Learnings

Cloud acceleration and intelligent routing: What is it, and how is it affecting enterprise?

February 8, 2019

Every major enterprise uses the internet at its core; from Amazon and Google to Apple and Microsoft. High-quality network performance can make or break a business in the modern world, impacting on the effectiveness of any given service. In fact, a recent SanDisk study found the average company employee wastes approximately a week’s worth of time each year due to slow computer networks.

It’s no wonder, then, that accelerated cloud access and intelligent routing are being adopted at a rapid rate across the board. BGPs’ inherent routing and network limitations can be overcome by constantly monitoring all available destinations across the public internet. We can check for congestion, poor quality, broken links, and anything else not working as expected.

The internet – which is normally a best-effort, no-guarantee platform in terms of availability – can be optimised with routing intelligence, improving overall performance and cost management across a wide range of industries.

How does it work?

Your standard internet connectivity hub operates through a router, a few internet transits and connectivity to internet exchange points. The border gateway protocol (BGP) automatically selects a geographically short route for traffic without taking any other metrics into account. However, intelligent routing engines take a somewhat different approach – additional software-defined intelligence can alter choices made by the BGP.

Using a network of cloud acceleration hubs, which actively probe all public internet IP prefixes, it is possible to simulate user traffic and create a dynamic topology of the internet. These hubs calculate the best possible path for transferring data and information.

At Expereo, we achieve global reach by maintaining 20 strategically-located cloud acceleration hubs, with plans to expand further in 2019. We’ve developed an internal routing intelligence system called Cloud Acceleration which operates the umbrella of our network architecture. Additionally, the software engine of this technology (known as XCA Edge) can be provided as a standalone, external product to optimize the customer’s own data center connectivity.

To make an analogy between basic internet and intelligent routing decisions, it’s a bit like a static map versus GPS in your car. GPS supplies detailed traffic information to work around any roadblock en-route, sometimes saving hours of your journey.

Who benefits?

There are three main problems that smart routing works to solve: availability, performance and cost management. The end result is enhanced connectivity between remote offices and data centres, or private clouds. In the retail industry, for example, a Cloud Acceleration system might speed up customer browsing and e-commerce portals.

Just look at a recent network management overhaul we performed for Coreix, a London-based managed hosting, colocation, and network services provider. While BGP ensured optimum hops on all routes, it was unable to automatically route around latency and packet loss. XCA Edge automatically performed more than 2.2 million routing optimizations and avoided more than 160 BGP blind failures across the Coreix network. The company could then continue with its operations uninterrupted by technological errors, on high-speed connectivity, which consequently improves its overall productivity.

It’s also important to note that, while intelligent routing can be implemented across many different types of networks, its added value is most prominent within the SD-WAN sector. Many companies are making the switch from MPLS to SD-WAN, taking advantage of cost savings and network design flexibility.

SD-WAN is a way to build multiple paths into a remote office through multiple internet access points. With so many paths available, packet loss and delays must be avoided by selecting the best route at the best time, with minimum competitive traffic. Cloud Acceleration solutions can actually choose the best path for an SD-WAN underlay. When customers move from an MPLS network, intelligent routing can ensure that they maintain guaranteed SLS and service quality.

The bottom line

After implementing cloud acceleration and Cloud Acceleration technology, companies typically see a surge in user productivity, best illustrated by a rapid reduction in the number of tickets directed to technical support. That’s because intelligent routing ensures the best possible connectivity to cloud applications, data centers or between offices 24/7.

The bottom line is that faster downloading and uploading of files, as well as uninterrupted access to cloud applications, can vastly improve employee efficiency and enhance your customers’ online experience. The human workforce no longer needs to be held back by technical hiccups or subpar internet speeds. Is your company?

Written by Sander Barens - CCO
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