April 29, 2010, 12:37 PM

A new tool helps e-retailer CSN Stores identify performance bottlenecks

With more than 200 niche retail sites and more on the way, CSN Stores LLC frequently introduces new product content that must be served to its web pages from Internet-based servers. A new tool from Coradiant Inc., a provider of web site performance management technology, and content delivery network Akamai Technologies Inc. is helping to ensure those pages are loading quickly and rendering as expected, CSN chief technology office Steve Conine says.

With more than 200 niche retail sites and more on the way, CSN Stores LLC frequently introduces new product content that must be served to its web pages from Internet-based servers. A new tool from Coradiant Inc., a provider of web site performance management technology, and content delivery network Akamai Technologies Inc. is helping to ensure those pages are loading quickly and rendering as expected, CSN chief technology office Steve Conine says.

The two vendors have introduced Coradiant TrueSight Edge for Akamai, a web site performance monitoring tool that provides a detailed look through an online dashboard of how quickly it takes for web servers to receive requests for data and send that data to web browsers, and how long it then takes the browser to properly render that data and display web pages to web site visitors.

“The new TrueSight Edge has greatly improved our visibility into each of these different aspects,” Conine says. “Historically, we had limited visibility into web page render time. TrueSight now gives us very good visibility into render time across the majority of our traffic, and we really rely on it to see how different parts of our site are performing. By gaining visibility into where the bottlenecks actually are, we're able to have faster e-commerce sites which lead to happier customers and more sales.”

TrueSight Edge for Akamai supports performance monitoring across Akamai’s global network of some 70,000 web servers that expedite the flow of web content to the browsers of users throughout the world, spokesmen for Akamai and Coradiant say. It also offers the ability to view data reports in multiple windows on the same computer screen, enabling web site managers to monitor the specific content they’re responsible for, such as the checkout section or online merchandising displays.

By showing how well web pages, and particular sections of pages, are loading and rendering in different geographic areas, retailers can decide whether they need more or less content-accelerating services from Akamai, the spokesmen say.

CSN Stores, No. 61 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has deployed TrueSight Edge within a small amount of physical rack space in its data center, Conine says. He adds that the challenging part was taking several months to comb through the new flow of data to set up reports most useful to the retailer’s operations, such as whether it needs more servers and content acceleration to support the viewing of new niche web sites in particular geographic areas.

“TrueSight is now highly tuned for our needs, and we use it for a variety of performance-measuring tests,” Conine says.

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