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April - 2010 - issue > Technology

The Internet @ 15 : It's Still about Performance

Anshu Agarwal
Monday, March 29, 2010
Anshu Agarwal
There have been a lot of 15 year commemorations lately. 1995 was sort of the start of the commercial Internet as it’s the year in which Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay were all founded and the Internet Explorer came to life (Netscape Navigator came out the year before).

Another company was also founded right about this time; a company created to test and measure the performance of Websites. The name of that company is Keynote. For 15 years we’ve worked with all of the Internet giants, and also those that would like to become giants one day, helping them to understand how fast Web pages and online transaction load and how often their online properties are unavailable to their customers. We monitor thousands of businesses from 240 locations around the world. On any given day we take close to 400 million Internet and mobile measurements.

We’ve seen a lot in the wild wild west that is the Internet. And if you think that all the bugs and kinks have been worked out I’m here to tell you that performance isn’t one of them. You experience it every day and you can see how leading companies, in practically every industry, are doing on our indices (www.keynote.com/indices). In any given week, you’ll see leading retailers range in response time from 3 seconds to 30 seconds and banks from 5 seconds to 25 seconds.

Where do the performance problems on the Internet today come from? Well, from a myriad of sources to be sure, but Cisco’s recent announcement of a router capable of 322 terabits per second will not do much to change the problems we see everyday. Among Web operations teams, the widely used rule of thumb popularized by Google’s Steve Souders is that on an average 75 percent of bottlenecks happen on the front-end, in the browser.

When you switched from IE 6 to FireFox and felt like things were moving faster, you were right. Every subsequent version of FireFox has gotten faster and its rivals IE and Chrome have been battling over who’s faster in executing all the things you encounter on a Web page today when you update Facebook, reserve your weekend getaway at Zipcar, or collaborate on Google Wave.

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Reader's comments(2)
1:The larger competitor to Keynote is Compuware Gomez http://www.compuware.com/solutions/web-perfor mance-management.asp
Posted by: informed informed - 06th Apr 2010
2:Not true. Keynote is the market leader as the ONLY independent stand-alone publicly-traded company completely devoted to measuring/managing/improving the mobile and online experiece from \"outside the firewall\" to provide the true end user experience.
dan charles berkowitz replied to: informed informed post - 09th Apr 2010
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