Beyond CDNs: How to Harness the Next Phase of Innovation in Web Performance


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  • Ilya will speak to this
  • We are a 4 year old venture-backed company.Our product, Yottaa Performance Cloud, sits between your server and your visitors, and accelerates mobile and web performance, improving user engagement and conversions.
  • In today’s talk, we’ll cover:5 Forces Transforming the WebModern Web’s Performance BottlenecksEmerging Technologies & Best PracticesCase StudiesOur speakers today are: Greg Lazar, formerly of Akamai; and Bob Buffone, CTO of Yottaa. He’s spent the past decade helping enterprises web-enable their business applications, and is a frequent speaker on web performance.
  • SHORT INTR0 – 39 years in software, high tech; including 15 years in internet and CDN; 7 years with Akamai; currently an independent consultant in the Boston area.Since I started my live, marketing events business over the internet in 2000 many things have changed.Today I will be discussing the five forces – some evolutionary, some revolutionary – that have dramatically transformed the web over the past decade.It’s important to understand these forces, so that your future investments are addressing the new realities.Let’s take a look at each of them, and how they relate to performance, and business goals.
  • First factor: Explosion of MobileThe past several years have seen explosive growth of mobile devices (smart phones and tablets).From the dawn of the commercial web to as recently as 2004 or 2005, we’ve primarily had to worry about the desktop PC.Now, with the mobile revolution, there are HUNDREDS of browser/device combinations to worry about - to code for, to test for.Why is this so important? Well, consider these facts: [go to next slide]
  • The size and growth of mobile represents an enormous opportunity for us all.There’s already billions of dollars being transacted on mobile devices.Mobile traffic accounts for as much as 25-50% of many sites, and that will only increase over time. Almost half of all retail transactions are from Mobile.Performance matters:Impacts engagement, purchase, conversions, etc.Slow web performance directly impacts conversionsThe effect is more severe for mobile websitesMobile provides less feedback, increases frustration[Mention some stats from the slide] In the 2005 timeframe while at Akamai, we spent a lot of effort to develop the ROI that comes with increased performance. Today, most businesses already get the ROI, but they don’t know how to attain the performance gains in this new environment
  • 2nd Factor: The Web has been growing more complexOn this chart, we see how both the MEMORY footprint of the page, and # of PAGE ASSETS, or requests, has grown over time.In the beginning, we had a server, a simple HTML file, and a couple images;Today’s web pages are complex, rich, distributed applications.Here’s a typical example: the homepage:This page is over 2 Megabytes in size, with over 200 page assets,dozens of javascripts and HTML files, all being pulled from almost 70 different domains – many of which likely doesn’t control!So – what does all this complexity mean for PERFORMANCE? Let’s take a look…
  • Not surprisingly, the more complex a site is, the worse its performance is.Here’s a result of a recent study of 14,000 web sites across a wide range of industries. What we see here is that the more complex a site is – whether you measure that in terms of page memory footprint, or # of Javascripts, # of images, or pretty much any other content metric – the WORSE performance is. After all – it takes time and effort to get, load and display the content.
  • The 3rd aspect of the changing web is that it’s social. Now, in many ways that’s obviously a good thing. We want people sharing, telling their friends, embedded content from one site on another. But the presence of all these 3rd party widgets – whether it’s social widgets, analytics, content, etc. – has a huge impact on performance.Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Analytics, You Tube all interact within a given websiteHere’s some more data – from the same study – showing that the more domains a site pulls content from, the worse, on average, performance is.SOURCE? 2013 IR500 sales study , with > 1,000 URL’s
  • Let’s step back and take a look at the bigger pictureThe fourth element of the web’s evolution is that today, there’s an extremely complex application delivery chain. And if you think about it, most of it is out of our control!First, we have the data center: yes, you have some control over how your site is architected and hosted; but even then, as soon as you include 3rd party tags, widgets – your website is at the mercy of the 3rd party.In the middle mile, if you’re using a CDN, then you do have some control over just how your content is delivered;. but beyond that: you have no control over what last mile connection your visitor is accessing your site; no control over their device/browser/operating system; or where on the page they decide to click, how they choose to navigate and interact within your site. THIS APPLICATION CHAIN IS CRITICAL TO UNDERSTAND AKAMAI AND OTHER HOSTING AND CDN PROVIDERS HAVE OVERCOME THE INHERENT OBSTACLES OF THE PUBLIC INTERNET, but gaining control over the end to end process is the challenge.
