Cedexis Gives Real-Time View of Internet Outages

The company launches Radar Live, which tracks network traffic on the Internet around the world in real time and shows where disruptions are occurring.

Cedexis map

Cedexis has built its business on knowing what is going on in the Internet throughout the world at all times.

Every day the company collects more than 5 billion measurements, creating a real-time picture of how traffic is moving through Internet service provider (ISP), cloud and content delivery networks (CDNs) worldwide. Cedexis officials can see where problems are—down to which networks and platforms are having problems, and in what region of the world—and, through its OpenMix solution, help customers choose the best routes for their applications and data to avoid those traffic problems.

That's important, according to Rob Malnati, Cedexis' vice president of marketing and business development. All those measurements collected through more than 50,000 ISPs and 130 cloud service providers and CDNs, and more than 800 enterprises—such as LinkedIn and Bloomberg—give Cedexis an unparalleled view of the Internet, a view that it can share with its customers.

"The Internet is a very noisy and messy place," Malnati told eWEEK.

Now the company is sharing the information with everyone. Cedexis this week unveiled Radar Live, a portal that gives users a view of a real-time map of the world that shows through blips on the screen where disruptions are occurring. The blips are colored red, yellow and blue for major, medium and minor issues, and the issues are measured by latency, throughput and availability. The timing of disruptions is marked, as are the durations. The site lists the countries where the problems are occurring.

Users also can adjust it to see a historical view of the map, spanning days or weeks. For example, according to a post on the Cedexis blog, Radar Live found that between July 27 and Aug. 27, there were 4,305 significant performance events identified, with 2,360 incidents on CDNs with a 50 percent or more degradation in performance. There also were 136 outages of cloud availability lasting from five minutes to hours.

There were millions of users impacted and business sessions lost, according to the company.

For Radar Live, Cedexis not only relies on data from the more than 800 businesses that partner with the company, but also on what officials call real-user measurement, or RUM, according to Malnati. The company does this by using agents on the systems of end users. When a user hits on a Website or clicks on a mobile app from any of the 800 Cedexis partners, a piece of code automatically downloads onto his or her system, creating what he called a "Radar agent." Through the browser, the agent gets a packet of data to be sent from a CDN or a cloud, then measures and records the performance of the data over the network.

Radar Live obviously helps service providers, CDNs and cloud companies, giving them real-time and historical information on everything from performance to availability. It also could be a boon for Cedexis, according to Malnati. The company's products, like OpenMix, help companies direct traffic over the best routes and improve the performance of their networks, he said. For many of these businesses, if they can squeeze a 5 percent to 10 percent improvement in their performance, it can be a boost for the bottom line.

Cedexis isn't the only company that performs analyses of Internet performance. Malnati pointed to Akamai Technologies as another example, noting that it publishes its annual State of the Internet report. However, that report is compiled from data collected from Akamai's own CDN. Other places use what he called "synthetic" measurements gained through servers in various data centers around the world rather than from real users.

"We're unique," he said, adding that Cedexis' information is "crowdsourced."

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the number of ISPs, cloud service providers and CDNs Cedexis uses for its data.