Riding the Internet Performance Lifecycle

July 30, 2015 Michael Kane

The Internet is critical to your business.  No longer one way to communicate with your customers, your web presence is now the single most important way everyone communicates with your business and thus how your business value is perceived.  

And so, you are heavily investing in better web assets, cloud-based services, content acceleration, and SaaS-based applications. To remain competitive and grow, you must drive increased revenues and decrease costs.  You are challenged to stay-to-plan because you are now basing your infrastructure on the Internet and everyday face issues of

  • Availability – keeping everything reachable and consistent

  • Speed – dealing with more content, more links and more data

  • Security - keeping your data and your customer’s privacy safe as it traverses the public Internet

Meeting these challenges takes money. Money spent on staff, partnerships and tools.  And even with an ever-increasing annual budget, you can’t seem to improve… you just stay even.  Managing Internet performance isn’t simple.  It takes a range of skills and insights to keep up.  

There is a way to change the game… a way to get ahead.  You need to make the Internet your competitive advantage… to make the Internet work for you.  The downside of using the Internet as your infrastructure is that it is complex, dynamic, often hidden. The upside of the Internet is that it that there are multiple paths everywhere and it is relatively easy to connect to any network you want.  An Internet performance approach is all about choosing the right paths at the right time and optimizing availability, speed, and security.  

The way to start using an Internet performance approach is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about how your customers get to you. Is the Internet connection from your customer to you available, fast, and secure?  ...And since the Internet is constantly changing – like every second of every day, you need to be vigilant…watching, choosing options and adjusting customer connections everyday.  

The best way to implement a vigilant approach is to follow a lifecycle best practice that can keep you ahead of problems and maximize your opportunities for increased revenue and decreased costs.

Internet Performance Lifecycle

  • Control – You must first manage ways you want your customers to traverse the Internet and come to you. This is typically done via authoritative DNS tables by service and by location.  You tell companies, such as ISPs, how their subscribers in varying geographies connect to your URLs.  ISPs locally store connections to URLs data (Recursive DNS) and get regular updates.

  • Monitor – You then need to monitor these choices to see if they are performing to your expectations. Events that change Internet behavior happen constantly. Every day there are millions of Internet changes, thousands of unintended redirects and thousands of outages. Eventually everyone is affected. This is even true if you are using cloud, CDN or SaaS providers. That’s right, you should monitor your cloud provider sites for speed, availability and security because now your customers are connecting to these Internet-connected services through a complex variety of networks and connections.  How are your selected providers serving your customers? Are they fast, consistent, and safe?  

  • Optimize – So now that you’re monitoring Internet connections from your customers, what happens when you see a problem? Completely stopping Internet connection problems is really not possible.  The idea is to see problems as early as possible and mitigate as fast as possible.  So you need to analyze your markets, see how different vendors serve these markets and proactively set up a migration plan. When alerts tell you that routes have been compromised, you switch to your alternative routes or load balance and on an issue move traffic to the good paths. Or, if new routes perform better than the ones you got, switch them.

Optimization changes don’t go into effect until the control is updated. In other words, update the tables in your authoritative DNS and propagate change to recursive DNS sites and reset monitoring.  So, a constant feedback loop is created to use the choices in the Internet to solve availability and security problems and maximize speed and reach.

Implementing changes to control system can be business affecting. A more complete Internet performance lifecycle is needed. By adding a testing step to changes you want to make through analyzing choices, you can load balance a small amount of traffic to a target market and monitor the results.  If all goes well, then the mitigation can be put in a waiting state or actively load balanced and put to use.  Routing improvements can be put in action after successful testing as well.

By monitoring your Internet infrastructure, understanding your options and constantly tuning your control, you can make the Internet a truly competitive tool that drives you to industry leadership.  Dyn understands your business challenges and can help you to leverage the power of the Internet now.

Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered, faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.

About the Author

Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Dyn. Michael leads the product marketing team in educating the industry about Dyn's suite of Internet Performance products. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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