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  • What is AirZip Accelerator?

    AirZip Accelerator is the simplest and fastest way to accelerate image-intensive websites, and is especially beneficial for dialup users. It provides high performance, real-time web server acceleration that improves the delivery of web content to users; 300% to 600% faster image delivery over slow to medium speed (dialup, wireless, home DSL, cable modem) connections - all without the need to modify web content. AirZip Accelerator automatically recognizes the different capabilities of the various browsers and user quality settings to instantly provide the best possible combination of quality and speed.

  • What Does It Do?

    AirZip Accelerator software speeds delivery of image intensive web content by up to 4 or more times for users on slow to medium bandwidth networks. It does so by providing fully user-controlled, real-time image transcoding and compression.
  • What are Application Examples?

    Applications include improving the user experience with Repair Services (Drawings), Banking, Emergency Services, Education Exam Marking, Field Engineering, GIS Mapping, and Vehicle Management.
  • How Is It Sold?

    AirZip Accelerator licensed on a per server CPU basis. On multicore systems, 2 CPU cores counts as a single CPU.
  • How will AirZip Accelerator save me money?

    AirZip Accelerator provides significantly faster customer/end user content downloads and reduced telecommunication cost. Smaller files mean fewer packets, less bandwidth and faster transmission times.
  •  How does AirZip Accelerator Work?

    AirZip Accelerator solutions are advanced web server filter functions designed to speed the delivery of web pages primarily through image optimization.  Image information constitutes two-thirds of the data that must be downloaded to display typical web pages. When installed on Microsoft Internet Information servers (IIS) or Apache servers, the AirZip Accelerator intercepts incoming HTTP image requests from web clients, retrieves the requested images, and returns an optimized image to the web client. Optimized images are normally much smaller than the originals. They arrive quicker and on AirZip-enabled web clients they render much faster.
  • What files will AirZip Accelerator compress/optimize?

    AirZip Accelerator incorporates AirZip Image Compression software that leverages AirZip’s patented image processing technology to produce superior image delivery speed. AirZip compression provides rapid conversion of GIF, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and BMP files to the smallest representation possible at any given quality setting.
    AirZip Compression uses several techniques to optimize image size and delivery speed including:

    • Converting GIF, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and BMP images to AirZip formats where browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer are able to present AirZip images.
    • Converting GIF, PNG and BMP images to PNG format.
    • Adjusting JPEG quality setting to reduce image size.
    • Optimize color content to match specific types of devices.
    • Presenting animated images as static images (as a selectable option).
    • Optimizing image quality based on user quality settings.

    In many cases AirZip compression results in more vibrantly colored images than other compression techniques.
  • Who Benefits by using AirZip Accelerator?

     • Any organization who gains sales or a productivity edge as a result of their web applications, a better user experience to their customers, employees, or contractors.
    • Large companies with large networks, using browser-based client server applications over LAN or WAN networks employing IIS or Apache.
    • GIS and other image dependent sites.
    • Any portal operator with high traffic volumes.
  • What is required to run AirZip Accelerator?

    AirZip Accelerator for IIS is designed to function with Microsoft® Windows Internet Information Server Version 5 or later. AirZip Accelerator release 4.0 is required for native operation Windows 2003 and IIS6.

    AirZip Accelerator for Apache is designed to function with Apache Version 1.3.22 or later or Apache Version 2.0.44 or later for Solaris, HP-UX, AIX. Linux, or Windows XP, 2000, 2003 and Vista.

    AirZip Accelerator for WebSphere is designed to run with IBM WebSphere 4 or later on AIX, Windows and Linux platforms.
  •  Do I need any special hardware?

    No.
  • How do users select performance options to match their needs?

    AirZip Accelerator enables user control over image quality and delivery performance using standard Internet cookies, which are supported by most browsers. Links for selecting quality/performance settings are easy to add to any home page.  AirZip Accelerator provides five quality/performance settings:

    • Pass-through – Images are not optimized to avoid delays when using high-speed connections..
    • Basic acceleration (Perfect Quality) – Images are optimized for download and rendering speed but match original image quality.
    • More acceleration – Images are optimized for download and rendering speed with an emphasis on nearly matching original image quality.
    • Still more acceleration – Images are optimized for download and rendering speed and good image quality.
    • Maximum acceleration – Images are optimized in favor of download and rendering speed over image quality.

    If the user selected Maximum acceleration (greatest compression) they would receive the most compressed images so their session would work reasonably fast over narrowband wireless connections. If a user were connecting over an ISP with Ethernet speeds, they would select "no optimization" when there was no need for compression at all.
  • What kind of performance enhancement should be expected at each performance setting?



    The chart to the right demonstrates AirZip Accelerator performance over a sample of 1200 typical web images. The original images require the download of just over 4.3 Mbytes of image data. At the basic performance setting excellent image quality, the Engine reduces this to 1.8Mbyte for clientless operation and 1.3Mbytes with the AirZip Internet Explorer plug-in installed. At the maximum performance setting (good image quality), the Accelerator reduces this to 1.2Mbyte for clientless operation and 0.69Mbytes with the AirZip client in use.
  • Does the end user or customer have to install anything to use AirZip Accelerator?

    No. AirZip Accelerator optimizes the delivery of GIF, PNG, JPEG, and BMP files to any standard browser based on the server configuration parameters as well as user selected performance options.  AirZip Accelerator can decrease download times by a factor of two or more over dialup connections.  Image optimization is determined by the capability of the browser requesting the image and the quality of images requested by the user.
  • What is the advantage if the user accepts the AirZip Internet Explorer Plug-in?

