Understanding Latency and Bandwidth in AIMMS Cloud Applications & SC Navigator

  • 29 April 2024
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Customers and users frequently bring up ‘latency’ and ‘bandwidth’ effects when using our Cloud SaaS.

This post is intended to provide clarity around this topic based on what we hear from customers using the AIMMS Cloud Platform or SC Navigator.

First, what are we talking about?

Definitions

  • Latency refers to the delay or lag between when a user performs an action and when they receive a response from the application. It is influenced by factors such as the physical distance between the user and the server, the network infrastructure, and the speed of data transmission. Higher latency can result in slower response times and can be frustrating for users, especially when real-time analytics or time-sensitive decisions are involved.
  • Bandwidth, on the other hand, refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted within a given timeframe, the data transfer speed. It is measured in bits per second (bps) or megabits per second (Mbps). Bandwidth determines how quickly data can be sent or received. Higher bandwidth allows for faster data transfer, enabling users to access and analyze large datasets more efficiently. Insufficient bandwidth can lead to slower loading times, buffering, or even data loss, resulting in a suboptimal user experience.

What do customers tell us?

  • To start: We hear hardly any reports from users, even those ‘far away’ from our European or US cloud platforms that they experience long delays (latency) or data transfer waiting times (bandwidth). Nowadays most internet connections are of very high quality. Potential customers speculate about this, but in most cases they need not worry.

Crafted for optimal performance.

  • WebUI and therefore SC Navigator have been designed to minimize the amount of data transfer between their browser/computer and the Cloud platform. Therefore SC Navigator and other applications built using WebUI are not bandwidth-demanding and will work well even on internet connections with low bandwidth.

But what if you find yourself in a place with a subpar internet connection? What observations do you make?

  • The impact of high latency on SC Navigator and other WebUI applications varies, and there is little we can do to make our applications less sensitive to it. High latency will delay response speed of user interface operations involving data transfer, such as filtering data. Loading and saving of data sets is not that much affected because latency is masked there by the often higher transfer times (not uncommon or unexpected to wait a few seconds or more to wait for data to load).
  • The impact of low bandwidth on SC Navigator and other WebUI applications also varies. It will mostly manifest in longer times required for loading and saving data. It will also slow down user interface response speeds for operations that require quick transfer of large data volumes such as displaying graphs with lots of data points. Tables are ‘paginated’ so will usually remain responsive even in case of low bandwidth.
  • WinUI users can be more affected by low bandwidth, less by high latency. The AIMMS application, the model and the sometimes the data need to be downloaded to their local computer, quite some data. And when performing a solve (which happens on the cloud platform) there is again quite some data transfer.

 

Does this clarify the topic for you?


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