Here in the Stingray unit of Riverbed we are all too familiar with the online tools which help profile the performance of your web services. Sites like webpagetest.org which allows you to run simulated tests from various locations over the globe, using a multitude of different User-Agents or browsers. Yet as good as these tools are, at the end of the day they are just simulations. What if you want to see what your actual users are experiencing when they attempt to visit your pages from the shores of Peru, snow dusted Moscow, or even good old London town? Well if you have a Stingray Traffic Manager, then I may just have the answer.
The map pictured above is using the OpenLayers API to plot client locations and colour code them according to the page load times they achieved.
Stingray PageSpeed is a little tool I built on top of the Traffic Manager to help our customers record and visualise exactly that data. Stingray (for the un-initiated) is an intelligent Layer 7 Application Delivery Controller (ADC), and as such it has all of the tools necessary to help you build your LIVE performance picture. All we need is a little bit of TrafficScript magic.
Stingray PageSpeed is actually just two TrafficScript rules coupled with a little bit of HTML for graphical representation of the data it collects. The system works by recording the time at which clients hit a predefined set of pages on your site, and then recording how long it takes to download and render the entire page. That data can be recorded to a log file via the Alerting system, dumped out to the Stingray Event Log, or simply made available through the PageSpeed UI.
Once you have a performance picture of how well your site is performing for real world, living and breathing customers you may find some performance optimizations are in order. Why not give your local Stingray team a call to discuss your options? You may want to give Stingray Aptimizer a trial; to optimize the web pages themselves. Or perhaps deploy a web-caching Stingray instance in a Data Centre or Public Cloud; to bring the content physically closer to the end users.
If you want to check out Stingray PageSpeed for yourself then go ahead and download the extension from the Riverbed Community Portal.
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