Everyone is talking about the cloud and for good reason. Cloud computing offers a wide array of benefits that help businesses to become more efficient, from improved collaboration and scalability to increased data security. But before you jump head-first into the cloud, it’s critical to understand the importance of WAN latency reduction in hybrid cloud environments. Here is what you need to know. 

What is WAN Latency?

Latency refers to the delay or time it takes for data to travel between two points in a network. It can impact the speed and responsiveness of internet-connected applications, websites, and services.

Diagram of network latency

Low latency means a faster connection, while high latency results in slower connections and slower response times.

When using cloud computing solutions, you want your users to experience low latency—not just so they can access their applications quickly, but also so they can work collaboratively without experiencing delays or slowdowns. Poor latency can cause issues with video conferencing or VoIP calls and make remote meetings almost unbearable. It can also have an impact on file-sharing speeds, making it difficult for teams to collaborate efficiently across different locations.

Low Latency Solutions for Hybrid Cloud Environments

Fortunately, there are many solutions available that can be used in combination with each other tor help reduce WAN latency in hybrid cloud environments.

  1. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
    A CDN is a system of distributed servers that deliver content to users based on their geographic location. By using a CDN, you can improve the performance of your website or web application by delivering content from a server that is closer to the user’s location. CDNs lower network latency by caching content, optimising connections between users and servers, and by progressive image rendering.

Cloudflare offers a CDN service that can be used to distribute content closer to end-users, reducing the amount of WAN traffic required.

  1. Use direct connect or dedicated connectivity between your on-premises network and the public cloud.
    Direct connect or dedicated connectivity provides a private connection between your on-premises network and the public cloud. This can help reduce WAN latency by 60% because data does not have to travel over the public internet.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a service called AWS Direct Connect that can be used to establish a dedicated network connection between an on-premises environment and AWS.

  1. Use compression and data deduplication.
    Compression reduces the size of data so that it takes up less bandwidth and therefore requires less time to transmit. Data deduplication removes duplicate data so that only unique data needs to be transmitted, which also reduces bandwidth requirements, transmission time and WAN latency. 

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a service called AWS DataSync that uses compression to transfer data between on-premises storage systems and AWS storage services. This service can reduce transfer times and save on network costs.

  1. Use Edge Computing
    Edge computing moves computation and data storage closer to the edge of the network, where devices such as sensors and cameras are located. By processing data at the edge of the network, you can reduce WAN latency because data does not have to travel as far from the source to be processed or stored. 

    Microsoft Azure offers an edge computing solution called Azure Stack Edge that can be used to process data closer to the source, reducing the distance data needs to travel.

  1. Use a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN)
    SD-WAN is the application of software-based network technologies that virtualise WAN connections. SD-WAN provides flexibility and agility in routing traffic across wide area networks (WANs) by dynamically routing traffic over the best available path based on real-time conditions.

The importance of WAN latency reduction in hybrid cloud environments cannot be understated — low latency ensures that users have access to applications quickly and securely without experiencing slowdowns or delays due to network congestion or slow connections. With the right tools and strategies in place, organisations can ensure their hybrid cloud deployments provide optimal performance at all times while providing the scalability they need as their business grows and evolves.

When was the last time you tested your network latency?

What methods are in place to reduce your network latency?

Would you like to improve your network latency?