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The days of limitless resources and unbounded budgets are long gone, replaced by fixed infrastructure, limited human resources, and strictly guarded purse strings. Looking forward, CIOs are faced with increasingly conflicting goals: reduce costs but increase -- or at least maintain -- existing application performance, availability, and security.

Solutions addressing only technical issues are no longer "good enough." Settling for tactical solutions is no longer considered viable as CIOs face higher pressure to address technical issues as well as proving value to the business. Thus the "soft costs" associated with IT have become as important in purchasing decisions and strategic initiatives as performance metrics and the ability to meet service-level agreements.

If that weren't enough of a challenge, IT is continually pressured to increase its agility to match the ever-growing needs of the business to be as dynamic as the markets in which it competes. IT needs a way to deploy, manage, and deliver applications more efficiently.

To meet these needs and enable business agility, CIOs need to take the following steps:

  1. Reduce costs: Unify disparate devices and functions into a single, centrally-managed solution to save money on power, space, and cooling.
  2. Streamline application delivery: Eliminate the bottlenecks inherent in an application delivery architecture.
  3. Increase IT and workforce efficiency: Use manageability-focused features to reduce the time and effort required to deploy and manage business-critical applications.

Reduce costs

Application delivery is one of the most effective methods of reducing IT costs. By unifying disparate application delivery-focused devices and functions such as load balancing, acceleration, optimization and security into a single, centrally managed solution, IT can immediately cut costs associated with power, space, and cooling. The reduction in physical systems, and associated physical resources, provides an immediate return on investment.

Application delivery further improves the efficiency of the application infrastructure by offloading resource-intensive functionality such as compression, authentication, encryption, security, and protocol overhead. Offloading these types of memory and processor-intensive functions alleviates overhead and lets servers focus on serving requests. This improves the capacity of web and application servers and makes them more efficiently able to perform the task of executing application logic, which can result in an increase in application performance. Offloading these functions can also result in an improvement in performance, decreasing application response time and improving the overall end-user experience.


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