Reducing Network Latency: A Necessity for Growth

Everyone can probably relate to Zootopia’s memorable depiction of the famously slow sloths behind the counter. While the sloth analogy may be funny, latency is not a laughing matter. The speed in which your data moves is an increasingly critical factor to accelerating company growth.

Positive customer interactions rely on faster turnarounds and processing transactions at higher volumes. Low latency has always been important for applications like voice, video, and data in both telecom and enterprise networks. The industrywide increase in data availability and volumes driven by IoT and time sensitive applications like algorithmic trading, cloud computing, and telemedicine have brought low latency to the forefront of most industries.

Consistent connectivity is no longer an expectation, but a requirement – especially in industries such as media, healthcare, financial services, and government where latency can have immediate consequences including loss of customers and revenue. Latency is a component of all network transactions and many companies spend significant amounts of their budget to drive latency ever downward.  Higher latency not only leads to frustration at the customer transaction level, but also increased expense in hardware, software licensing, maintenance, and time to manage massive IT environments designed to address transactional efficiency.

There are a lot of moving parts to the overall compute, storage, and delivery (network access) solution that can drive latency for an application. When it comes to delivery, or network access, sources of latency generally fall into three categories: 1) the fiber itself, (2) optical components, and (3) opto-electrical components, as Lightwave suggests. Integra Optics works with customers to minimize latency through improved optical component solutions.

As the technology that manages our business transactions becomes increasingly more powerful and capable, the latency challenge has moved closer to the network that connects resources to file storage assets. These Storage Area Networks have become the heart of our online world where transactional data is stored, retrieved, and processed, and where the latency bottleneck is quickly becoming one of the biggest challenges for IT organizations.

Don’t Compromise Latency Out of Budget Necessity

One major hurdle is the required investment in transceivers to convert the electrical signal that network elements use to process data. Transceivers have historically been a significant data center expense, with OEMs pressuring customers into one-stop shopping under the guise of bundling pricing. As the need for distances and data rates have increased, so have prices from the network vendor community – so much so that many end-users have opted to purchase lower speed transceivers out of budget necessity.

There’s a clear opportunity to significantly decrease network latency by upgrading lower data rate transceivers, such as 1Gbps and 10Gbps to higher performance transceivers, including the SFP28 form factor, which delivers 2.5 times the bandwidth at half the latency, leading to higher performance. Network OEMs however, have effectively priced many of their customers out of this simple and prudent upgrade path, and even analysts agree that OEM alternative transceiver solutions are a reliable, budget-friendly path to lowering latency. Additionally, the cascading impact of not upgrading means more hardware and licensing costs for the end user since designs need to minimize the negative impact of network latency on transactional performance.

This is where quality transceiver manufacturers like Integra Optics, that deliver reliable, reasonably priced transceivers have flourished. Consistent with the OEMs, Integra sources its raw materials from Tier 1 suppliers, and the company has invested heavily in building core expertise in engineering and platform-specific coding skills to ensure 100 percent interoperability with over 60+ OEM platforms and nearly 10,000 coded transceiver SKUs.

Protect your network and your budget. Talk to one of our optics experts today, to discuss how you can cost effectively improve connectivity to accelerate transaction speeds, lower hardware and software costs, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.