You Can’t Improve What You Can’t See

4 Questions Every IT Professionals Should be Asking to Improve Infrastructure and Applications Performance in the Cloud

The Internet is the most important tool in existence for modern business. Not only do most companies rely on the Internet to conduct business, many companies would not be in business were it not for the Web. As the Internet has grown, the growth of the cloud has emerged, leading more and more companies to transition from traditional in-house setups to remote operations for data storage, content delivery and other mission-critical needs that support sales, customer service and infrastructure needs.According to IDG, 87 percent of companies worldwide either currently use cloud services or plan to implement cloud technology in the near future.

And while large numbers of the fastest growing companies have successfully – and profitably – migrated to the cloud, too few of these companies fully understand how to monitor and interpret Internet Performance metrics or understand how to control the cloud to mitigate against outages and downtime. Without these metrics, it is difficult to ensure consistent, high performance end-user experiences. Without smart insights into cloud connectivity and performance, companies operating in the cloud cannot improve what they can’t seen.

Following are four questions IT executives should consider when assessing and improving their Internet infrastructure to make the most of their cloud assets.

What tools are you using to monitor your Internet infrastructure?

Every successful company in the Internet Age relies on metrics to understand and fine tune their business processes and monitoring your Internet infrastructure should be no different. While you may be monitoring your internal infrastructure and applications, what information do you have into external Internet infrastructure connections that your customers rely on to connect to your business? If connections to a specific datacenter goes down or a cloud provider can’t reach important markets, your System Admin should have the tools necessary to route traffic to another center to keep your services operational. And if you’re experiencing latencies or quality degradations, you need to know how to monitor for these issues if you want to optimize performance.

Do you measure for global availability?

What is availability and why can it impact your customer experiences in markets everywhere.? Determining availability means understanding if your service is available from your customers to your assets. Can the service be seen from the Internet and are your partners able to connect with your services? This is especially important to understanding the connection performance to your selected cloud providers and CDNs.

Impacts from availability issues can be significant. A recent Google cloud outage, which lasted for almost two hours, was related to an internal Google Cloud Platform issue related to its virtual network traffic routing. If your business was using a single cloud instance and you were not monitoring for network-wide availability, you would have experienced this outage and your availability would have been impacted.

How reachable is your Website?

Reachability has similar impacts on how your customers can access your Website and services. Reachability measures how well your Internet assets can reach important markets to you around the world – a measure from the Internet asset to the markets of interest. If your business is using a single cloud instance, an outage or failure will have a detrimental impact on reachability – and unless your business is monitoring your reachability and mitigating for failures, you are open to disruptions and have little choices for rerouting in the event of a disruptive event.

In the event of an outage, smart availability and reachability strategies will give your business an edge over competitors that are down, providing the end user experience that your customers expect, driving sales and building brand loyalty.

How do you detect and respond to outages?

It’s difficult for most companies to detect an Internet connection failure without a way to measure between your customers and your assets. If you cannot properly detect outages your business will not be in position to manage a response, mitigating the risk in a loss of sales, revenue and brand confidence and loyalty. Each day there are an average of 3,000 outages around the world on the Web. Many are minor, but  major disruptions do happen – and they can have a chilling effect on business. Monitoring your company’s Internet connections is half the battle; having the control to reroute through unaffected cloud providers or CDNs can help pivot away from disruptions, avoiding disruptions to your customers and protecting customer confidence and sales.

The Conclusion:

Visibility into your Internet Infrastructure gives you key insights into the way your customers are connecting to your business from points around the world in real-time. The ability to monitor, control and then optimize the user experience is what differentiates successful global enterprises from companies that are challenged to win competitive online market share and drive sales. Every business should be looking to improve speed, availability, reachability and Internet Performance. Smart Web monitoring tools are the first step to taking your Internet Performance to the next level.