Occasionally, as vendors of web-based construction collaboration technologies, we face protests from users who say the extranet solutions are too slow (usually because they don’t offer the almost-instantaneous responsiveness of software loaded onto their hard drive or perhaps their local area network). As ASPs, we can do a lot to ensure that our applications are working as fast as possible up to the point at which data leaves our hosting environments, but there is little we can do on our own to influence the speed at which that data arrives on users’ desktops.
In project reviews, I have discussed occasions where access to BIW Information Channel, for example, slowed right down at lunch-time – as users’ colleagues suddenly turned to the internet to book holidays, check their bank balances, order books, etc, overloading the client organisation’s "pipe" to the internet. Once normal working patterns resumed after lunch, speed of access to the Channel returned to normal.
I was interested, therefore, to read this TechWorld.com article, IT detective work helps end WAN slowdown for construction firm, which discovered a similar problem for users of Primavera Systems’ Expedition project management software (hosted by application service provider LoadSpring Solutions on servers accessed over T1 links in a WAN). In this instance, the culprit for slow performance was wider-than-expected use of online radio. Once this WAN traffic was de-prioritised, the speed of access to Expedition improved again.