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Increasing Traffic, Bandwidth Needs Drive Reliance on Network Processor Innovation


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June 21, 2010

Increasing Traffic, Bandwidth Needs Drive Reliance on Network Processor Innovation

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

Today's Web applications are more content and feature rich than ever, providing an interactive user experience. Traffic is increasing exponentially and networks worldwide are growing at a remarkable pace.  With that, users expect applications to be delivered immediately on a variety of fixed and mobile devices and browser platforms.

A recent Forrester study found that "two seconds is the new threshold in terms of an average online shopper's expectation for a Web page to load, and 40 percent of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site."
In fact, companies today are becoming more reliant on network processor innovation to accelerate throughput, decongest the network and handle new services and applications, according to industry experts.
According to Zoomph, a provider of Web performance optimization software, Google (News - Alert) has publicly stated that a half second delay in load time results in a 20 percent drop in ad revenue3, while Amazon has found that a tenth of a second delay causes a 1 percent drop in sales4. Now more than ever, slow page load times translate into lost customers and revenue. In addition, companies can save significant hardware, software and bandwidth costs by improving application speed.
In fact, Zoompf today released the results of the inaugural "2010 State of Web Performance report," which ranks and details the performance of the top 1000 Web sites, after analyzing over 88,000 separate URLs.
According to the report, nearly 20 percent of Web content served by the Alexa Top 1000, can be eliminated through lossless optimizations that have no impact on content quality or substance.
Next generation networks and convergence have changed the game significantly, according to network processor leader Advantech (News - Alert). "We have seen that dedicated network processors still have a healthy role to play and, with the advances GPPs have made in terms of performance and suitability for specialized applications along with the development of hybrid SOCs, one has a multitude of choices any one of which will create an outstanding platform capable of supporting a plethora of network applications," according to an Advantech Network Application Platforms white paper.
Web applications have improved "dramatically" in terms of their features, functionality and content over the past five years, according to Theresa Lanowitz, CEO and lead analyst at voke Inc. "In addition, virtualization has become prevalent throughout enterprises. As a result, companies need to be able to measure and improve performance earlier in the application development lifecycle."
In addition, as fixed and mobile networks have seen dramatic performance improvements, in many cases applications have not kept up and are now the bottleneck in improving the user experience, according to Billy Hoffman (News - Alert), founder and CEO of Zoompf.
"In an always-on, instant-gratification world, Web application speed is becoming the next competitive advantage. Companies need to not just monitor, but actively work to improve application speed to keep up with user expectations," Hoffman said.  

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's (News - Alert) print publications, including "Internet Telephony", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone (News - Alert) e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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