Organisations work at optimising web apps to make them as fast as possible in the cloud. The danger is tiered access at a network level could simply negate all those efforts, says Lori MacVittie.
So for the sake of brevity, I'm not going to argue for or against net neutrality. Instead, I want to look at the potential technical ramifications of putting tiered-access structures and other traffic-limiting services into place.
One thing is certain: a tiered network access structure would affect everyone from consumers to providers, including those desperately trying to stay out of the debate and simply do business on the net.
Impact on the cloud
The question then is what exactly the impact of a tiered-access structure might mean for cloud computing, the application owners who take advantage of cloud, and the consumers of those applications.
Could a tiered-access structure or traffic discrimination simply negate at a network level all the acceleration and optimisation techniques employed by application owners and providers to improve delivery performance?
Everyone today has a need for speed. We know that. We know that if customers are forced to wait even a few seconds for a response from a website, they'll simply go elsewhere.
So organisations have optimised and employed acceleration techniques, ranging from compression and caching to content-delivery networks, to ensure web applications are as fast as they can possibly be. Microseconds matter in the ether, and IT people today are well-versed in eradicating those problems that cause delays in application delivery.
The IT staff in the trenches are also well aware that once data leaves their network there's very little they can do to affect performance. Misbehaving routers and other intermediaries between the network perimeter and the client can easily offset all the optimisations and enhancements performed to ensure the best performance possible.
So it stands to reason that any technological impediments placed in the way will harm performance. It may become necessary for organisations to invest in web-application acceleration and optimisation simply to maintain a minimum performance level as set by their particular business.
This kind of tiered-access structure or traffic discrimination could also be the final straw that...