset.

3. Rebuild or Optimize Your WAN with the Cloud in Mind.

One of the great challenges cloud developers face is testing in a manner that emulates real-world usage. One reason this discrepancy exists is that developers program for a cloud-optimized WAN and many consumers still use a traditional WAN architecture, which focuses on data tiers. Something as relatively simple as refreshing your WAAS portfolio can increase throughput by five times or more. Sometimes all it takes is a series of simple tweaks to a WAN to increase application performance across the cloud, and if you do need to integrate new services, that investment often pays for itself in short order.

The greatest chance you have to optimize any application occurs before you commit to it. Some programs will be better suited to certain environments than others. If you experience latency after integrating an app, for instance, you may be able to mitigate but never eliminate it. This is why extensive testing and proof of concept are so important before making changes to a cloud environment.

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