Our series of posts over the past few weeks covered a number of topics regarding the new world of application delivery, from discussions about the challenges posed by globalization to summaries of the benefits of a Cloud-based application delivery solution. We concluded on how you can move your business forward in terms of application delivery, and now it's important to lay out a number of best-practice techniques for getting the most out of your chosen solution.
As enterprises grow and technology matures, mobile devices will continue to play an increasing role in the computing landscape. With this in mind, one best practice for application delivery is to develop a mobility strategy that incorporates and leverages the ways in which employees share and consume content. Companies should implement solutions and applications that dynamically adapt to the unique device and network characteristics of mobile users, which will ensure that employees have a positive and productive user experience regardless of the device or connection they are using.
One of the primary difficulties that cloud computing poses to IT organizations is the lack of visibility, because you no longer own and control the infrastructure. Another best practice is to utilize your solution's cloud monitoring capabilities, which provide metrics on every aspect of application delivery and performance, regardless of where the application is hosted. Real time performance information like this then allows you to take advantage of cloud balancing, which intelligently load balances user traffic and ensures that the applications are 100% available and highly performant when users need them. Companies also use this knowledge to create an infrastructure capable of handling peak loads seamlessly and automatically.
A third best practice to consider is just how you would like your business applications to be deployed. Many companies now leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models to deliver their own applications or replace their applications with an equivalent from a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider. Before deciding on how you would like to modernize your applications however, conduct a thorough risk/reward analysis that quantifies the specific benefits the project will produce as well as the challenges it will create (these could include performance, reliability, and security challenges). Talk these issues through with the provider of your chosen solution and analyze ways to mitigate the associated risks.
Throughout the process of setting up your solution, it is also a best practice to leverage the support of your provider's experts to help architect your Internet strategy. These experts can help throughout the project lifecycle, so continue regularly using available reporting functionality even after your solution is up and running; capabilities that you ought to look for in your service provider should include SLAs and prefetching, as well as dynamic routing.
The ubiquity and cost effectiveness of the public Internet gives it tremendous advantages over other methods of enterprise application delivery, but it is up to every organization to choose the right fit for their own circumstance. Learning about the challenges you might face and the solutions you must consider will be incredibly helpful throughout the lifecycle of the solution, from deployment to maintenance and beyond. By following the best practices mentioned above, as well as staying in close contact with your service provider, you can be confident that your decision will be a major step forward for your company.
To learn more about how to choose an application delivery solution, download your copy of the new eBook A Modern Guide to Accelerating Web-Based Application Delivery and check out the rest of the posts in this series.