  • And last but not least, there’s a real transformation happening in how businesses think about performance.Traditionally, the CDN value prop is about site speed, and scale and reliability. The key metrics are things like:Connection time to the serverBandwidth% of content offloadToday, delivering the bits is necessary, but NOT sufficient.Arguably even more important are the higher-level business goals, around USER ENGAGEMENT. with, that, the key metrics become things like:How fast does the browser starts to renderHow soon can the visitor interact with the page, or mobile appIs the content delivered “just in time”?, is the content presented when it’s needed?The key metrics of user engagement are things like time on site, conversion and purchase rates, reducing abandonment.This is a different way to think about performance. But if you think of it this way, the approaches and technologies to optimize on THESE dimensions require us to think way beyond CDNs and what CDNs can do.
  • So given these 5 forces transforming the web, you can see that the CDN vendors solved the inherent bottlenecks of the public internet over the last decade. And companies like Akamai, Limelight, Level3 and Edgecast will continue to make their CDN services better. But the real problem to be addressed is the last mile/first mile challenges really accentuated by the explosion of mobile devices.There are some exciting new developements to address today’s performance bottlenecks. Now, I’d like to bring on Bob Buffone, the CTO and co-founder of Yottaa to describe some of the solutions that go beyond the CDN
  • Beyond CDNs: How to Harness the Next Phase of Innovation in Web Performance

    1. 1. © 2013 Yottaa, Inc. All Rights Yottaa, Inc. 160 Federal Street Boston, MA 02110 October 1, 2013 Beyond CDNs: How To Harness the Next Phase of Innovation in Web Performance Greg Lazar (former VP and GM at Akamai) Bob Buffone (Yottaa CTO)
    2. 2. Yottaa: Accelerate Mobile and Web Businesses 2 Founded: 2009 Customers: eCommerce Mission-critical websites across… Financial Services Media Software-as a-Service Consumer Goods Business Services Electronics Enterprise Software Data Center Locations30+ Product: Yottaa Performance Cloud Performance Cloud
    3. 3. Agenda • 5 Forces Transforming the Web • Modern Web’s Performance Bottlenecks • Emerging Technologies & Best Practices • Case Studies from Media & E-Commerce 3 Greg Lazar: former General Manager & VP at Akamai Bob Buffone: Chief Technical Officer at Yottaa
    4. 4. The 5 Forces Transforming the Web (It’s not your father’s internet!) 4
    5. 5. 1: Explosion of Mobile 5 Global Internet Devices Shipment (2005 to 2016, Unit: 500M) Must Optimize for 200+ Combinations of Browser, Device, OS (Source: Business Insider Mobile Report 2012) 2005 Personal Computers Smartphones Tablets 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012E 2013E 2014E 2015E 2016E
    6. 6. Web Performance is Key to mCommerce 64% OF SMARTPHONE USERS EXPECT PAGES TO LOAD IN UNDER 4s $1Bn APPAREL & ACCESSORIES PURCHASES in Q113 71% Of all retail transactions SMARTPHONE USERS SHOP VIA MOBILE 48% Expect mobile to be faster than desktop 85% Will go to a competitor to transact 42% Will never return to your site 29%
    7. 7. 2) The Web is More Complex 7 Growth of Webpage Footprint & Number of Requests (1995 to 2012) (Sources: Demenech 2007, Gomez 2008, Charzinski 2010, Souders 2012) Ajax / HTML5 Becomes Mainstream • 2.3 MB • 209 assets • 54 javascripts • 29 HTML files • 67 domains Example:
    8. 8. Content Complexity Hurts Performance 8
    9. 9. 3) The Web is More Social 9 - 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 1-5 6-10 11-20 21-40 41+ TimetoInteract(msec) # of Domains # of Domains vs. Time to Interact Source: Yottaa 2013 study of IR500 sites
    10. 10. 4) A Complex Application Delivery Chain Data Center Middle Mile Last Mile Front End User Interactivity
    11. 11. 5) Performance is About User Engagement 11 CDN Value Proposition 2013 Business Goals Time to Start Render Time to Interact Just-in-Time Content Time on Site Bounce Rate Conversion Rate Connection Time Time to First Byte Bytes/Second Time to Last Byte Content Offload 1000…STOP …0001 Site Speed 0010001/sec User Engagement J-I-T Delivering bits is necessary, but NOT sufficient.
