AppNeta | The Path

Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Provider Scorecard

Earlier this week, our Cloud Performance Center (CPC) detected a connectivity loss that occurred at Amazon’s EC2 data center in northern Virginia. The CPC is powered by our PathView Cloud tool, which monitors network path performance into and out of the key datacenters of several major cloud service providers across the U.S. As part of the free CPC service, we issued a Performance Advisory later that same day, informing cloud service consumers and other interested parties about the location, nature and duration of the problem. 

The point of this whole exercise is not some kind of ‘gotcha’ network management. In fact, Amazon and the other providers we monitor do a great job of providing reliable services. The point is that when the Internet is involved, stuff happens.

If your company is one of the many that has already moved critical applications into the Cloud, you need to know about that “stuff’ quickly and whether or not it’s affecting your operations.  You need to know what is going on not only at your provider’s datacenter, but more importantly, between your Cloud provider and your customers and employees. 

To gain that critical insight, you need the network-path perspective.  That’s what our PathView Cloud tool and our CPC resources deliver. 

Cloud computing is a great technological advancement that has already delivered lots of value.  But we’re only scratching the surface of what the cloud approach can do for us.  For cloud computing to live up to all the hype, we all need a greater understanding and awareness of the network paths that go to, through and from the cloud. 

Apparent Networks is already there!

Last week we announced the new Cloud Performance Center (CPC) – a free online service that offers performance data on leading cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google and GoGrid as well as performance reports and advisories on issues that can affect customers’ LAN, WAN and cloud-based infrastructures.

One of the key features of the CPC service is the Cloud Provider Scorecard (CPS). Based upon PathView Cloud technology, the Cloud Provider Scorecard is a free web-based monitoring system that continuously tracks the performance of cloud service providers from various cities throughout North America. The map below shows the main CPS screen which scores how each provider performs from these cities and highlights the best performing provider in each city.

The CPS can be customized to match your particular needs. For example, you can adjust the performance characteristics used in the scoring algorithm to more closely match the service you’re running, choose which providers you’re interested in, and choose the cities from which to measure. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind when using the scorecard to assess your cloud connection and the performance of your outsourced cloud services – for free!

1.  The CPS allows you to choose the cities that are of most relevance to your business as well as the providers that are of most interest to you.  Click on the “Select cities and providers” button to see a full list and select the ones that you would like to see.  The chart will automatically update based upon your selections.

2.  The CPS uses a proprietary algorithm to score each provider.  Inputs to this algorithm include jitter, packet loss, latency and bandwidth capacity.  You can adjust this algorithm to meet your specific needs  (e.g. transaction processing has different requirements than data backup) by clicking on the “Customize scoring” button.

3.  Roll your cursor over any city and you will see how the leading
provider performed in that city.

4. The CPS keeps track of the performance data over time and therefore you can see how various providers perform over a selectable timeframe. To do that, click on the timeline below the map.

5. We have just added a new feature –  a heat map that shows you how any one provider is performing across North America. And, we will soon be adding new cities and providers.  If you have a favorite provider or city that is not represented or have feature ideas, please let us know  by sending an email to hero@apparentnetworks.com.

If you work in enterprise IT, there’s a good chance you’re heading down the road to outsourcing some of your key applications to a cloud service provider. While considering your options, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, make sure that you know what you’ll need from the cloud provider. All the major providers offer a growing list of service options. Stay focus on your ‘must-haves’ and on the service levels your provider will commit to for them.

It is equally important for you to understand how those services will work where you’ll actually be using them. That means not just inside the cloud provider’s ultra-modern, over-provisioned data centers, but past their firewall all the way out to your company’s key locations. This includes geographies where most of your customers are and where you have office locations.

In a way, it’s similar to buying a car. That Ferrari Testarossa in the dealer’s showroom sure is an awesome machine. But if you’re always going to use it to get to your mountain cabin at the end of a logging road, you’ll be much better off making a different choice.

Therein lies the key question: How will it work for my particular purposes in my specific locations. Up until today, it was very difficult to get specific metrics on cloud service provider performance over distributed networks, and it was impossible to get such measurements for the specific destinations that matter to you.

But today, Apparent Networks has changed the status quo with the launch of our Cloud Performance Center. With the new free service, we’re delivering cloud service provider performance information in context – where the context is your business.

The Cloud Performance Center (CPC) is truly a first-of-its-kind service. CPC visitors get instant access to real-time and historical data on how well – or how poorly – leading cloud services providers Like Amazon, Google GoGrid perform not only inside their firewalls, but all the way out to your end points – where the rubber meets the road. As part of the CPC, we’re also providing reports and advisories on topical issues that can impact users’ abilities to interact with the Internet and cloud service providers. Learn more by reading the press release.

There’s nothing like driving a Ferrari – but not if you wind up in a ditch every day. The same goes for cloud-based services. They can be great if you pick the right vendor with the best service delivery in the areas that matter to you and your business.

Our new Cloud Performance Center will give you the information you need to make the best choice – and move fast and safely on the network roads that drive your business.


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