The dirty secrets of Web 2.0

There's something a lot of people don't want you to know about Web 2.0. People who are trying to sell you on Web 2.0 as the greatest thing to hit technology since the first web page appeared at CERN. And while undoubtedly Web 2.0 is having a huge impact on organizations across a broad spectrum - from the enterprise to startups - when you peek under the covers you may be surprised to learn that things haven't changed all that much.

Oh, Web 2.0 appears magical indeed but from the view of an application delivery architect there's really nothing new in terms of technology. There's just a lot more of all the "stuff" that makes up an application. Yes, you heard right - the dirty secret about Web 2.0 is that in terms of technology there's nothing new to see here, there's just a lot more of the same old stuff we've been delivering for years.

We've got more connections, more JavaScript, more video, and more bandwidth being used. We've got more HTTP, RTSP, and SIP. We've also got more entry points through which security can be breached - from inside and outside the organization.

Our packets are more plentiful and more plump. Our bandwidth is more strained and stretched. Our server resources are being sucked up faster than an icee on a hot summer day. And while we're scrambling behind the scenes and under the hood to try to ensure that our applications and sites are secure, fast, and available our users sound like Oliver Twist - Please sir, can we have some more?

The good news is that yes, they can have some more. Because the very technologies and protocols through which Web 2.0 communities and applications are built and enabled have not signficantly changed we already have - or can quickly put in place - solutions that decrease the amount of bandwidth being used, optimize the protocols, and make more efficient the servers where the "magic" of Web 2.0 is being churned out.

Don't get me wrong; Web 2.0 is definitely a paradigm shift and there are very real consequences to your infrastructure - both network and application - to deploying any kind of Web 2.0 application. You do have some work to do if you want to ensure the best possible user experience while building a resilient application delivery infrastructure. The good news is that the same application delivery solutions you've trusted to deliver Web 1.0 provide the same benefits - in many cases better and more - for Web 2.0.

Imbibing: Coffee