Welcome!

Apache Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Christopher Harrold, Janakiram MSV

Blog Feed Post

WILS: The Many Faces of Compression

There’s compression, and then there’s compression.

Hand squeezing drip out of spongeOne of the most common means of improving application performance is to reduce the size of the data being exchanged as redress for inherent network protocol behavior that can cause excessive delays in delivery of application data. Compression is often enabled to achieve this goal, and because most data being delivered to applications is text-based (XML, HTML, JSON) this technique generally works quite well. Depending on the architecture of the application delivery network, however, there may be other “types” of compression that can be used in addition to the “compression” typically associated with web-application data.

  • Asymmetric Compression
    Asymmetric Compression is the compression used by most web servers as well as intermediaries claiming the title “application acceleration.” Asymmetric compression is one-sided; it is applied at the server only and uses industry-standard algorithms (deflate, gzip) to compress data before delivery.

    Asymmetric compression is good for web application data because the pattern of data exchanges is heavily weighted on the egress (outbound, response) side of the data exchange. HTTP requests are generally small while the responses are often large and thus the asymmetric nature of this compression is well-suited to these applications.
  • Symmetric Compression
    Symmetric Compression is what is usually implemented by WOC (WAN Optimization Controllers) and primarily works at the network-layer using data de-duplication technologies. These algorithms attempt to reduce the size of data by finding commonly repeated chunks of data and transmitting an “index” or “pointer” to that data rather than the entire data set. One WOC removes the data ,the other replaces it upon receipt. This reduces the amount of data exchanged over the WAN but requires two devices, one at each side of the WAN.

    Symmetric Compression is well-suited for large, repetitive data set exchanges across WAN links, such as commonly shared files/virtual images/etc… shared by multiple users at a remote location.
  • Adaptive Symmetric Compression
    Adaptive Symmetric Compression combines industry standard compression with the network-layer compression traditionally implemented by a WOC and applies it intelligently. Rather than always using a specific algorithm, this capability chooses the algorithm on-demand based on the type of network-link being used and the type of data being exchanged. This means compression will generally not be used on data that does not compress well, such as images (JPG, for example, is already compressed and such files do not benefit from additional compression), and the “best fit” algorithm will be used for other data.

    Adaptive Symmetric Compression is well-suited for environments in which both web-application data and large file sets are being exchanged over the WAN, and excels in environments where more than one WAN link is used.

Comparison of Compression Methods

 

PROS

CONS

Asymmetric
  • Easy to implement  - can be applied at web server or on most intermediaries (load balancers, for example)
  • Industry-standard
  • Applied to all content, whether advantageous or not
  • Intermediaries must decompress to examine outbound data for viruses and personal information which can add latency to delivery time
Symmetric
  • Transparent to applications
  • Works on all data equally
  • Requires two devices
  • Focuses on network-layer
Adaptive Symmetric
  • Chooses best-fit algorithm based on data and network conditions
  • Transparent to applications
  • Requires two devices

The “danger” with compression algorithms is two-fold. First, applying compression without consideration for the network link and the type of data can actually degrade performance by increasing response times. This is because in some situations it takes longer to apply the compression algorithm to the data than it would to transfer the raw data across the given link. Second, the location within the network where compression is applied can have a deleterious effect on other infrastructure components attempting to act on the data, because it must decompress the data, apply its policies, and then recompress the data. This is similar to the problem of end-to-end SSL encryption of data, which forces intermediaries either to abandon their function (a bad idea) or to decrypt, execute, then re-encrypt data.

Choosing the right compression strategy to fit with your architecture, data, and application needs is paramount to ensuring that the benefits of compression are realized. 

WILS: Write It Like Seth. Seth Godin always gets his point across with brevity and wit. WILS is an ATTEMPT TO BE concise about application delivery TOPICS AND just get straight to the point. NO DILLY DALLYING AROUND.


Related blogs & articles:

Follow me on Twitter    View Lori's profile on SlideShare  friendfeed icon_facebook

AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-security...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...