What is Web Application Streaming?


Web Application Streaming is a radical new approach to sending web sites and applications to standard web browsers which provides for dramatically faster page load times. To understand how the Instart Logic technology works, it helps to understand briefly the overall approach and evolution of streaming both video and Windows applications.

In the early days of the Internet, users that wanted to watch a video would need to download the entire file before it would start to play.  Video streaming came along and sped up the process dramatically by eliminating the need to download the entire video file before it could be watched. With the advent of streaming video, users could almost immediately start watching a video after only a partial download of the most important data, while the remainder continued to download in the background.

As with video downloads, previously users of Windows applications needed to download the entire application up front before it could be installed and used. Windows Application Streaming then came along and, like video streaming, it eliminated the need to send all the data up front.  Windows application streaming also works by sending the most important application data first and allowing users to start running Windows apps after downloading only a portion of the data. The rest continues to download in the background. Just as with the streaming video approach, the user gets a faster experience, while still receiving the full capabilities of the application.

Today, traditional web site and application delivery requires that browsers download a lot more information up front than is actually needed to allow a user to see and interact with a web page. Instart Logic’s technology takes a similar approach to video and Windows application streaming and allows users to interact with a web site or web application radically faster after only a partial download of the most important data first.

It does this by using a novel new cloud/client architecture that links an active virtualization client built in JavaScript called the NanoVisor.js to a new cloud service called the AppSequencer™. NanoVisor.js transparently virtualizes browser and cache APIs and allows the service to watch how web sites and applications load up in a browser. In addition, it allows receiving the web application as a stream of object fragments vs. requiring the full download up front of each object. The AppSequencer has a detailed understanding of the component parts of the web such as images, Flash, and HTML. It uses this knowledge to divide up these larger components into smaller fragments that can be streamed at different points of the load and rendering process.

With this new technology, the Instart Logic service can automatically determine which parts of a web site or application are the most important and deliver that information first for local execution in a user’s standard web browser. The remainder of the data then downloads in the background, delivering the exact experience that the web publisher designed.

The best part is that Instart Logic does not require web publishers to modify any code or for end users to download any plug-ins or applications. All that is required for a web publisher to use the Web Application Streaming Network is a few simple changes to their DNS settings to direct end-user traffic through the Instart Logic service. The technology works with standard browsers and the service is completely transparent to end users. It was built to be a drop-in replacement for a content delivery network (CDN) and so it also offloads your backend web-serving infrastructure to handle planned growth, traffic spikes or surges. And while the Web Application Streaming Network was designed for the worst-case scenario of mobile users on wireless networks, it delivers benefits for all users and devices.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing new service, download our whitepaper, or better yet, contact us for a free performance evaluation and see how we can dramatically improve your web page load times.