As a longtime provider of cloud-based traffic management services, we’ve heard many stories of how Dyn’s solutions have helped customers improve their web performance, maintain high availability, and reduce their costs. But, as technologies have evolved through the years, we knew we needed to make sure our offerings are still meeting our customers’ needs. To do this, we embarked on an effort to meet with as many of our customers as was feasible earlier this year to learn about how our solutions help them do their jobs better, improve customer experiences, increase revenues, and reduce costs.
The remainder of this blog post and the follow-up posts will examine how Dyn’s customers are using cloud-based Traffic Management, beyond simply leveraging a high performing and reliable DNS service. The four key themes we discussed are below:
- Improving Website Performance
- Ensuring Business Continuity
- Creating a Safer Operating Environment
- Improving Efficiency: Time to Market and Infrastructure Utilization
Improving Website Performance
Of course, we knew the impact that multiple DNS requests have on overall page load times when somebody arrives at a website (50ms improvement per request x 10 DNS requests = 500ms), but what’s sometimes less obvious is the impact that DNS decisions can make on longer term end user performance.
Highly Accurate Geolocation Load Balancing
When a DNS request is made, it’s important that the corresponding response occurs quickly, but what’s more important is that the answer provided in that request sends the end user to the best location in order to interact with your website. Afterall, if a user is routed to a data center that’s not able to provide a good experience, their entire interaction with your website will be affected. Not only will the initial page load be slow, but all subsequent page loads will continue to download content (and images, stylesheets, etc.) from the poorly performing endpoint, resulting in long delays and a poor experience.
This is why the data scientists at Dyn have gone to great lengths to ensure our geolocation database is the most accurate in the industry in terms of Internet infrastructure (where web traffic is routed). Dyn’s Traffic Director leverages this database to make decisions on where to send end users based on their geographic location. Getting this part correct can be the difference between sending requests to a data center in Sydney, Australia versus a Los Angeles data center (we’ve seen this happen a lot!) Our customers appreciate the accuracy of this data, as they’ve seen significant performance improvements in multiple locations – especially the Asia Pacific and Oceania regions.
Shifting Traffic Away from Degrading Endpoints
Of course, sending requests to the “best” data center is only part of the equation. Sometimes a data center may be the best location based on geographic proximity, but conditions within that data center could begin to degrade for any number of reasons. As these occasions arise, many of Dyn’s customers detect the issues within the data center and then leverage our API to rebalance their traffic to that location – either reducing the percentage of traffic or rerouting all traffic to a healthier location. Dyn’s fast DNS propagation times mean this traffic change reaches all affected end users almost instantly.
Because these types of issues can linger, they tend to affect end user performance for a long period of time if they’re not detected and addressed early. Routing traffic away from this location enables IT teams to work on improving the conditions within the data center without worrying about affecting their customers.
While there are many other ways website performance can be affected (including conditions within the Internet itself), these two examples were cited repeatedly by our customers. In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how Dyn helps our customers achieve something that everybody said was critical – business continuity.