Reality: Monitoring helps diagnose problems, but doesn’t solve them.
There’s a reason the Internet is often represented as a cloud: we can’t see what’s going on inside this network of networks. The advent of sophisticated monitoring tools gave network operations groups alerts and the data to diagnose what might be causing poor network performance. The most common culprits include:
- Congestion: Traffic jams on the Internet are inevitable. With the volume of rich content growing and the sheer number of Internet users–estimated at half the world’s population–congestion slows down traffic.
- BGP Convergence: In Myth #8, we explained that BGP only governs which Autonomous System (AS) to route to next. This can cause a phenomenon known as BGP convergence, where traffic gets stuck in an Internet “eddy” and is routed in an infinite loop between AS’s until finally cycling out.
- Outages: No network is infallible, as widely reported outages for AWS, Google and Azure confirm. These network failures disrupt and often bring traffic to a standstill.
- Government regulation: Governments often have an interest in controlling the free flow of information, and that means controlling Internet access. As noted in Myth #6, China’s Great Firewall is a prominent example that causes severe packet loss.
Monitoring tools can help you pinpoint the cause of an issue and explain delays. They can also assign blame to your ISP, cloud service provider, or customer’s network. However, sometimes monitoring can only provide middle-of-the-night alerts for problems that are out of your control.
Monitoring is always a good idea, but on its own is just not enough (if you plan to have at least 6 hrs of sleep). Internet issues can be solved through direct connection to your customers over expensive private lines that you have control over, or deploying a solution to direct dynamic traffic for best performance. A cost-effective option are Teridion’s on-demand fast lanes through the Internet. With a performance overlay service built on 15+ top public cloud networks, your application traffic can bypass Internet Backbone problems without dependency on any single network provider. And you can sleep through the night.
If you are a SaaS provider and want to learn more about how to optimize your end-to-end Internet throughput, here’s how to get started: