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I am often humbled by the depth of insight of those who toil in the trenches of the enterprise data center. At our Agility conference back in August, my cohort and I gave a presentation on the State of Application Delivery. One of the interesting tidbits of data we offered was that, over the course of the past year, our iHealth data shows a steady and nearly even split of HTTP and HTTPS traffic. To give you an example, my data from October was derived from over 3 million (3, 087, 211 to be precise) virtual servers. Of those, roughly 32% were configured to support HTTP, and another 30% were supporting HTTPS. Now, I’ve been looking at this data for more than a year, and it has stayed roughly the same with only slight variations up or down, but always within a couple percentage points of each other. But it wasn’t until a particularly astute customer spoke up that I un... (more)

Twitter, Linked In, Ning and Ulitzer: Easy Personal Branding Strategy

Social Media on Ulitzer I use all of these social media tools and although they haven't put me on my own island in the Caribbean yet, I'm very pleased with the combined results. 1. Twitter – It’s the fastest way to share that you have created something of value. As a bonus, Tweetdeck or CoTweet are good ways to manage your Twitter efforts and research. Huge audience with lots of active participants. There are a few shady characters on Twitter but just like being at Grand Central Station, you just step aside and keep moving. It doesn't mean you eschew the benefit. Micro-blogging is probably here to stay so it's a good idea to get up on good habits regardless of what future tools look like. 2. Linked In – It’s the professional network standard where people will find you. A terrific way to maintain knowledge of what former colleagues are doing now. You can also join gr... (more)

HTML5 Web Sockets: A Quantum Leap in Scalability for the Web

Lately there has been a lot of buzz around HTML5 Web Sockets, which defines a full-duplex communication channel that operates through a single socket over the Web. HTML5 Web Sockets is not just another incremental enhancement to conventional HTTP communications; it represents a colossal advance, especially for real-time, event-driven web applications. HTML5 Web Sockets provides such a dramatic improvement from the old, convoluted "hacks" that are used to simulate a full-duplex connection in a browser that it prompted Google's Ian Hickson - the HTML5 specification lead - to say: "Reducing kilobytes of data to 2 bytes...and reducing latency from 150ms to 50ms is far more than marginal. In fact, these two factors alone are enough to make Web Sockets seriously interesting to Google." Let's look at how HTML5 Web Sockets can offer such an incredibly dramatic reduction of... (more)

Integrated Load Test Analysis

Andreas Grabner described how he used the Compuware APM PureStack technology to identify the server-side performance issues during a recent load test run against the Compuware APM Community Portal, a production application used by our customers. He was able to quickly identify the CPU bottleneck that caused the performance degradation in the server environment, leading to an almost immediate resolution of the issue. Bridging the Gap between Ops and Apps Data by adding Context: One picture that shows the Hotspots of "Horizontal" Transaction as well as the "Vertical" Stack. But what about the external performance recorded during this load test? What would a customer have experienced if they had tried to access the site during this time? Well, at the peak of the test, I used WebPageTest to capture a video of the APM Community Homepage loading (Note: The video has been... (more)

With Confidence into the Holiday Season

In our previous 2013 Online Holiday Shopping blog Klaus highlighted that the top goal of 2013 is to increase Conversion Rates and take into consideration everything we have learned in past years such as Third-Party Performance, as well as the new challenges such as "The Rise of Mobile Users." This article is a guide for performance engineers on how to best test for ensuring high conversion rates. Based on our real user monitoring data we know that the abandonment rate on eCommerce sites increases by 8% for every additional two seconds of page load time. Mobile users expect even better performance on their smartphones as the assumption is that accessing shopping sites with mobile web or mobile native apps are optimized for these devices. Load Time of key landing pages, key mobile actions and everything along the conversion funnel must therefore be our top priority d... (more)

Business Martial Arts Lesson – Nail Your Foot to the Floor

    This is Lesson No. 7 of a Continuing Series on How Martial Arts Skills can be Applied to Business Keep your energy centered – In Hapkido, one of your main thoughts is to stay centered on your energy. In the word Hapkido itself is the word "ki" which is your vital energy. Your ki or energy plus your natural body weight is difficult to for an unskilled opponent to overcome if you are trained on how to use it properly. When an opponent drives at you with uncontrolled energy or sometimes rage, you simple "nail your foot to the floor" thus centering your energy around your rotating hips, grab his un-centered energy and take them where you want them to go. Once you control their energy, you control everything. That’s why you will see people half the size of the opponent throw the heavier opponent with ease. Staying centered concentrates your energy while not stayin... (more)

The Future of Cloud Computing – A Study

Recently, I became an executive advisor to Kaavo, a Cloud Applications Management software company. Kaavo is in a unique position to capitalize on the soon to be obvious need to manage applications on the cloud. It's interesting to see the cloud computing predictions and how it will change the way we work with applications. Overview A solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders participating in the fourth Future of the Internet survey expect that by 2020 most people will access software applications online and share and access information through the use of remote server networks, rather than depending primarily on tools and information housed on their individual, personal computers. They say that cloud computing will become more dominant than the desktop in the next decade. In other words, most users will perform most computing and communicating activitie... (more)

Adobe Digital Marketing Suite Tackles Big Data with Predictive Marketing

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced new predictive marketing capabilities within the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, reducing the complexity of uncovering hidden behavioral patterns in big data. These advancements will help marketers more quickly sort through an increasing amount of data to find the most impactful insights as well as leverage vast amounts of historical data to predict future results. Adobe is putting predictive analytics and more intelligent, forward-looking decision-making into the hands of digital marketers. “In the early days of digital marketing, analytics emerged to tell us what happened and, as analytics got better, why it happened. Then solutions emerged to make it easier to act on data and optimize results,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe. “But the sheer amount of availabl... (more)

Can Digital Advertising Save the Fourth Estate?

The newspaper industry is arguably ripe for re-invention. In 1704, the first newspaper advertisement was published. Ever since, newspapers have served their local and loyal community of readers, while pursuing new revenue streams in advertising. And so began an uneasy relationship with consumerism - newspapers can uniquely offer advertisers access to captive, local consumers while advertisers offer newspapers the potential for new dollars. According to a study last year on U.S. shopping habits, 72 percent of Americans read or look at newspaper inserts regularly or occasionally, and more than half say newspapers are the medium they use to plan shopping. The newspaper has evolved into more than a trusted source for news; it is a conduit for the reader to connect with the larger community. Digital advertising has been an undeniable groundswell for the advertising ind... (more)

Top Performance Mistakes: Supersized Content

Because of the efforts of people like Steve Souders, John Resig, Sergey Chernyshev, Paul Irish, ... a lot has changed when it comes to optimizing web site performance. Browser and Application Performance Vendors built tools to make Web Performance Optimization easier than ever before. Web Frameworks are optimized to generate better web pages. However, looking at the following chart reminds us that best practices, conferences and tools alone didn't succeed and building optimized web sites is getting even harder. As can be seen, the main problem with modern web sites is the growing number of resources, the size of the content, and the declining user experience that results from the first two items: Page Size and Number of Objects on an Average Page doubled over a period of 12 months If your testing efforts are not focusing on these metrics, read this graph as: "Let'... (more)

Predictive Real-Time Analytics Is the Big Data Lifeline

Big Data is everywhere. Predictive analytics and real time in-memory computing isn't everywhere. This truth (if we can accept it to be so) represents something of an imbalance. As a subset of data mining, predictive analytics driven by in-memory computing efficiencies now has an opportunity to bring real-time analysis and insight to fast-moving live transactional data flows. Or to put it another (rather shorter) way, we can now start to manage and understand Big Data better than ever. Application use cases here might typically include: Meteorology Genetics Economics Climate simulation Oil exploration Financial analysis and scientific research Telecommunications, to name but seven good examples If we combine contemporary approaches to predictive analytics with the newly arrived Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor that produces what is claimed to be over one teraflop per se... (more)