Application Acceleration

Application Acceleration Definition

Application acceleration improves application performance using techniques like compression, caching and transmission control protocol (TCP) optimization. It is a common feature in an application delivery controller (ADC) to improve response time over network connections.

Diagram depicts an application delivery controller prioviding application acceleration through compression, caching and TCP optimization to make web servers respond faster to application (end user) side requests over the internet.

What is Application Acceleration?

Application acceleration is a network solution for issues like WAN latency, packet loss and bandwidth congestion. It uses optimization of protocols to improve application performance beyond caching.

For applications that promise extensive interactive content, application acceleration technology allows for quick rendering and page loads that meet user expectations.

Application Acceleration and WAN Optimization

Application acceleration and WAN optimization help scale networks when infrastructure no longer meets the needs of advanced application performance. This improves performance, productivity and application security while minimizing costs.

Enterprises should be aware that some solutions rely on “tunneling,” which routes optimized traffic directly to to a distant accelerator. Accelerators that use “tunnels” can overlook some routers.

Application Acceleration Benefits

Application acceleration software uses technology that creates a LAN-like performance over the WAN. Some of the benefits include:

  • Faster user experience for applications with interactive content.
  • Better ability to scale to meet peak demand.
  • Lower operational and investment cost.
  • Less security risk with SSL-protected content.


An application acceleration platform uses the following technologies:

  • Bandwidth optimization — Provides data redundancy elimination (DRE) and compression. All static information is stored locally to reduce need to access the data center for information.
  • Throughput optimization — Makes transport protocols more efficient in WAN environments.
  • Advanced protocol optimization — Uses read-ahead, message prediction and caching to mitigate latency.


Application Acceleration Appliance Versus Software

Recent application acceleration and WAN optimization technology has made it possible to forgo hardware-based appliances for more efficient, flexible and cost-effective software-based applications. They offer the following benefits:

  • Flexibility to run on industry standard servers.
  • Dynamic resource allocation and sharing.
  • Increased utilization
  • High availability
  • Scalability that surpasses hardware appliance capability
  • Central deployment and management
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of up 60 percent versus deploying hardware over a three year period.


Which Companies Provide Application Delivery Acceleration

Not all companies that offer application delivery controllers feature application acceleration equipment or functions such as caching, compression and TCP optimization. Companies like A10 Networks, Array Networks, Citrix, F5 Networks and The VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer do. But cloud-only ADCs like AWS and Microsoft Azure Load Balancer do not.

Does VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer offer Application Acceleration?

Yes. The VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer delivers application services including distributed load balancing, web application firewall, global server load balancing (GSLB), network and application performance management across a multi-cloud environment. It helps ensure fast time-to-value, operational simplicity, and deployment flexibility in a highly secure manner.

For more on the actual implementation of load balancing, security applications and web application firewalls check out our Application Delivery How-To Videos.

For more information see the following application acceleration resources: