Terminal emulation and VDI applications face edge headwinds without failsafe SD-WANs

Enterprise WANs must adapt to address increasing demands from newer business-critical applications without sacrificing the quality of the end-user experience of existing applications. Terminal emulation and VDI are examples of technologies that bridge the gap between rock-solid legacy systems, and new and emerging technologies.

Not only are large enterprises able to protect their back-end investments, they are able to extend mainframe systems and deliver greater value, usability and productivity. Enterprises can build new applications and capabilities, and extend connectivity to web, mobile and cloud technologies – without disrupting their underlying systems.

Terminal emulation is actually a new take on an old solution. Terminal emulation software makes a PC appear like a terminal that is networked to a mainframe or enterprise server. While terminals are almost no longer in use, vast amounts of mission-critical data on mainframes and enterprise servers are accessible by using terminal emulation programs for so-called ‘green screen’ mainframe and mid-range computing platforms.

Terminal emulation applications run over protocols (or data streams) that exchange data between terminal emulators and the enterprise server. There are many terminal emulation programs that interact with enterprise systems from companies like IBM, HP, Honeywell Bull, Data General, Sperry/Unisys and others.

For example, 3270 terminal emulators match the capabilities of IBM’s 3270 terminals that connect to the mainframe. Terminal emulation allows enterprises to protect their extensive investments in enterprise systems and software, while providing a flexible solution for workers using PCs to interact with those systems.

Remote virtual desktop connectivity

It’s very expensive to send IT staff to branch office locations to manage desktops and laptops. The time and cost to ship equipment and update software on each device, at every location, quickly adds up. Rather than physically touching every individual endpoint device, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a virtualization technique enabling access to a virtualized desktop hosted on a remote service and centrally managed from the cloud or enterprise data center.

VDI relies on real-time protocols like Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Citrix’s ICA protocol. VDI helps lower IT costs, simplify management, and automate workflows and tasks for administrators, by centralizing application and desktop management. Remote users with a laptop, desktop or smartphone connect to a centralized server that hosts and runs the enterprise applications they want to access.

WAN-induced headwinds

Terminal emulation and VDI have something in common: across the WAN, these applications behave similarly to voice packets in that they are highly sensitive to congestion-based packet loss and latency, which can negatively impact application QoE (Quality of Experience), and in the extreme cause users to abandon applications altogether.

Because of the mission-critical nature of terminal emulation and VDI applications, WAN connectivity must be as reliable and predictable as a desktop or laptop connecting to a server on the LAN. Under-performing WANs can cause screen response delays or delays in getting keystroke or mouse clicks back to the host application. Application activity, such as screen refreshes, can place a drag on performance that directly affects the user experience and their productivity.

Branch office and corporate users connect to these centrally managed applications from long distances. Congestion-based packet loss and increases in latency on the WAN, unless properly addressed, can create unreliable sessions.

Failsafe SD-WANs create a tailwind that accelerates app performance and reliability

Enterprises with terminal emulation and VDI apps need failsafe, flexible WAN connectivity that delivers high availability and reliable, predictable application delivery to ensure a quality user experience.

Ensuring these business-critical applications are reliable and responsive should be a high priority for any organization. For enterprise customers looking to augment or replace their expensive MPLS WAN with inexpensive, high-bandwidth Internet connectivity, SD-WAN offers multiple benefits. A central tenet of SD-WAN is the ability to provide unlimited pools of intelligently managed bandwidth through any type of transport, including commodity Internet links.

A failsafe SD-WAN provides a virtual network overlay that will ensure reliable network performance for terminal emulation and VDI. Centralized management and visibility for the entire network, and sub-second response to network events like link failures and also congestion-based packet loss, enables network administrators to have maximum control over their application delivery infrastructure.

While WAN Optimization technology offers relatively little benefit for RDP and ICA protocols, the end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) and bandwidth management delivered by a failsafe Sd-WAN solution will mitigate WAN contention issues that are problematic for screen refreshes. Failsfafe SD-WAN solutions are able to instantly adapt to changing network conditions, by leveraging path and session layer intelligence.

To learn more about Talari Failsafe SD-WANs, register for a custom demo: https://www.talari.com/company/request-custom-demo/

Categories: Application Performance/Application Quality

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