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Why Geography Over Technology is the Most Effective Way to Reduce Network Latency


This is the second post in an interconnection-focused series written by Flexential VP of Network, Tim Parker. Read the first post, “Dodging Dire Consequences in the Age of DDoS Attacks,” today.

Technology Has Its Limitations When It Comes to Network Latency

Global Demand for Networking at Lightning Speed

Realistic or not, anyone using the internet expects high performance and fast response, so much that the average consumer won’t wait longer than three seconds for a web page to load, or accept pauses in video or audio content. We don’t have patience for sluggish online consumption of data, and we’re constantly exposed to the hordes of advertising about faster speeds and bigger networks.

The woes of poor network performance are a common hook to entice sufferers with solutions. A fast and reliable network is highly desired, but there is one component to ensuring speed that just can’t be overcome by technology alone: geographical location to the end host.

Limitations of Traditional Technology Solutions for Network Latency

So what’s latency, and why does it impact you and your customers? Simply put, it’s a delay in the delivery of network data communication over a network. It can greatly impact quality and application performance, and in many ways, overall customer experience.

There are a number of technical solutions for improving application performance, such as the data transfer capabilities of servers or routers, including compression and streamlining application roundtrip responses. But there’s one thing that can’t be addressed with technology, and that’s proximity.

Most long-haul data networks rely on hundreds of miles of fiber between metro areas. This fiber is used to transfer data through a mechanism called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), which allows us to send various frequencies of light to create multiple network connections called “waves” over long distances. It moves at the speed of light, but is highly subjected to other components along the path that are needed to build the wide area network.

Solving Latency with Geography, Not Technology.

Times are changing, and applications and content are now more dependent on two-way communication than ever. With the growth of mobile customers using laptops, phones, and tablets, the uploading of data is just as critical as downloading. Between the massive uptick in social media posting and uploading both photos and videos, plus the throngs of gamers who want to play anywhere and anytime, the amount of data transfer overall is staggering.

Add into this mix the communication between Internet of thing (IoT) devices such as home cameras and security systems, printers, autos, health monitors, and more, (plus future plans for the integration of robots), the demand for low latency, fast response, and high bandwidth is critical. We can’t stress it enough: you just can’t adequately address this need with technology alone, you must get close to edge points.

That said, the most practical solution is to move the data and application geographically closer to the customer or end points for a business. This is the concept behind Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and caching sites. Most get deployed on the edge to provide faster access to common or popular data and they bypass the speed of transport network issues by getting popular content to the edge, where customers are.

This is where Flexential can help you be more effective in reducing latency and realizing significantly better performance. Our fleet of data centers are in the secondary metro areas that you need access to, within reach of your customers, retail stores, or clinics, depending on the nature of your business.

Just a few noteworthy benefits of utilizing our edge data centers:

  • Diverse location choices
  • Highly available, low latency, 100G backbone
  • Managed bandwidth that gives you direct access to customers
  • Superior protection of your data with new technologies and DDoS threat protection

Our goal is to put you at the edge of the network, close to where you need to be, and provide the best means possible of connecting to other locations with a 100% uptime guarantee. Don’t wait for the demands of your customers to overwhelm your capabilities.

Experiencing latency? Let’s talk, we’ve got suggestions for you. Visit https://www.flexential.com/ or call (866) 473-2510 to speak to a network solutions expert today.

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About Peak 10

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Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest