Pivia Performance Suite 4.0
Pivia calls their product a "Web application delivery & optimization"
package. In simple terms, that means that their software speeds up the
delivery of your Web application bits to the browser. I spent a long
time this week chatting with some of the Pivia folks, and here's what
they tell me about it.
Pivia uses a whole raft of techniques to speed up page delivery. This
includes caching static objects, compressing the HTTP stream, offloading
SSL functionality, and opening multiple connections so that more of the
page can be downloaded in parallel than a browser would normally do.
It's important to realize that no browser changes, plug-ins, or ActiveX
controls are required for any of these techniques; they just work. If a
browser would render your site before Pivia, it will do exactly the same
with Pivia installed.
What won't be the same is speed or load. With Pivia caching things,
delivery times of complex sites can be sliced considerably; some portal
pages might go from 60 seconds to 10. Better yet, all of the magic is
happening on the Pivia box (which is just commodity PC hardware running
their software) so that your actual Web server doesn't have to be sized
to handle the maximum load. Instead, it needs to be sized to hand off
unique bits to Pivia and let the Pivia infrastructure take it from
All of the basic techniques require no developer intervention, but
there's another level of performance improvement that Pivia calls
"Application Smart". Using Application Smart technologies, your Web
application can let Pivia know when dynamic content has been invalidated
and needs to be recached (similar to the way that ASP.NET
parameter-based caching works, but much more sweeping). With application
smart caching, a database operation or an HTTP event can invalidate a
cache. As long as an object is valid, Pivia will serve it without
bothering the generating application.
There are other bits to the Pivia solution as well; in particular, they
have a remote office server that can help eliminate bottlenecks on a
WAN, which looks very attractive for distributed organizations. You'll
find plenty more information on their Web site, and they've got an
impressive list of clients who've found this software to be of use.