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UK firms could be missing out on international business opportunities by relying on cloud service providers (CSP) that are ill-placed to meet the user experience expectations of their customers.
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According to internet performance monitoring supplier Dyn, UK retailers and e-commerce firms are well-served by cloud providers that operate in Europe, but can run into difficulties when trying to decide whose services to use when expanding internationally.
Speaking to Computer Weekly, Paul Heywood, European vice-president and managing director of Dyn, said many firms make these decisions without taking into account if the locations they use are capable of providing a good, responsive website to their customers.
“When we deal with traditional businesses or Forbes Global 2000 companies, they are fundamentally using guesswork, and there’s really no thought or understanding about their ability to serve customers,” he said.
This is of particular note when it comes to pinpointing a provider that can deliver the level of latency required to ensure users enjoy a consistent user experience while using their websites to browse or make purchases, for example, said Heywood.
To address this the company is preparing to put its software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool, Internet Intelligence, on general release, which is designed to provide organisations with a real-time view of how their chosen cloud provider is performing.
This is based on the feedback provided by the 200 or so sensors Dyn has placed in datacentres around the world, explained Heywood, that enable the company to paint a live picture of how the internet is connecting and performing globally.
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The insights are already used by some of the world’s biggest internet brands, but the aim of Internet Intelligence is to make it more accessible and easier for smaller firms to interpret this data, he added.
“It’s aimed at organisations that are leveraging cloud computing, or content delivery networks (CDN) to deliver content to new and exciting regions around the world or much more media-rich websites. We’ve simplified everything for them,” Heywood continued.
If, for example, a company is on the hunt for a cloud provider with datacentres capable of serving up their website to users in Singapore with minimal latency, the tool will allow them to check the availability and performance of CSPs that fit the bill.
Users will also be able to use the tool to look back at how providers have performed over the past 90 days to help inform their decisions about who to trust their internet workloads with, said Heywood.
At present, the service is able to monitor the performance of Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, SoftLayer and DigitalOcean, but Dyn plans to grow the number of providers covered by Internet Intelligence over time.
Furthermore, Heywood said Dyn also has designs on introducing the concept of automation to the platform, so if performance falters customer workloads will automatically be shifted to another facility.
“If they’re deploying cloud infrastructure all around the world, and they’re using this tool to work out what the performance is going to be, it gives you the ability to have your traffic management system sitting above that like a post office sorting office, directing things to different locations” he said.
“The vision for Dyn and our next product release is a real-time traffic director, which is going to automate these two things together and automatically steer traffic to CDNs based on their real-time performance, using this data.”