Performance management dos and don'ts

SearchWindowsManageability spoke to Diane Hagglund, director of product marketing for performance management tool vendor Mercury Interactive. Here you'll find her advice on monitoring Web site performance and performance management tools.

Monitoring Web site performance can give e-businesses insight as to the types of experiences customers are having at their online venues. Customer satisfaction means repeat visits -- a positive effect for business overall. Diane Hagglund is the director of product marketing for the performance management tool vendor Mercury Interactive. She gave searchWindowsManageability some advice on using performance management tools and Web site monitoring.

Do match your monitoring to your business and application needs. Have your performance management tool only alert administrators when an issue occurs that could perhaps mean revenue loss for the business.

For example, threshold settings for page download times can vary depending on the nature of the Web page. A secure Web page may take longer to download. So, "if you don't have a business need to have a transaction complete" in a certain number of seconds each time, then don't create a setting to alert administrators of the problem.

Don't go overboard with alerting. "You need to set your alerts so that they're reporting on your real problems," said Hagglund. Too many alerts will monopolize IT managers' time.

Don't rely on Ping technology to get an indication of Web site performance. Ping only measures that a Web site is up or down. "It's not a good customer experience if the page is saying 'Cannot log on,'" she said.

Do know the types of systems used to access your Web sites, said Hagglund. For example, customers using a 13.4 modem will have much slower page download times than those connecting with a T1 line.

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