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Application awareness is a term for systems that have built-in information or "awareness" about individual applications, in order to better interact with these applications.
The term "application awareness" is based on technologies like application-aware storage and application-aware networking.
In application-aware networking, application awareness helps the network to allocate resources for a given application. This feature is part of software-defined networking (SDN), where control for a network resides in a software application, rather than in a hardware setup. This goes along with other kinds of network innovations like network virtualization, where individual hardware machines are replaced with virtualized network components.
As new network paradigms began to take over, allowing users to eliminate some of the hands-on maintenance or manipulation of traditional hardware-driven systems, application awareness also emerged as a way to build more intelligent networks that could anticipate the needs of programs in order to work with them more efficiently. Experts point out that application-aware networks can take network queries from individual applications, and in some cases, can facilitate easier transaction channels. The same technologies may allow network administrators to get around requirements for network switches from top hardware vendors, or otherwise improve the efficiency of network administration and maintenance.