ChinaCache is a leading solutions provider of Internet content and application delivery services in China. Through its distinctive three-tier Internet ecosystem, ChinaCache also offers Internet data center management, Internet Exchange operations and cloud hosting services. ChinaCache's network is interconnected with those operated by the three primary telecom carriers (China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom) and local Internet service providers (ISPs) in China.
ChinaCache partnered with Catchpoint to:
- Collect, visualize, and drill down into end user experience observability data.
- Detect issues such as latency and packet loss in their network architecture.
- Isolate content that is suffering from performance issues within a webpage or application.
- Manage service level agreement (SLA) requirements with both customers and vendors.
- Provide accurate and trustworthy third-party validation for their content delivery services.
Catchpoint gives me a ton of information. We can test a site and right away, Catchpoint will show us directly what’s loading and what isn’t loading. From my point of view, Catchpoint does a great job of giving me the details to really understand how a site or application is performing.
One of the biggest selling points for ChinaCache is their ability to deliver content from outside of the country to Chinese end users. Digital service delivery within China is notoriously diﬃcult due to the Great Firewall and the issues that it causes with network congestion, obstacles with network peering, and restrictions on content that originates from outside of the country.
These challenges necessitate a digital experience observability solution that gives ChinaCache complete visibility into all the layers of their network architecture to provide the best possible experience for their clients’ end users. Additionally, they need an accurate and trustworthy source of third-party observability data to provide insight during the pre- and post-sales processes in order to verify the advantages that they provide over their competitors.
The company selected Catchpoint's industry-leading digital experience observability tool as the best in breed solution.
The key to understanding the true nature of digital performance within China is to have as many vantage points as possible in order to detect localized packet loss or latency. This is one of the biggest reasons that ChinaCache elected to use Catchpoint as the primary observability vendor, as it gives them access to the largest global observer network across geographies and ISPs, including the most observers within China (55 observers in mainland China, covering 17 diﬀerent cities and six diﬀerent cloud providers and ISPs).
The advantages that ChinaCache gains from Catchpoint extends far beyond just collecting observability data. With numerous diﬀerent observer types and a powerful analytics tool, ChinaCache is able to use Catchpoint’s platform to gain insight into every layer of the service delivery and receive alerts whenever a performance degradation is detected.
Once an alert goes oﬀ, ChinaCache’s team immediately starts the troubleshooting process because they know that Catchpoint data is accurate and trustworthy due to the stateless node architecture and extensive automatic data validation. This means that they don’t have to waste time verifying whether or not the issue is real; they can start utilizing the diﬀerent observer types (depending on the nature of the problem) to pinpoint the root cause and quickly share it with the necessary internal team or third-party vendor to get the issue ﬁxed.
Pinpointing the root cause can be accomplished through a number of diﬀerent testing methods. The network operations team can gain insight into their HTTP and HTTP/2 requests via the web, transaction, API, and HTML code monitors. They can see if any content on the page is being blocked via single object tests, mobile, and browser emulation across all mainstream browsers. They can also understand the DNS performance through DNS Direct and DNS Experience tests with domain name overrides or identify latency via traceroute tests.
“Catchpoint gives me a ton of information. We can test a site and right away, Catchpoint will show us directly what’s loading and what isn’t loading. From my point of view, Catchpoint does a great job of giving me the details to really understand how a site or application is performing," says Tyler Ofria, ChinaCache solution engineering manager.
ChinaCache previously used a suite of tools to perform all this functionality. However, the ability to gain insight into digital performance and end-user experience, combined with the ease with which ChinaCache can set up tests, analyze data, and share the results, has led to them using Catchpoint for the vast majority of all their observability eﬀorts.
That usage has also been extended to the ChinaCache sales processes. During the proof of concept phase, their sales team sets up two web tests of the client’s site, one loading on their CDN and one from the client’s origin, to showcase the performance improvement that they gain from using ChinaCache’s delivery services. Then they set up two more using the request block feature in Catchpoint to isolate the content that’s being accelerated by them to showcase the direct improvement that they provide.
This also provides the customer with insight into what content is loading faster than others to highlight potential areas for improvement. These strategies are repeated and expanded upon during the duration of a client’s contract with ChinaCache to prove that they’re still delivering their service oﬀering.
“Because we have multiple diﬀerent types of alerts, it’s easier for us to triangulate and pinpoint whether an issue is due to a single server location, a whole ISP or cloud provider, or a whole geographic region. Catchpoint adds a lot of value because we can really tell if it’s just one customer or multiple customers that are being aﬀected," says Jimmy Cho, ChinaCache service delivery manager for Operations.
In addition, the tests from Catchpoint provide a high degree of granularity and enable ChinaCache prospects and customers to easily understand performance data thanks to Catchpoint’s advanced charting capabilities. Whether it’s a scatterplot to show individual test failures, a line chart for a simple and easily understandable overview, or a CDF chart to show the performance up to the 90th or 95th percentile, ChinaCache can present it with Catchpoint.