A new Site Assure offering from Cotendo Inc., a provider of web content delivery network services, is designed with integrated systems that both redirect Internet traffic when necessary to suitable web servers and monitor web content and applications every several seconds to check for problems, the company says.
“Site Assure is integrated with out Advanced Domain Name Service to automatically and seamlessly redirect traffic to another destination in the event of a server failure,” says chief technology officer David Drai. The company’s Advanced Domain Name Service is designed to guard against network disruptions that can prevent web sites from serving up their pages properly.
Cotendo notes that, by integrating its site monitoring and content delivery services, it is able to check for problems in serving up content applications as quickly as every five seconds, compared to the industry site performance norm of about every 5 minutes or more.
Integrating content delivery services with content monitoring technology gets mixed reviews from network experts.
Rebecca Wetzel, a principal analyst at NetForecast, a consulting firm that helps companies monitor and improve the performance of networked data and content, says the ability to monitor web content every five seconds can be extremely valuable for companies that can’t afford even short periods when content fails to display correctly on their web sites. “Service uptime is paramount for Internet content providers,” she says. “Cotendo’s real-time monitoring service that can automatically shift between normal and alternate content source targets can be a valuable addition to their I.T. infrastructure.”
But Mike Gualtieri, a senior analyst specializing in web application development and architecture for research and advisory firm Forrester Research Inc., is less sold on the combination of content delivery and monitoring from a single provider. He contends that it can make more sense to get monitoring services from a provider separate from the content delivery network to ensure an independent review of potential problems.
“I like the idea that a content delivery network can provide monitoring services especially if they are bundled into the CDN services at no additional cost,” he says. “On the other hand, entrusting a CDN with my sole means of performance monitoring feels a bit like the fox guarding the henhouse.”
Gualtieri adds that most online retailers and other web site operators already use web site performance monitoring systems from companies like Keynote Systems Inc., Webmetrics Inc. and the Gomez division of Compuware Corp., each of which can be set to monitor web site content at different time intervals as well as to monitor the performance of specific site functions.
He adds that while Cotendo’s claim of testing content every five seconds could be a significant offering, it still needs to be substantiated through extensive use in the market.