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Winning Web Performance - Takeaways from Akamai Edge Part 1

At the Akamai Edge Conference some of the world's biggest, most innovative brands shared ways they move their online businesses faster forward using Akamai. In a multi-part blog post series, we'll be sharing the most valuable lessons learned in the Web Performance space.

Establishing and Maintaining Web Performance Measures 

"You can't fix every problem...instead, focus on what you need to fix, and know what you can fix." - Ernie Bonacquisti, Global Technology Manager, Deloitte

Are you struggling with how to develop and evaluate performance measurements for the modern web experience? You are not alone -- it's a challenge facing even the most successful, forward thinking companies. Deloitte's Global Technology Manager Ernie Bonacquisti shared successful techniques they implemented to establish and maintain web performance metrics.

When establishing web performance metrics, it's important to understand that every measurement put out there may be subject to heavy scrutiny. The foundation of performance measurement is rock solid data -- data that has an identifiable source and clear significance to consumers. This data allows companies to create, establish and meet real world SLA's. Maintaining rock solid data requires using the most up-to-date best practices, the latest version of code.

Deloitte's rock solid data is reported internally on two levels, or views -- a management overview and an in-depth technical details view. The four metrics used to measure performance that are highlighted in these reports are: 

1. First Byte - How well your server responds
2. DOM Interactive - How soon a user can interact with the application
3. Page Load Time - Determines page size, as well as asset prioritization and functionality
4. Akamai RUM (Real User Monitoring) data - A true representation of end-user experience.

From these views, they develop prescriptive action items, which allow managers to tell developers exactly what needs to be fixed, as quickly and simply as possible, via the reporting tools. Ernie shared a specific example on how Deloitte used their metrics to identify and fix a nagging web performance problem brought on by images. Via Akamai RUM data, Deloitte measured the asset types and asset volumes that traverse their network, and saw that 50% of the size of most of their web applications was from static images. When added to the additional 25% of the application that's composed of JavaScript and CSS files, only a quarter of the app was dynamic and not cachable that needed to be served from the origin. In this case, not only did Deloitte use Akamai RUM data to identify web performance problems, it also relied on Akamai's web performance solutions to help solve them, in this case by caching a large portion of their apps on the Edge. Additionally, Akamai's RUM data then measured the effects the changes implemented can have on real end-users in the world thanks the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the world's largest and most advanced distributed cloud platform.  

Watch the Establishing and Maintaining Performance Measures video from the Akamai Edge conference below, or learn more about Akamai's web and mobile performance solutions, CDN, and RUM data.