Establishing an Internet Performance Benchmark
June 04, 2019
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A minimum Internet Performance Bar exists that, if met, should deliver top-tier website performance, regardless of industry, according to the 2019 Digital Experience Performance Benchmark Report, from ThousandEyes, a comparative analysis of web, infrastructure and network performance metrics from the top 20 US digital retail, travel and media websites.

The research measured Internet, network, server and experience metrics every 10 minutes for 60 days across 36 major metros across the US In total, over 300M unique measurements were collected and analyzed

Findings from the research include:

Each industry displays unique performance patterns

The three measured industries (retail, media and entertainment, and travel and hospitality) display distinct performance cohort behaviors that differ from each other. For example, top retail sites fall into two distinct clusters of HTTP response times along a mostly uniform range of network latency, while media and entertainment sites saw a more uniform range of HTTP response times but with two distinct clusters of network latency.

Significant performance variations exist

Significant performance variations exist, despite perceived market maturity. Performance variations across CDN providers, ISPs and geographies exist even in the highly mature US market. This makes real-time operational visibility from a variety of geographical and Internet user vantage points important so businesses can keep a real-time eye on unexpected performance blockers.

Delivering strong DNS, network and HTTP response time performance will help

Focusing on delivering strong DNS, network and HTTP response time performance will help most companies deliver top-tier digital experiences.

60% of sites with 1st quartile response times delivered DNS and network performance at or better than the median. Delivering near to or better than the median response time highly correlates with strong page load performance. 87% of sites that did so delivered 1st quartile page load times.

Meeting A minimum Internet Performance Bar

A minimum Internet Performance Bar exists that, if met, should deliver top-tier website performance, regardless of industry. Given cross-vertical performance ranges across the gathered metrics, it is recommended that operations teams minimally target DNS time of 25ms, network latency to the CDN edge of 15ms and HTTP response time of 350ms, from all important markets within the US.

"Internet performance is an under-appreciated yet major contributor to digital experience, and in the battle for customer loyalty, every millisecond matters," said Alex Henthorn-Iwane, report author and VP of Product Marketing at ThousandEyes.

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