The Holiday Internet Weather Map

Holiday shopping may be behind us, but Internet weather is still very much here. The fluctuations in latency and packet loss that can disrupt the cloud, and for that matter Internet shopping, continue to be a vital consideration in any network architecture.

To find the extent of its impact, Silver Peak documented Internet weather patterns during two of the most trafficked online periods – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We tracked end-to-end Internet latencies to some of the most popular e-tailers and SaaS providers with the help of the We supplemented those results with packet loss statistics of many of the major Internet backbones within North America as documented by Keynote. (See this post for a more detailed description of our approach.)

What we found was both good and bad for anyone building a hybrid WAN. Packet loss rates on the Internet backbones during the holiday season remained fairly constant with the rest of the month. The latency on average was also stable, but a number of routes showed extreme changes (see Holiday Internet Weather Map)

Holiday Internet Weather Map
Holiday Internet Weather Map (click to enlarge)

Will those routes impact your experience? It’s hard to say. Like so many things about Internet weather timing is everything. Routes will often perform as expected, but then they won’t. And isn’t that just the problem. Private services gave use the assurances and security that network would behave at the expense of higher-costs and dependency on service providers. The Internet can be a viable alternative to MPLS – if we take the measures to make it more predictable.

If you have your own Internet weather story add it in the comments below, or join our Twitter sweepstakes #TweetYourPing to win a GoPro.