Long Distance Relationships and Cloud Performance

In an increasingly connected world, we often take the Internet and the cloud for granted. After all, you can fire off an email to a client in Japan, hold a web chat with a colleague in Spain, create and share documents via Office 365, and collaborate with team members scattered across the globe all from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. You do this day in, day out without giving it much thought. However, while your cloud experience may be good, your international clients and colleagues may find it frustrating.


Geography Can Negatively Affect Cloud Performance

Geographic distance can negatively impact cloud performance. While Software as a Service has proliferated for a number of beneficial reasons, it doesn’t always deliver a positive experience when vast distances are involved.

An article by Sean Armstrong on AppNeta, Cloud Performance – Why Long Distance Relationships Don’t Work, explains that “… the physical distance between your users and the datacenter has a dramatic impact on the maximum achievable performance you will see from the cloud.” Not only does distance affect the amount of time for a server to receive a request, process it, and then respond to it, the more objects a page has, the more requests there are that need to make the round trip. Thus, a page that loads quickly for you because you’re near the server could take ten, twenty, thirty, or more seconds to load for a user on the other side of the world — and that’s assuming that the other user has decent connectivity. The problem is even worse for those located in regions that are not well connected.

Thus, when a user in North America sends a large SalesForce page to a colleague in Asia-Pacific, the sender may think nothing of it because the page loads beautifully. Meanwhile, the recipient may be frustrated because the page takes what feels like forever to load.

A Viable Solution For Cloud Performance Discrepancies

Companies moving to the cloud need to be aware of the potential impact such a move could have on internationally distributed users and employees. If cloud performance is subpar, a private optimized network with global points of presence can be used. For example, Aryaka’s network allows remote users to access cloud services via a local point of presence rather than having to travel to the company’s main servers and back. End result: impressive cloud performance regardless of physical location.