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Will 5g speed up my applications?

i am a long-time avid technologist. i began my tech career in the Apple world but moved to Enterprise Solutions later.

will-5g-speed-up-my-applications

will 5g make my applications faster?


In my IT career, I have talked to many IT teams about application performance. Recently, with the broader release of 5g services, I have engaged with a number of teams that have asked, "will 5g make our applications faster?"

I give all of them the same answer, "Maybe," although sometimes I use the other version of Maybe, "It Depends."

There are many factors in the topic of application performance. The type and capabilities of the device you are using directly impact the ability and speed of the application used. You can add more power to the cell phone, but how many people want to go back to phones that are luggable? The other thing that often causes issues is the reality of the data location. How fast can I get a response from the data?

These are three legs of the performance stool, the device, the connection, and where the application resides (destination). Each of the three has limits of its own. A cell phone doesn't do as well with a large document as a laptop would. A laptop on a park bench isn't as good at reading a large excel file as the same laptop plugged into a docking station with three monitors attached. Each of the stool legs has limits.

Lately, perhaps I am bored with it depends; I have been using the story of the motorcycle race to explain the limits of speeding up applications. The goal of a motorcycle race is to finish the race in the first place. That means you must be the fastest racer to win—a simple answer, but in the end, not a great story.

So first, let's talk about the types of motorcycles we are setting up for this race.

Motorcyclist number one is a straight-line fast racer. However, if forced to turn, they must slow down. They are fastest in the straightways but much slower than number three in curves.

Motorcyclist number two is not as fast as number one but is much faster in taking curves.

Motorcyclist number three is the fastest in the curves but is not as fast as motorcyclist number two.

Now, we see why this works as a good application improvement story. It depends wholly on the track being used for the race!

sometimes it is the track, sometimes it is the racer!

On a straight track with no curves, Racer One wins. You can add one or two curves, and Racer one will likely win. But make the track an oval with four turns, and Racer One will struggle. If conditions are not favorable (lousy weather or terrible track conditions), racer three wins every race.

I use this analogy because it quickly breaks applications down into the three core performance components. It also allows you to ask some helpful questions.

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What type of racer is the application? Of the three types of Racers I've listed, there are three distinctly different solutions to how I make the racer faster. Of course, the same is true of that application, but for now, let's fix the motorcycle racers!

The first racer is fast but cannot take curves. The easy solution is to sacrifice a little speed in the straightaway and make the motorcycle more stable so that the racer can handle the curves a little faster.

Racer two would be fine with a slightly larger engine or the combination of a lighter motorcycle and a larger engine.

Racer three would need a larger engine. The motorcycle is already stable, but it would need t to generate more speed to be a more effective racer.

I know this is the long path to answer the original question will 5g help make applications faster? The problem is that 5g will be faster. 5g will allow the mobile device equal or sometimes better network capacity than the wifi-connected device. What it will not do is make the racetrack better. The racers will now all have much faster motorcycles. The reality of the applications they use will determine the overall speed.

So will 5g help make applications faster?
Yes and no.

Yes, if the racer (application) can take advantage of the new track (5g)
No, if it is just speed.

Let's end with the three racers again. Adding speed to the first racer will not make them faster overall, as their problem is curves. Adding momentum to the second and third racer will make them faster overall, but they still wouldn't be as fast as racer one straight away. Racer 3 is designed to be stable. Racer two is better at curves than Racer one but not as good as Racer 3 in curves. Now, if racer 3 is faster and the course has a lot of curves, they will win every time!

So you have to figure out what type of track your application is. Then you know what racers you need on that track to get the best possible performance.
Yes, 5g will be faster.

But when we bring it back to your applications, we see the reality. So, first, the racer (form) and track (destination) are critical in the "performance process," Based on that, we may have to change the application or what goal is used to see an actual speed gain.
Yes, 5g will be faster.

But your applications won't be if you don't make your track better!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 DocAndersen

Comments

RoadMonkey on April 02, 2020:

Interesting analogy and makes it very clear.

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