George Lawton of CIO reports that traditionally developers viewed network latency and application performance as two separate entities. As applications get more complex and network infrastructure follows suit latency becomes a bigger issue to how application performance is viewed by users. Here are some areas to think about when looking to improve latency:
- Affect on the WAN? A software developer should be thinking about how to reduce the applications ‘chattiness’ across the wide area network.
- Feature Creep. Keep in mind that new features may end up pushing users away unintentionally due to latency.
- WAN Optimization. A WAN optimizer can work generically across any and all applications.
- Optimizing Application Front End. This technique looks at a wide range of design practices that can make Web pages perform faster in a high-latency environment, for example by using sprinting or data URI.
- HTML5 WebSockets. Analysts believe that many Web applications could be significantly accelerated using WebSockets protocol for constant connections versus an HTTP kludge such as comet or long polling. WebSockets reduce the packing overhead making a more efficient communications link.
- Test Early, Test Often. Testing often and early allows developers to see how design choices affect performance. Experts also recommend that developers test even after the applications is deployed as the real-world performance can be two to four-times higher than synthetic measurements.