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Catchpoint In the News – October 2021: The One Where WebPageTest Shines and Facebook Goes Dark

Read our monthly roundup of Catchpoint in the news, including details of our analysis of the Facebook outage and the first year anniversary of WebPageTest and Catchpoint.

In the News: October 2021

October’s media coverage of Catchpoint began with a bang: An extensive deep dive by Catchpoint experts into the root cause of the extraordinary global outage that crippled social media lynchpins such as Facebook and Instagram for several hours. From there, topics such as the growing importance of digital experience monitoring and the value of WebPageTest took center stage.

Catchpoint CMO Nik Koutsoukos’s article in Datamation explored the importance of digital experience to a global workforce where remote and hybrid work has become prevalent. While delivering a great digital experience is rapidly turning into a competitive differentiator for many companies, IT must do so across an increasingly complex environment.

“If you’re going to give your people the best possible digital experience no matter where they are, you need to expand your observability perspective. Metrics from employee devices will continue to provide an important piece of the puzzle.
But to get the full picture, you should augment them with as much data as you can pull from everything else upstream — from the networks, services, every online service that touches an employee session, all the way to as close to the application you can get. In other words, remove as many blind spots as you can.”
Nik Koutsoukos, CMO, Catchpoint

Cloudways Review 2021: The Good & Bad (Honest Thoughts)

October 28, 2021 | Design Bomb

The folks at Design Bomb reviewed hosting provider Cloudways. The hands-on analysis covered topics ranging from key features, pricing, and support to user experience and performance. For the latter, the reviewers set up a real test site on Cloudways and turned to Catchpoint’s popular WebPageTest tool to collect performance metrics, taking the median value from running nine different tests.

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5 Tips to Improve the Core Web Vitals of WordPress Websites

October 28, 2021 | HACKER NOON

Google now uses its Core Web Vitals (CWV) user experience metrics as part of the ranking process for webpages. This means that the slower the web page, the lower the organic rankings. The takeaway here is that it is vital to focus on the CWV of your site. Since WordPress powers about 42 percent of all the websites, Hacker Noon pulled out five tips for improving the CWV for WordPress sites. Once again, WebPageTest was the go-to (and Google-recommended) tool for testing vital stats such as server response and image optimization.

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What Digital Experience Monitoring Means for Network Teams

October 27, 2021 | TECHTARGET

Digital experience monitoring (DEM) is on the rise. In fact, Gartner expects enterprise adoption to grow from 15 percent in 2020 to 70 percent by 2025. So how can network teams make the most of it? TechTarget runs through some of the driving factors behind the rise in DEM usage, as well as providing a good explanation of why it matters.

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The Trade-offs of Third-party Add-ons

October 26, 2021 | PRACTICAL ECOMMERCE

While third-party apps and add-ons can do everything from improving customer support to boosting data analytics, they can also slow a site down if improperly integrated or managed. As we know, Google now will drop slow pages lower in its rankings. This article offers tips for avoiding problems from add-ons. WebPageTest was a top recommendation for analyzing issues’ impact on site speed and user experience.

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How Much is Digital Employee Experience Worth in a Post-Pandemic World?

DATAMATION | October 25, 2021

As mentioned in the introduction, Datamation published an article from Catchpoint CMO Nik Koutsoukos. The piece delves into the increasing business value of delivering flawless digital experience as remote and hybrid work becomes the new normal. While IT is under pressure to deliver, they must first figure out how to do so across a complex environment that sprawls across data centers, cloud providers, backbone networks, and a vast array of ISPs. Here, the ability to build broad visibility across that environment is critical to success.

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Incident Review for the Facebook Outage

DZONE | October 18, 2021

DZone published an extensive Catchpoint incident review, first published on our blog. The authors, Alessandro Improta, Zach Henderson, and Anna Jones, conducted a thorough analysis of the significant—and highly unusual—outage that simultaneously knocked Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus VR offline for about five hours on October 4, 2021.  The global outage triggered trickle-down performance problems with many websites due to the ubiquity of Facebook and marketing tags.

The authors note that, “Troubleshooting in these types of instances is rarely straightforward. In Facebook’s case, the symptoms were HTTP and DNS errors.” However, as is now well known, BGP was ultimately the root cause. Facebook’s postmortem showed that the problems stemmed from a maintenance routine job performed by Facebook staff aimed at assessing the availability of global backbone capacity, which backfired in (unintentionally) taking down all the connections in their backbone network. “As a consequence, the Facebook routers couldn't speak to their data centers and this triggered a safety mechanism in which the BGP routes towards their DNS servers were withdrawn from the network.”

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Looking for More?

Ready to learn more about the benefits you can gain working with Catchpoint? Take a look at our Digital Experience Monitoring platform and find out we can do for you!

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