BOSTON (05/26/2000) - Ever wonder how much faster your Web site could be with a little added cache?
Service provider Exodus Communications Inc. and device maker CacheFlow Inc. think they have the answer with a new service to measure your network's performance: before and after caching.
The program doesn't require you to add a caching device, alter your network or change your service provider. Instead, Exodus' Service Metrics subsidiary will measure how fast your e-commerce or business-to-business site responds to customer requests. Then CacheFlow and Exodus will add CacheFlow devices, which store content to speed delivery, at an Exodus data center. Exodus will retest your site, and show exactly how much faster it is with caching.
Both tests are free, says Greg Govatos, marketing director at CacheFlow.
Exodus' SM-WEB monitoring tools, along with the company's worldwide network of data collection agents, measure end-user response times many times each hour.
Govatos says the tests can also look at factors such as application and server performance.
Observers say the service should strike a chord with IT managers who want proof that edge devices like caches and content-delivery services quicken response times. Such performance is critical in the e-commerce and business-to-business markets, where long waits can mean lost business or reduced productivity.
Greg Howard, an analyst with HTRC Group, says these services will grow during the next year. By the same token, so will the use of cache devices themselves, which help reduce server overload.
These types of testing services may be a requirement in the future. "The hosters are going to have to provide guarantees that their networks are performing the way they say they are going to perform. Objective metrics are important from both a billing and customer retention point of view," says Cindy Borovick, an analyst with IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts.
CacheFlow: www.cache flow. com.