By Nathan Moore, EdgeCast/Verizon Web Performance Team
EdgeCast competes heavily on performance. We work very hard to make the Internet faster, more reliable, and more robust. One of the ways we do this is through our partnerships with third party monitors.
We measure our real-world performance constantly across the globe to ensure that we identify and react to any problems quickly and efficiently. The goal: eliminate any potential difficulty that can get between end users and their content.
Our friend and ally: third party monitors:
Our third party monitors help us to improve ourselves while providing the assurance and validation that our service legitimately performs to both our and our customer's expectations.
The below presentation was given recently at a small web performance conference, showing both the general operating theory behind our use of third party monitors and some specific use case examples demonstrating the value that they bring.
The use of synthetic and real world monitoring:
We use both synthetic and real world monitoring to ensure delivery quality and performance. This presentation shows three recent EdgeCast examples of how we deploy these testing techniques to optimize our vast, global network.
Transact: Launching a whole new global network
Launching a new product is always difficult. Doubly so when the word "worldwide" is attached to it. The challenge before us was to take our brand new Transact platform, complete with a brand new network and servers in over 20 brand new POPs around the world, and make it perform as well as our existing highly optimized network.
We relied extensively on third party monitors to both make this happen, and to demonstrate that we had succeeded.
IPv6: Deploying the future:
World IPv6 Day was designed to raise awareness that the future of the Internet is here, and that it's time to begin the needed transition away from IPv4 into the world of IPv6. EdgeCast participated, and deployed IPv6 throughout its extensive worldwide network.
But we needed to test: how did we know that we could deliver content across the IPv6 world? Using the RIPE/ATLAS probes to run worldwide traces gave us the data we needed to demonstrate that we could.
Competitive A/B testing: proving our performance:
It's not just the technology side of the business that needs to know how the EdgeCast network is performing. Our sales team depends heavily on the independent measurements provided by third party monitoring services.
This allows for A/B comparisons and independent confirmation of our performance claims. However, sometimes the monitoring services uncover some very odd and strange behavior, which requires some level of analysis to get at the root of.