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Monday, April 29, 2013

A Quick Checklist To Ensure Site Uptime When Switching Web Hosts

There comes a time in every website's life when it must grow up and leave behind the infrastructure that got it to where it is. As traffic scales up, site uptime and speed become paramount; Web hosting companies are compared, and finally it is time to move house, i.e. to switch Web hosting companies. Moving sites without a glitch is important, even critical, and with some experimentation, I hit upon a checklist that should help anyone plotting a move. Follow these steps and your site will remain up throughout the move and your site visitors and online business teams will thank the IT department for its forethought.

1. Move When the Traffic is Low.
2. Switch Your Email Profile at Both Web Hosting Companies.
3. Create a Mirror Site and Monitor It.
4. Copy and Import Your Zone File.
5. Setup a Virtual Host at the Destination Server.
6. Start Your DNS Move.
7. Monitor the Move Using Website Performance Monitors.
8. Setup Availability Alerts to Fire If Content is Missing.
9. Conduct a Traceroute Test from All Over the World.
10. Tweet and Enlist Your Customers.

And that's all folks! You can read Keynote Recent Blog Post detailing these 10 steps to ensure that your website remains up and running during any change to its infrastructure. Follow them, and mimize or eliminate all downtime.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Insights on DDoS Attacks Against Websites

Recently, Keynote Systems was asked to comment on a widely publicized attack against a company online. The attack, known as a distributed denial of service(DDoS), was targeted at a network of web servers primarily located in Europe. DDoS attacks against websites have occurred periodically for years. Unlike past incidents, the nature of this particular attack was characterized as severe enough to have caused broad disruption on the Internet. The suggestion made was that users like you and I may have found our email delayed and websites either slow or unavailable.

While many methods exist to understand the impact of web attacks like this, Keynote's web performance,  monitoring service and global network provide a unique perspective--the end users' perspective. Keynote  business is monitoring websites for their customers so that they have a consistent and accurate source of information about their site's performance. But they also use that same technology to monitor select sites across the Internet and make this data publicly available in the form of an index--actually, 43 indices. And they also use it to provide another free service called The Internet Health Report that shows what's happening across the major U.S. Internet Service Providers in real time.

Keynote periodically test a wide range of websites from their network of hundreds of monitoring agents connected to different ISPs all over the world. These agents pretend to be a site visitor and measure performance during their visit.

One of their indices monitors the U.S. banking sector. The financial services industry has been hit hard of late by DDoS attacks. You can read the Keynote blog post Understanding the Impact of Web Attacks - the User Perspective

Source: Keynote Systems

Monday, April 1, 2013

Optimize End User Experience For Mobile Devices

Today it’s all about CONTENT, being able to access it QUICKLY wherever you are and whenever you want…and iPhone does that well.

The first thing I did after getting my phone was not a phone call, but I went to Facebook and updated my status.

If I am a content provider, I would love to get the full insights for my website. Since my users could be coming from any device, I will need to understand how my site downloads and performs on different devices. This will help me improve the end users experience at least on popular devices, if not all of them. Optimizing it for one device is just not good enough!!!

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