Blog Post

How can companies improve Network and API performance?

Leo Vasiliou, Director of Product Marketing and former IT practitioner, shares how companies can improve Network and API performance.

In this bi-weekly micro webinar series, Catchpoint and ITOps Times have partnered to explore six critical topics that are essential for ensuring Internet Resilience for your business.  

Explore each of the topics in the series:  

  1. Why should you care about Internet Resilience?  
  1. Introducing IPM: How does it help?
  1. How can Internet Resilience help eCommerce players drive more revenue?  
  1. (This Post) How can companies improve Network and API performance?
  1. How can companies improve their employees’ digital experience?  
  1. How can you improve conversions on your website?  

In this fourth segment, we’ll discuss techniques for enhancing Network and API performance by implementing Internet Performance Monitoring.  

Now, let’s get into the episode!  

How can companies improve Network and API performance?  

Watch the live Q&A with Leo Vasiliou, Director of Product Marketing, or read the video transcript below.

Video Transcript

Dave Rubinstein

Hello everyone, and thanks for joining us for episode four in this six-part ITOps Times live micro webinar series on Internet Resilience with our sponsor Catchpoint. Here’s a quick recap to bring us all up to date. In episode one, we introduced the idea of Internet Resilience as a way to truly understand how users and customers experience your business. We noted that the Internet is like electricity in that every organization depends upon it.  

In episode two, we discussed how Internet Performance Monitoring could help get traditional application performance monitoring all the way to the end-user experience and pointed out that it’s not an either/or between APM and IPM – you should do both. Last time, we saw how Internet outages impact eCommerce and digital retail business, citing an average of 76 disruptions per month that have been shown to cost organizations between 100,000 and five million dollars. Also, 61% of respondents to a survey said they needed a tool to help them with Internet performance monitoring. That brings us up to speed. All these sessions are available on itopstimes.com under the Learning Center tab in the black bar at the top under the Webinars category. You can watch them at your leisure on demand.  

Today, we’ll discuss how organizations can improve their network and API performance. With us is Leo Vasiliou, Catchpoint’s Director of Product Marketing. Welcome Leo!

Leo Vasiliou

Thank you very much, Dave. I’m happy to be here. As you mentioned, I’m currently part of our Product Marketing organization with the goal of helping IT professionals have better conversations with the business. I bring 16 years of OPS and practitioner experience to the table, and I’m also the author of our annual reliability report. Once again, thank you so much for your time today.

Dave Rubinstein

Well, thank you. Alright, so let’s get into it. I understand that a recent Forrester study on APIs touched on the areas of performance, and I’m hoping you can share some of the results with us.

Leo Vasiliou

Absolutely. And if I hit the present button here, there’s one critical slide to discuss. Is that coming through okay?

Dave Rubinstein

It certainly is.

Leo Vasiliou

So, Forrester Consulting conducted a study commissioned by Catchpoint. They asked several hundred eCommerce companies with over 1,000 employees to research the cost and impact of Internet disruptions. One of the questions they asked, well, actually, they asked two separate questions, and then they performed this correlation here – how challenging is it for your company to identify disruptions? And let’s look at the red bars on the left. The category we’re testing is Internet Performance Monitoring on smaller systems; the blue bars in the middle indicate Internet Performance Monitoring for only the most critical systems, and then the green bars on the right do Internet Performance Monitoring across the full Internet Stack and enterprise, where API and gateways were one of the critical components that they could choose. Within those categories, the general trend and directionality decreases the more you go from testing on smaller systems on the left to testing and monitoring the full Internet stack and enterprise on the right.  

Having said that, if we return to the presentation and stop sharing, it brings me to what I wanted to say to answer your question. There’s this adage, something to the effect of, “You cannot improve what you don’t measure.” Sometimes we get people that like to be a little nitpicky and say, well, what if you accidentally improve it, to which I say, OK, fine. In this case, we rephrase and say, “You’re not going to know by how much.” So that’s why I thought that was the most relevant piece of data from the study. You can see the “why” in the “how much”. So the short answer to start digging further is: to improve performance, you must first measure it.

Dave Rubinstein

So how specifically do you guys monitor Internet traffic outages, disruptions, and things of that nature?

Leo Vasiliou

There is a critical trend to surface as a context for the general nature of this conversation. We have always heard about more and more assets going to the edge. However, we are seeing the critical trend: more types of assets are going to the edge, including functions. So computing is going further to the edge as well.  

These different components are different in different parts of the world. So, think about it right now: your home ISP, my home ISP, and the home ISPs of the people listening to us today who’ve generously given us some of their precious time. These are different dimensions. Like, home ISPs and the various edge providers that people use. These are parts of what we’re discussing. These are examples of what we measure. Now that we’ve set the context, let’s get back to the essence of your question. So that’s what essentially is encapsulated when we talk about Internet Performance Monitoring – gaining visibility into Internet Stack components such as traffic, availability, performance, reach, and reliability - where traditional agent-based APM have no reach. That’s the APM versus IPM handoff you were talking about. The Internet Stack is our direct, maniacal focus when discussing the end user’s experience.

Dave Rubinstein

Right. A few years back, you guys were into what you called Digital Experience Monitoring. I guess this takes it a step further from your capabilities at that time.

Leo Vasiliou

I agree, and it’s a great lead in. The way I talk about it is not unlike how monitoring evolved into what we now talk about observability. The capabilities were upgraded to meet the needs of the world we live in now. In the same vein, we’re really talking about an evolution of capabilities from the traditional “hey, am I up?” to now managing the complexity of architectures and distribution of services that are different for every person in the world. I’ve coined the phrase, “Everyone’s got a different performance fingerprint.” You need the ability to match that fingerprint to, for example, know where to focus your precious optimization activities and where to spend the precious few minutes of time you have today to make things better.

Dave Rubinstein

Yes, and we all know how damaging it could be to organizations when there’s a disruption or an outage and the amount of money it costs them all. This seems like a no-brainer for organizations to start looking at that.

Leo Vasiliou

It’s a no-brainer. It is not a risky shiny-like crypto, for example. Yeah, I agree.  

Dave Rubinstein

So that’s really about all the time that we have for today. Leo Vasiliou, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate your time.

Leo Vasiliou

Thank you, Dave. You are most welcome. Thank you to everyone who took the time to join and listen to us today.

Dave Rubinstein

Yes, I’d like to thank those listeners as well who’re spending a few minutes with us. We hope you’ll join us on June 1st for episode 5, when ITOps Times Online and Social Media Editor Katie D will step into the moderator’s chair. They’ll discuss improving employees’ digital experience and how Internet Performance Monitoring can do that. So, until we talk next, I’m Dave Rubenstein, Editor-in-Chief of ITOps Times, so long for now.

Internet Performance Monitoring
Enterprise
News & Trends
API Monitoring
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