As businesses struggle to meet the needs of remote, mobile and branch office users, IT pros are striving to find ways to improve the performance of line of business applications. However, improving performance is not always an easy task. After all, there are so many moving parts when it comes to delivering applications beyond the edge of the network – everything from bandwidth to latency to server performance ultimately impact how well an application can perform. After exhausting typical solutions, such as improving code, boosting server performance, speeding up storage and adding bandwidth, IT pros often need to seek additional methods to bring speed to balky applications that are presented to remote users. What’s more, IT pros need to make sure those applications run securely, reliably and correctly as well. Those needs, as well as a few others (application scale out, branch office density and so on) have given birth to a networking appliance segment – the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) – a device that sits at the edge of the network to improve application performance. So, how exactly does one of those devices improve application performance? Well, the answer is not so straightforward – normally ADCs use multiple techniques, ranging from bandwidth management to compression to caching to boost application performance. However, what techniques are used is driven by not only the application to be accelerated, but also by the WAN infrastructure in place, as well as the type of connectivity used.