[3 questions à] Julien Coulon, Cedexis: “It is no longer enough to have a site available”
Franco-American society Cedexis likes to define himself as a “Net switch”. It works to optimize the display times of web pages and in this sense, it audits in real time and on a global level the performance of thousands of CDNs and ISPs. It then pools the data and optimizes routing for its customers.
The company now offers a new service, Cedexis Charts, an interactive world map for technical and marketing departments.
[FW] What are the challenges for websites in terms of traffic management and page load time?
Julien Coulon: I often compare the internet to aviation. At the turn of the last century, adventurers were making planes and taking off or landing just about anywhere. Then everyone got professionalized. The adventurers turned into businessmen and it was necessary to secure, organize and optimize operations thanks to control towers in airports spread all over the planet. The internet is still young, but it is growing very quickly and becoming more professional. It is no longer enough to have a site available: we are at the stage where it is necessary to organize, optimize, secure and manage flows through the 44,000 access networks that make up the Internet today. And logically, companies are now focusing all their efforts on posting times.
This metric is all the more important because it is taken into account by search engines to better reference websites, but especially by each of us in our daily navigation … Who has not railed against a content slow to display as a buffering video? I no longer count the testimonials describing the impact of performance gains on the number of page views, cross-selling, up-selling and on advertising revenue. If performance is not taken into account, it is the image of the company, the loyalty of the audience and the turnover that are impacted, to the benefit of competitors.
[FW] How does Cedexis help to understand these issues?
Julien Coulon: Cedexis was created to meet two objectives in parallel: Improving the experience of each user and supporting content editors in their distribution strategy by providing them with the right tools.
Concretely, it is for us to improve the performance of displays for all users of the world (web / mobile), to ensure 100% availability, to facilitate crawling by search engines, to optimize distribution costs (CDN, Cloud, Hosting) and measure the feelings of each user in real time. To do this, we have developed two services: Cedexis Radar which measures and compares in real time the quality of service of more than 100 platforms of Clouds, CDNs and other hosting providers from the point of view of millions of end users. This is a significant amount of data of more than 1.5 billion daily measurements, collected from 44,000 access networks in more than 190 countries. I believe we can think of this as big data.
These data are used in real time by the second service we offer: an intelligent traffic dispatcher in SaaS mode (Cedexis OpenMix). The objective is to guide each user to the best host / cloud / CDN and thus ensure a perfect browsing experience. The data allow us to bypass all degradations in the quality of service of the Internet network and the service providers who make it up (Failure of a Cloud host, saturation of a region of a CDN, congestion of a peering link, etc.) . Cedexis Openmix makes the “automagically” decision to use one of the service providers configured by our client.
[FW] What does Cedexis Charts bring new for your users? What is the quantified return of the technical departments in the test over the past 3 months?
Julien Coulon: Technical and marketing departments need reliable KPIs that reflect the experience of their users. For these clients, Cedexis Charts will become a veritable “control tower” which not only brings a new visualization of data, but also offers immense granularity associated with an automated alert service.
For example, many customers want to go below 3 seconds of page load times all over the world. Based on this demand, we have developed an interactive world map which has been very popular with our beta testers. It is possible to set several page load time thresholds to be reached thanks to color codes and to see this mapping come to life in time, minute by minute, hour by hour, days by days, country by country, ISP by FAI …
We also dive very deeply into network data and in addition to averages, display response times by fractile, for each provider, network by network. These are the famous “mustache boxes” well known to mathematicians and statisticians. This data is also used by Cloud, CDN and hosting providers, who are finding for the first time a service representative of the user experience and a factual comparison with their competitors.
The direct impact of this new service is already being felt since some customers are starting to request global SLAs (Service Level Agreements) from their providers, i.e. no longer from where their servers are located to ‘to interconnection to the Internet, but from servers to end users. By dint of listening to the dreams of many content publishers, we have tried to turn them into reality. We are happy to be able to participate at our humble level in improving the quality of the internet around the world.