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Welcome to the Show of CDN Monitoring: Act 2

How and how not to monitor CDNs

In my first blog Act 1 - The What and Why I talked about the benefits and some risks around using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Today I will cover some details around some common misunderstandings regarding how to monitor CDNs and explain the right monitoring strategy.

Which monitoring options do you have?
In order to manage any complex system you need quality data as quickly as possible. All the enterprise CDN solutions offer some level of insight on the performance they deliver. It is basically based on high level aggregation of relevant log file data and tells you for example how many requests have been received, how much data has been sent out, what status codes were returned, how fast the servers responded, etc.

However this data has two major problems:

  • It is not detailed enough
  • It's provided by the vendor you want to monitor

So instead of only relying on this information you need to add your own monitoring strategy. And there are two different flavors for such solutions.

To read about Synthetic Monitoring and Real User Monitoring of CDNs, Click Here.

In summary the five CDN specific monitoring rules are:

  • Get object level visibility
  • A distributed system needs to be monitored by a distributed system.
  • Make sure you know what your CDN is doing everywhere your end users are.
  • Use as many synthetic locations as possible and check how many CDN PoPs you are actually hitting.
  • Use RUM monitoring of your CDN to ensure you don't need to guess the total impact on your business.

In my next blog (Act 3: Things going wrong) I will share some key findings we see very often and what you need to be aware of.

More Stories By Kristian Skoeld

Kristian Skoeld is a Performance Analyst at Compuware APM Center of Excellence. He coaches and supports teams across Europe as a Performance Analyst and Product Specialist in Web Performance Management. He is an expert in optimizing IT processes, develop web strategies and putting them into action, and a subject matter expert on Web Performance and Web Monitoring within the Compuware APM business unit.

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