Teridion enables higher performing and more responsive SaaS applications


Up until the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS), almost every business-critical application ran inside an enterprise’s own data center. The company had complete control over the performance of the application and could use technologies such as MPLS and techniques like WAN optimization to ensure that users across the enterprise always had a good experience with the application.

That’s no longer the case now that SaaS has become the de facto delivery model for core business applications today. In effect, the cloud is the new data center, and the internet is the new LAN. The most business-critical network between the end user and the application is not the corporate LAN but the public internet, which itself is a big collection of networks. When the internet is what sits between the end user and the SaaS application, the company depending on that application may no longer have good performance, reliability, and control.

The fact is the internet is not actually designed for high performance. One factor that intimately affects performance is the use of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), as the core routing protocol for the internet. BGP doesn’t respond particularly well to outages, and it essentially doesn’t respond at all to congestion. As different internet backbone providers are handing traffic off between each other, those routes really have no provision to self-heal based on the presence of congestion on particular routes. For example, internet provider A that is handing traffic over to internet provider B will just keep pouring traffic down a congested route. It’s a fairly common problem.

Another factor in how traffic is routed over the internet is not what’s going to get the traffic there the fastest, but what will cost the least. Internet provider A is going to push traffic to whatever peer it has that is going to offer them the lowest cost. Neither the SaaS provider nor the application’s end users have any control over this; both are at the mercy of the contracts the network providers make with each other. Sometimes the routing results in good performance, sometimes it’s adequate performance, and sometimes it’s downright miserable performance. But hey, the internet doesn’t care.

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