All the issues we discussed over the last few days were just what could happen on your network. The INTER-net is a network of networks, so your upstreams and peers have their own upstreams or peers, and your client destination ISP does as well. By a concoction of brilliant engineering and pixie dust, we’re able to get from one destination to another, creating the building blocks for the information age. Voila!
What happens when one of those connections doesn’t work though? Or poorly? The average connection across the internet takes 3-4 AS hops and maybe a dozen IP hops. Because these are ultimately all independent transactions you can find traffic being pulled far off course, called hairpinning, which can will cause major impacts to performance. This might happen because a business decision created a peering change of an intermediary, or even a problem in the physical realm like a cable cut.
Well who cares if so-and-so changed such-and-such route to east wherever, you ask? Your customers. That’s who. Your network stack might be humming along just fine, fully available and with great performance when tested from your APM and NPM solutions – but if users are unable to reach your service, it’s all for naught. Reachability is just as important as availability in a commoditized internet world. They might not understand how the technology works – though ultimately does it really matter? If they can get to Facebook, but not your website the blame will immediately fall to you. It doesn’t matter where the technical fault really lies.
This begs a move to a full multi vendor, fault tolerant environment where anything may fail and the network adapts in a self healing ecosystem. This could route between different links if you have independent destination IPs for them, different data centers, or even different cloud providers. But to do that you need to have a management plane which is agnostic to each provider, and will allow you to be nimble enough to adapt to any condition. Dynamic Steering, using RUM technology to route users to the best resource in real-time is the tool we have been looking for. This is baked into our DNS platform for a seamless experience.