When it comes to successful IT service management (ITSM) implementations, speed matters much more than most people think. Yet it is rarely even a consideration when organizations select their ITSM solution. Only after signing the multi-year contract do they find out that their new baby is slow. And the more tricks they teach this baby (by configuring its business logic), the slower its gets.Let me illustrate why we feel so strongly about application response times.Take for example an IT specialist who just received a new incident. He will start to figure out a solution from scratch if it is too cumbersome to check whether a workaround is already available. Or consider a change manager who should really register a new change, but since that will take way too long, she decides to just implement it. And how about the specialist who should check whether a configuration item is still under warranty?The point is that people will not use the features that are offered if they are slow. This may not sound so bad, but in fact it is detrimental to the entire ITIL initiative of the organization. Think about it. When the IT specialists are not using the information in the ITSM application, how do you think they feel about entering such information?Google is not the only company obsessed with speed. We are continuously monitoring and improving the performance of the ITRP service because we know that it is critical to the success of our customers. When the specialists know they can quickly find the information they need in their ITSM application, they will not only use it, they will make sure that it is maintained.

For another perspective on the importance of speed, read Burstream’s story; they have taken it to a whole new level.

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Yes, we’re talking availability. The overall availability of the ITRP service was 99.99% for the past year. In total there were 9 outages during the 366 days of 2012, which together accounted for 55 minutes of downtime. The longest outage period was 15 minutes (in September), the others were all limited to 5 minutes. Most were due to planned database maintenance.A few years ago we asked Pingdom to start monitoring the availability of the ITRP service. Naturally, we also use our own tools to monitor the service, but we wanted to provide customers real-time access to measurement data that is independently gathered. We know that our customers value this kind of transparency. If you were not aware of this already, you can track the health of the ITRP service at itrp.com/status.

Naturally, we are not entirely satisfied with a 99.99% availability. Still, when we consider the transformation that our infrastructure has gone through, we are not exactly depressed about it either.

Apart from the usual expansion to accommodate the increase in the number of users during 2012, we also improved the architecture to deliver even better performance around the globe. One major improvement, for example, was the use of a content delivery network (CDN) that makes the static content of the application (not the data) available on servers that are located closer to the users. Another important upgrade was the addition of dedicated servers for tasks that can be handled in the background.

It is going to be hard to get to 99.999% availability in 2013 as that represents a total downtime duration of only 5 minutes, but we are certainly going to try.

You know how you can keep an eye on us. – See more at: http://blog.itrp.com/search/label/Cloud%20Computing#sthash.mccavMbR.dpuf

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