What is Cloud Acceleration?

As businesses increasingly move to “the cloud,” unfamiliar terms appear. One of these terms is “cloud acceleration.” In order to better understand cloud and IP acceleration, let’s first look at a similar concept: content delivery networks (Source: IP Acceleration by Aryaka).
A content delivery network, or CDN, is a large network of servers located around the world designed to distribute content to users in a highly efficient, fast manner. For example, popular websites and blogs with users located around the globe need a fast and efficient way to deliver content – even if users are located tens of thousands of miles away. Since the time it takes to deliver data between a server and an end user is influenced by geographic differences, having servers located in data centers around the world can bridge those distances and improve performance and availability. Each server contains its own cached version of the content and can quickly deliver it to local users.
Cloud acceleration has a similar goal: to deliver content to end users as quickly as possible. While content delivery networks can do this, they are generally limited to delivering static content such as webpages, images, and videos. It is not practical for CDNs to deliver constantly changing content such software as a service (SAAS), cloud-based applications, and SharePoint data. With dynamic data, a content delivery network can’t keep up with the changes.
Instead of relying on a distributed system of servers, cloud acceleration improves dynamic content delivery by improving the efficiency of the delivery path upon which the data must travel between the IP source and the end-user. A form of IP acceleration is used to decrease duplicate data within the transmission. By optimizing the TCP protocol and eliminating duplication within the transmission, the dynamic content can move more quickly through the path to and from the end user.
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