Most business leaders have faced a time in their careers when they were eager to grow their companies but were concerned about how they could afford it. That’s because the painful truth is that achieving growth often requires additional investment, whether that’s opening offices in new markets, hiring more employees, increasing marketing spend or ensuring IT systems have enough capacity to keep the business running smoothly at a higher level. It’s not easy to get the right balance of investment across the business to support growth.
Your website and supporting web servers are integral to your company’s growth. If you do most of your business online, it’s the single most important interface with your customers. And as business expands, your site will need to handle more visitors, convert visitors into more customers and handle higher volumes of sales transactions.
To support that growth, your website needs to maintain uptime, high performance and security; and you need clear insight into how your website is performing on a technical level. But you don’t need to dedicate most of your IT budget and over-spend on web server capacity to achieve those aims. There is a more efficient way: an Application Delivery Controller (ADC) will enable your website to scale up – and your business to grow – more cost-effectively.
An ADC combines the best of many worlds: load balancing, web acceleration, web application firewall and global server load balancing. There are four important ways that an ADC helps your business grow without going over budget.
1. Web Server Offload
An ADC offloads multiple web server tasks, which takes the strain off the servers and minimizes the amount of compute resources needed. By offloading these tasks from your web servers, you can scale up your website without increasing server capacity. Altogether an ADC can reduce web server requests by up to 70%.
- An ADC caches content (static as well as dynamic content) to reduce the number of requests going to your web server, which means the server doesn’t have to work as hard processing requests and the content is delivered to users faster. Content can be cached for any length of time – for a few days or just minutes or seconds.
- An ADC compresses content, which minimizes the amount of data your web servers and your network need to deliver.
- An ADC also offloads SSL traffic. This takes the burden off the web servers while maintaining security for your website visitors. By optimizing SSL traffic handling, an ADC will also help to improve your site’s security ratings and generate higher search engine results.
2. Faster Website
When your goal is growth, your website can’t be slow. Taking too long to serve up pages is one of the surest ways to turn away potential customers and lose sales. Users typically leave a site if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. To show the difference that the smallest improvements can make, reducing page load times from 3 seconds to 2 seconds results in 25% less user abandonment. With new website visitors being expensive to acquire, you can't afford to lose them because of poor website performance. A faster website means more engaged visitors and more customer conversions, meaning your business can hit its growth targets more easily.
3. Secure Growth
As your business expands, your website security must be robust and flexible to protect your site from denial of service (DoS) attacks and other threats. A successful cyber-attack will certainly slow, if not stymie, your growth plans. For example, your website might be unavailable to potential customers or your company's reputation might suffer. Defending your website and internal network is a critical part of defending your business.
An ADC provides a protective layer around your site to ensure your business is always up and running, and growth is not hindered. It mitigates DoS attacks; monitors for SQL injections, data leaks and intrusion attempts; and blocks spammers, bots and scripts from interfering with your website. It performs geographic as well as IP blocking so that you can block traffic from specific countries or IP addresses when necessary. Also, because all website requests are proxied and data is not forwarded to your origin servers, would-be attackers are not in direct communication with your internal systems.
4. Performance Insight
All businesses need reliable metrics to track how they’re doing and whether they’re meeting growth targets. When it comes to your website, you need to know that your applications are running optimally during high growth phases, and you must be alerted instantly when performance starts to falter.
An ADC will monitor the health of your web servers by tracking performance metrics including latency, response time, server load and HTTP/S error rates. It will also alert you with early warnings when bottlenecks occur so that you can quickly diagnose and resolve problems before your site goes down or performance noticeably deteriorates.
An ADC reduces the load on web servers, accelerates website response times and page loading, and secures your network, all while monitoring app performance. These capabilities will facilitate the growth of your online business without busting your IT budget.
Snapt ADC is a software ADC that does all of this and more. To learn how Snapt will help your business grow cost-efficiently, start your free trial today.