    12. 12. The 5 Forces Transforming the Web 12 1 The Mobile Web Complex Sites & Mobile Apps 2 3 The Social Web Data Center Middle Mile Last Mile Front End User Interactivity 2013 Business Goals Time to Start Render Time to Interact Just-in-Time Content Time on Site Bounce Rate Conversion Rate User Engagement J-I-T 4 5 Complex Application Delivery Chain Redefinition of “Web Performance”
    13. 13. Today’s Performance Problems (and Solutions) 13
    14. 14. 2013: Front End is the Bottleneck 14 332 355 1,391 2,493 6,019 7,519 - 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 Time to First Byte Time to Last Byte Time to Title Time to Start Render Time to Display Time to Interact Time (msec) Page Loading Timeline (Internet Retailer 500 sites) Back End Front End
    15. 15. Drilling Down Further… 15
    16. 16. 16 That Was Then (Old Way)… …This Is NOW (New Way) Linear Loading and Rendering of Entire Page Context-specific, Just-in- Time Rendering of Content vs. • Deliver all the content, code, styling and imagery for the webpage whether the user needs or wants it • Deliver a single user experience for both mobile and desktop visitors • Not plan for mobile user • Sacrifice user experience metrics to deliver everything at once • Retrieve the content as the use requires it • Understand what the user requires in real-time and fetch it for them • Understand that devices are different and what the user needs for each device may be different • Keep important user experience metrics fast
    17. 17. 17 That Was Then (Old Way)… Server-side Latency in Delivering Dynamic Content • Deliver all the content, code, styling and imagery for the webpage whether the user needs or wants it • Deliver a single user experience for both mobile and desktop visitors • Not plan for mobile user • Sacrifice user experience metrics to deliver everything at once
    18. 18. Delivery of Dynamic Content: Today Client Web Server Server page Processing World Wide Web 1. Client requests a dynamic page 2. Server returns the Dynamic page Page Rendering and Processing
    19. 19. InstantON™: A Breakthrough Innovation Yottaa InstantON™ accelerates dynamic applications in ways never possible before: Client Web Server Network 2b. Yottaa requests the page from the web server 2a. Yottaa immediately returns a partial page from its cache 1. Client requests a dynamic page 3a. Server returns a new page3b. Returns page delta and client processing instructions Page Rendering and Processing Server page Processing Page Processing Partial Page Delivery Page Delta
    20. 20. 20 Unnecessarily Large Size and Quantity of Serially-delivered Assets That Was Then… Front End Optimization (FEO) Techniques …This Is NOW
    21. 21. Front End Optimization Problems: Solutions: Large Assets Lots of Requests Serialization Reduce # of Requests: • Combine Scripts and Images • Combine images with Sprites • Employ data URIs Reduce Asset Weight: • Use Gzip • Minify Scripts • Use Lossy and Lossless Image Compression Parallel Processing: • Load 3rd Party Assets Asynchronously • Use Domain Sharding • Use Intelligent Script Loaders
    22. 22. 22 That Was Then (Old Way)… …This Is NOW (New Way) Commitment to Single CDN Vendor CDN Federation vs. • Sign on CDN contract and be locked in via contract for 2 years and via integration effort for longer • Suffer bad performance in certain regions • Costly software changes to code to integrate fully with CDN • Solve only a small part of the performance problem • Deliver the best performance for your visitor in all regions • Integration is done automatically to multiple CDNs • Single API can control and manage all CDNs • No software changes required
    23. 23. 23 That Was Then (Old Way)… …This Is NOW (New Way) “One-Size-Fits-All” Optimizations Device-specific Optimizations vs. • Least common denominator approach to web performance • Leave mobile un-optimized • Think about your application as mobile vs. desktop • No possible way to deliver great performance without the capital of Facebook or Google • Target all device profiles with a best fit strategy • Understand there are at least 3 application scenarios:  Mobile site on mobile  Standard site on mobile  Desktop site on desktop • Deliver on the potential 1000s of combinations of device, browser and network limitations of your users
    24. 24. 24 That Was Then (Old Way)… …This Is NOW (New Way) Performance Delivered by DevOps & Your Infrastructure Performance Delivered via the Cloud vs. • After the release ask operations and development to fix the performance issues • Operations tells Business: “We need a hardware upgrade” (p.s. It will only fix part of the problem) • Development tells Business: “We will put this into the next release” (p.s. It will only fix part of the problem) • Both operations and development tells Business: “We need a new platform” (p.s. It will only fix part of the problem) • Business can see the correlation of performance and business metrics • Business can solve with the help of operations and development the complete problem • Business can easily predict both the cost and the ROI of solving performance problems
    25. 25. 25 Inability to Deal with 3rd Party Tags That Was Then… Performance-focused Tag Management …This Is NOW
    26. 26. Applying the Best Practices: Examples from the Field 26
    27. 27. Your Servers 27 Yottaa Solution Search Engines Browsers Web Visitors: Mobile Performance Cloud Cloud Firewall Federated CDN Front End Optimization Application Sequencing User Engagement Visibility 1 2 3
    28. 28. Case Study: Brit Awards • “The British Grammys”: The biggest event in the British music industry’s calendar • Millions of daily page views during peak 28
    29. 29. User Experience Improved ~50% 29 - 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 5.00 Time to Start Render Time to Interact Time(sec) Without Yottaa With Yottaa
    30. 30. Dramatic Reduction in Infrastructure Load 30 97% reduction in requests and bytes offloaded to Yottaa network Sailed through traffic spikes
    31. 31. Thank You