Network latency is an indication of the speed of a network. It determines page load times for websites, online gaming latency and applicaton speeds. And as speed is a valuable commodity on the internet, using a network latency monitoring tool to monitor latency is essential.
Internet Speed: Latency and Bandwidth
To understand why online applications, need to monitor network latency lets first take a look at the two crucial components of internet speed: network latency and bandwidth.
The number of packets that can be accommodated by an internet pipe simultaneously is referred to as bandwidth.
Internet Latency is the time those packets take to travel between end points on a network.
Put these two together and you get internet speed.
How Datapath.io Measures Network Latency
Datapath.io has built a worldwide network latency monitoring system. This system penetrates to the level of individual internet prefixes. There are upwards of 600,000 internet prefixes, which are in most cases just a single hop away from the end user in their homes. Datapath.io continuously pings every individual network prefix. Every ping is a network latency test that results in an rtt (round trip time). These rtts are a pretty good indicator of the internet speed that end user’s experience in their homes. Higher rtts mean slower applications.
These pings are initiated from multiple locations worldwide, from a wide range of cloud and bare metal providers, and over multiple transit providers. The fact that Datapath.io monitors network latency from multiple geographical locations, cloud and transit providers gives us a unique insight into the current network conditions.
All this latency data is compiled into a real time performance map of the internet which is presented in the latency map.
Datapath.io Network Latency Monitor
Let’s take a look at the latency monitoring tool from Datapath.io. Below are a couple of screen shots of the network latency monitoring data from the AWS US west region through the default AWS route to individual network prefixes in a couple of cities. The latency map can also be toggled to show the network latency figures for other cloud and hosting providers over multiple downstream transit providers.
AWS US West to Berlin over the Default AWS route
AWS US West to London over the Default AWS route
Latency monitoring data from AWS US West to Beijing over the default AWS route
Why Monitoring Latency is Important
Network latency determines application speeds, website load times, VOIP call quality and online gaming lag. To put the importance of latency monitoring in perspective consider the following:
-People will visit a Web site less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds.
-Four out of five online users will click away if a video stalls while loading.
Lowering Network Latency
Once we have the latency monitoring data from Datapath.io’s latency map, the next logical step is to mitigate the effects of latency. Datapath.io’s network optimization tool re-engineers BGP best path selection algorithm to route internet traffic over the best performing routes. This results in a reduction in latency by upto 60%.
Download the AWS Network Optimization Whitepaper to learn more.