Optimizing Voice and Video Applications Through Real-time Network Acceleration

Jun 01, 2021By Subspace Team

TL;DR

Due to the global pandemic, we now rely on internet service providers more than ever. With more employees working remotely, solutions for real-time network acceleration are imperative to maintain productivity. This goes beyond fast download speeds, however, as consumers are also looking for improvements in areas like audio and video quality. Subspace is the only true solution for real-time network acceleration that offers a better overall experience for remote workers.

Estimated read time: 6 minutes


Changing Times

For the last few decades, productivity has meant conference room meetings and office suite software, but today’s productivity comes from real-time engagement instead. With a directive to cut cycle times and deliver a better and more customized user experience, real-time applications are the only way for a business to truly succeed. These real-time applications significantly change how businesses approach the market and their networks.

The largest change to how business approaches network connectivity came with the dramatic shift to work from home (WFH) at practically every company in 2020. Just as companies were grappling with the shift towards more real-time tools and collaboration, the bottom fell out of the workplace with the COVID-19 pandemic. This change scattered employees to remote locations to shelter in place, forcing all work and engagement online and stressing every point in the system.

The Network Wasn’t Ready

As all of these remote employees moved online, ISPs were not ready for the shift. For years these ISPs had taken a volumetric approach to delivering Internet service. This approach worked fine because engagement was not interactive, mail and messaging were batch processed, and applications were downloaded and offline.

In this old paradigm, quantity mattered while quality was hard to discern (other than by download time). As long as all of the packets eventually made it to their destinations, in any order, all was fine. The system masked all of the inefficiencies of this volumetric model.

However, this isn’t the case with real-time network applications, especially voice and video. In real-time engagement applications, latency and jitter are far more noticeable. Out of order packets are dropped, leading to visible freezes or missing frames. When we switched to real-time, quality suddenly mattered more than quantity as the eye and the ear could tell a subpar connection from a good one. Simply increasing the bandwidth was not enough to address service-level issues.

Those ISPs that had played the increasing-megabits-per-second game were caught off guard as customers began demanding better performance, which no longer meant “blazing fast downloads.” Instead, consumers want better video and audio quality, something ISPs were not designed for.

The Ever-expanding Edge

For most companies, the network edge was the edge of the data center. The carrier network was important but not critical.

But the rise of branch office connectivity and remote workers began pushing this edge much further out, where ISP networks become a more integral piece of the equation. Businesses have turned to software-defined WANs (SD-WANs) and secure access service edge (SASE) to maintain more control over this ever-expanding network edge.

While these deployment strategies deliver on their primary function (control), they also expose a significant shortfall in the lack of quality within their service network. When everything was maintained within the datacenter, IT could deliver superior service levels for video and voice, but an expanding network edge now exposed all of the service shortcomings.

SD-WAN and SASE Pressure Carriers

SD-WAN and SASE strategies often drive the idea that broadband Internet is a replacement for dedicated multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) circuits, and in doing so expose the latency, jitter, and quality issues of broadband. SD-WAN, especially, puts most of its focus on the WAN endpoints (often with dedicated devices) to deliver on the promise of better network visibility, easier orchestration, and more efficient traffic handling.

But relying on broadband Internet and—even worse—cloud-based services puts immediate stress on real-time applications since they were just not designed to handle these applications well. All of the control and automation from SD-WANs and SASE simply add more latency and lag to the real-time experience, at a time when the opposite is needed.

Service-based Solutions Fall Short as Well

Some businesses, sensing the demands from both employees and customers for a better real-time application experience, have turned to service-based solutions like Cloudflare or others that grew up in the content distribution network (CDN) world. While these solutions appear to address real-time application challenges on the surface, they ultimately fall short because they rely on the same underlying Internet that they claim to improve. It’s hard to redefine performance for a new class of applications when you’re still mired in the architecture of the old applications.

Ultimately, all that these alternatives do is repackage a new service on top of a network that’s now more than 50 years old. Trying to carve out express lanes from an existing highway simply just redistributes the problem. To truly improve all traffic, express lanes need to be additive – they need to be new infrastructure.

The Only True Solution for Real-time Application Acceleration

Subspace delivers the only true solution that improves real-time application performance. By building out a parallel network alongside the traditional Internet, Subspace can accelerate real-time applications by delivering lower latency, less jitter, and better overall experience for things like video and voice. The real-time application performance improvements have a stunning impact on overall TCP/UDP packet performance, reducing latency by as much as 80%.

Where others have invested in pieces of the solution, Subspace has focused on the whole solution, bringing end-to-end acceleration, not just accelerated endpoints that still rely on slower infrastructure in the middle to route applications.

Subspace SIPTeleport is a Global SIP Proxy for the lowest latency voice and video calls. Subspace GlobalTURN allows you to run TURN globally without having to maintain servers around the world. And with RTPSpeed, we provide the highest quality voice and video steaming (via a global RTP proxy) the internet has ever seen with in-line zero latency DDoS protection.

Subspace took a page from the world of high-frequency trading (HFT) by leveraging the fastest connection technology to create a better way to drive real-time applications. By owning the network, Subspace has infinitely more control over application performance and network quality metrics than those that simply piggyback onto existing infrastructure. Subspace’s solution is not dependent on massive multi-tenant infrastructures that chase the lowest cost at the expense of application performance.

Subspace knows more about traffic from a holistic perspective than almost any other provider. This in-depth expertise allowed Subspace to build the “weather map of the internet” that accurately tracks conditions in real-time. By understanding every step in the route instead of just the immediate endpoints and by understanding all of the conditions along the way, Subspace can optimize the real-time application journey.

See the Improvements for Yourself

Don’t just take our word for it. Seeing truly is believing.

What you’ll see from us is what your customers and employees have been clamoring for—a truly unparalleled real-time experience for the critical applications that are powering your business today.

Want to start building on Subspace today? Sign up here.


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