    Where the user has downloaded the AirZip Internet Explorer plug-in, AirZip Accelerator automatically takes advantage of AirZip patent pending, compression technology to produce the world’s best image optimization for a larger portion of web images. The AirZip IE Plug-in improves image delivery by as much as four times for Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows 98 SE, Windows 98, and Windows NT users
  • Is it possible to configure AirZip Accelerator to offer different levels of optimization to different types of images?

    Yes. AirZip Accelerator Release 3 includes the capability to configure different types of optimization or even transformation of images from one format to another specific format based on the directory where the images are stored. Contact AirZip for availability.
  • Is it possible to use AirZip Accelerator with sites using HTTPS?

    Yes. AirZip Accelerator operates with HTTP and HTTPS sites.

  • Is it possible to use AirZip Accelerator in conjunction with HTTP Compression?

    Yes. HTTP compression techniques such as GZIP and Deflate do not compress images at all, but are effective at compressing HTML text data, Java Script files (frequently used in ESRI ArcIMS sites and other applications) and are helpful for optimizing overall page download time. HTTP compression reduces the size of HTML and JAVA Script by 3 to 6 times.
  • Does AirZip Accelerator run as a separate application?

    No, AirZip Accelerator operates within the IIS and Apache servers.  It is configured and accessed through the management console.
  • Is AirZip Accelerator difficult to install or do I need any special skill?

    No. AirZip Accelerator installs in minutes. Likewise adding performance options links to any web pages takes only minutes as well.
  • Will AirZip Accelerator slow my server down?

    No. Most Web Servers are under utilized from a CPU processing point of view. AirZip Accelerator adds from 5 to 10% additional CPU load on the web server but does not impact disk use while improving use of network bandwidth.
  • Will I be able to measure the performance improvement?

    Yes. Page download times over dialup connections will improve as soon as AirZip enhanced performance settings are selected.
  • How do I buy AirZip Accelerator software?

    AirZip Accelerator is available directly from AirZip and selected partners around the world.  Contact AirZip for more information.
  • Will AirZip Accelerator work with ESRI ArcIMS sites?

    Yes. AirZip Accelerator is an ideal addition to any ESRI ArcIMS or similar server used for general internet access to geographic information systems and mapping services.
  • Will AirZip Accelerator work with BEA Weblogic Server?

    Yes. AirZip Accelerator works with BEA Weblogic in both a single server and cluster configurations.
  • Will AirZip Accelerator work Oracle Application Server?

    Yes. AirZip Accelerator works with Oracle9i  and 10g Application Server.
  • What is required to use AirZip Accelerator to optimize GIF images?

    In order to comply with the requirements of Unisys Corporation, the holder of US Patent 4,558,302, earlier versions of AirZip Accelerator disabled GIF LZW acceleration by default, and users were required to obtain permission from Unisys in order to use this feature.  The U.S. LZW patent expired June 20, 2003, the counterpart Canadian patent expired July 7, 2004, the counterpart patents in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy expired June 18, 2004 and the Japanese counterpart patents expired June 20, 2004. AirZip therefore no longer ships AirZip Accelerator with LZW acceleration disabled.
  • Are there alternatives to using GIF images?

    Yes.  An excellent option is to convert GIF images to PNG format for graphical images or JPEG format for natural images such as photographs or to prepare new content in these formats using one of several low cost graphics tools.
     
    Modern browsers including AOL, Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac OS and for Windows, Opera, Netscape Navigator and Mozilla support both PNG and JPEG images.
  • How does Accelerator compare with other acceleration tools?

    Accelerator easily complements existing compression, acceleration or bandwidth optimization tools. AirZip’s unique compression schema multiplies the acceleration of any existing solution, including data compression, caching, and TCP/IP optimization. While AirZip Accelerator does offer full-spectrum data and network acceleration, our patent pending algorithms are expressly designed to fit into any current configuration, further reducing costs, and making applications more productive and accessible. The added value of AirZip depends on your current configuration; our sales engineering team is available to assess your unique needs.
  • Does AirZip Accelerator support security?

    AirZip’s content acceleration and compression is compatible with standard security protocols and tools. Because AirZip acceleration actually plugs into your existing web server, compression occurs before security is added, ensuring full optimization. On the client, decompression occurs after security decoding, fully protecting your data, while optimizing application speed.
  • Has the AirZip image acceleration been verified by others?

    The performance gain provided by AirZip Accelerator has been validated by independent testing, including by ESRI, the leading provider of network based mapping infrastructure software. ESRI’s testing showed a performance gain of 40-400%. This improvement is relative to other image compression standards; AirZip’s performance relative to no compression is well over 400%.
  • How will your solution benefit end users?

    Currently end users suffer from the slow performance of any web-based application that uses graphics, photos and images as part of the solution. By improving the performance of these applications, AirZip software immediately helps people to be more productive, and to provide a more enjoyable online experience. In the case of wireless, AirZip makes rich media wireless applications—such as mapping for location services, or enterprise image delivery—a reality today, enabling a quantum leap in productivity and enjoyment.
  • Is AirZip Compression the same as wavelet compression schemes such as JPEG 2000?

    AirZip products are based on a fundamentally new image compression format called AZV. Developed in-house by AirZip founder Daniel Yue—who is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a former tenured Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois, the AZV compression format is unprecedented in the world of image compression. Using a new mathematical algorithm, AZV is fundamentally different from wavelet compression, resulting in very high compression levels for graphics, as we have extremely fast encode and decode times, making it ideal for low-power wireless devices. AirZip has been awarded United States patent 6,748,116 on its AZV compression.
  • How does AirZip Accelerator compare with LizardTech MrSID for mapping applications?

    AirZip Accelerator is complementary with LizardTech MrSID. MrSID is used for offline compression of photographic content such as aerial photos to reduce disk storage requirements. AirZip Accelerator provides real time image acceleration for images served over the internet.