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Professional BizTalk® Server 2006 by Ewan Fairweather, Kevin B. Smith, Darren Jefford

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10.1. What Is Low Latency?

First, let's discuss what we mean by latency in the context of BizTalk Server. Latency is the time that a message spends within BizTalk, in other words it is the time that BizTalk takes to process a message. For a one-way scenario, this is the time from when the message is received at the Receive adapter to the time when the message is sent out via the Send adapter. For a two-way scenario, the latency is the time from when the message is received to the time when the response message is returned by the Request-Response adapter. Ideally, this should be measured starting at the time the message reaches the Receive adapter and ending at the time the Send adapter completes the transmission of the message — in other words, the amount of time spent in BizTalk.

Out of the box, BizTalk Server is tuned for optimum throughput. In other words, it is tuned to get as many messages through per second as possible. This fact says nothing about how long individual messages take to process. "So what?" you might say. Well, as it turns out, this is at odds with aggressive low-latency processing. In a high-throughput scenario, you may well be able to process 100 messages per second. But the processing time for each message may average 1000 ms (the average time that a message is within BizTalk from the time it is received by the adapter on the receive side to the time it is sent out by the adapter on the send side). Conversely, a low-latency system may only be capable of ...

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