Newsletter May 2016

May 2016 has been a really exciting month at SynTraffic. We have crunched through your feedback and added new features to make monitoring your website even more easier.

Here is a list of features that we have delivered in the last few weeks:

  1. User Management: You can now add additional users from your organization by simply providing their email address. Newly added users can then login using their account and get access to the same organization account. We have also added additional user management features like deleting user, reactivating user, resend invitation to simplify things for you.
  2. Status and Incidents Page: We have redesigned the status and incidents page to make them even very intuitive. Customers can quickly get availability, latency and incidents data for all public monitors through this web page. Manage your status page by logging in and navigating to Settings -> Manage Status Page. You can view a demo status page here.
  3. Dashboard Grouping: Dashboard now groups monitor instances and packages all the information into their own cards. You can now access the real-time report as well as archived reports, summary of monitor setup, current status and much more from a monitor card.
    SynTraffic Dashboard


  4. Monitor Icon: The monitoring service automatically downloads and integrates the favicon of the target website. The favicon now becomes part of your monitor name as visible on Dashboard, Status page, Incidents page and Daily availability report page. You also have the ability to override the favicon with your own image/icon by using the “Endpoints” menu.
  5. Daily Availability Report: As our current customer, you would have noticed the new look of our daily availability reports. The email now provides richer data for availability and latency, thereby saving a click into the detailed report.

Try out the new features and share your feedback.

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Status Page

We are excited to announce the release of public status pages for your monitoring sites.

Public status page is a great way to share information about uptime and performance of your website with your customers. The public status page also becomes a single place where your customers can subscribe and get notified when your website isn’t available. They can also learn about any announcements including maintenance windows for your website, which can help your customers plan for it.

To check a sample status page, click on our global public status page: On this page you will be able to view the availability as well as performance data of a few sample websites that we monitor. You can also hover over the days that you see issues (red calendar cells)  to learn about them. We also provide a incidents page which gives you details about all the issues, availability data and resolution times.

Go ahead and give this feature a try and share your feedback.

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Flipkart experiences downtime

Flipkart, major ecommerce site in India, is currently in the middle of “Big Billion Days” sale. It is competing with Snapdeal and Amazon India for dominance in the Indian e-commerce market. During a similar sale last year the website experienced major issues for which the co-founders came out and offered their apologies.

This year, Flipkart is offering deals only on the app and not on the website. That doesn’t seem to have helped. Customers have been experiencing issues opening the app and even while it opens, more often than not it is error-ing out.

While there are no sales on the website, our monitoring shows that not all is well with its website either. On 15th October, between 4:10 am and 4:30 am (IST), the website experienced severe downtime issues.

Flipkart website issues

Flipkart website issues

Flipkart is expecting to generate around $500 million during the five-day sale.


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AWS Outage: How to survive your cloud provider outage?

Amazon’s AWS suffered a massive outage on Sept 20th 2015 in its Northern Virginia Data Center, commonly referred to as US East-1. The outage lasted close to seven hours and caused service disruption to a lot of popular cloud services like Heroku, Netflix, Reddit, AirBnB, Tinder, Medium, IMDB, Product Hunt, Echo and a host of others. The root cause was failure of DynamoDB (Amazon’s NoSQL database) that led to a domino effect taking down other Amazon services like CloudWatch, Cognito, SES, SQS, and SWF. This is what Amazon had to say about this incident:

Between 2:13 AM and 8:15 AM PDT we experienced high error rates for API requests in the US-EAST-1 Region. The issue has been resolved and the service is operating normally.

AWS US East-1 Outage

AWS US East-1 Sept 2015 Outage

Downtime is reality, whether you are hosted in the cloud or in your data center. The key to ensure an outage doesn’t affect your brand, your customers and your bottom line is to have a mitigation plan for it. Your mitigation plan may include:

  1. Monitoring: If you haven’t done so already, start monitoring for your service. Commit to detect issues with your website/service before your customers tell you. For setting up a monitor, consider two key factors:
    1. External: Choose an external monitoring service that is separate from your cloud provider.
      1. Separation helps you catch issues when both your application and your monitoring service are co-located within the same cloud service. This could lead to a false negative when routing to your datacenter is broken.
      2. Avoid issues where the monitoring service (CloudWatch in this case) itself goes down when there is an outage in the region.
    2. User Location: Choose  geographical location that best represent where your users are. This will help you detect issues where your outage is less global and more localized (US East coast in this case).
  2. Fail-over: Plan for redundancy with automated/semi-automated fail-over. The low hanging fruit here is to come up with a strategy and outline a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) document. The document, at the minimum, will contain steps to restore the service to normal in the event of a major downtime. In parallel, architect and design your application for failure. Your software solution will take into account your specific business needs, designed to provide redundancy and fault-tolerance for your mission critical applications. Solutions could include geographical redundancy using multiple availability zones, and/or choosing multiple cloud providers.
  3. Status Page: A growing number of businesses now use a status page to share information about downtime’s and the current state of their application. Amazon, Heroku and Reddit have modeled this best practice during the recent outage.

We recommend a comprehensive approach to downtime mitigation with real-time monitoring, redundancy and transparency.

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Walmart Crash/Amazon Crawl: Metrics and Insights

Two retail giants delivered lumps of coal for Christmas in July.  Amazon Prime celebrated 20 years with a huge marketing campaign promoting “Deals Bigger than Black Friday”. Walmart, not to be left out, announced its own special deals all week long with its #DareToCompare campaign.

We, at SynTraffic, got curious about website uptime and performance metrics as the clock approached midnight on July 14th 2015, just before the big sale day on July 15. Our analysis is based on publicly available data collected by SynTraffic RealTime Monitoring: Performance

Amazon’s website latency spike started at 10 PM UTC (chart below is in PST), two hours before the big sale, when Prime shoppers were planning their purchases. A lot of turbulence continued from midnight to 1 AM, which would have translated to an Amazon customer experience 3 to 4 times slower than normal. While this kind of performance was a serious issue, the good news was endured dramatically increased latency with no website crashes.

Amazon Real-Time Data (15 Jul 2015 as seen in PST)

SynTraffic Real-Time Data (15 Jul 2015 as seen in PST)

This trend was also reflected in the SynTraffic Daily Report of Amazon performance, in which website availability continued to stay strong while average response latency more than doubled.

Amazon Availability Report (15 Jul 2015 – 16 Jul 2015 UTC)

SynTraffic Availability Report

SynTraffic Availability Report

The good news was the website did not crash. The bad news was it disappointed Amazon Prime customers. Performance

The Walmart website response time slowed starting at 7:02 AM PST, as much as 15 seconds. started crashing at 7:05 AM (as indicated by error codes in red in the real time report below). The website was in a heap of trouble until performance seemed to stabilize at about 8:05 AM, one hour later.

Walmart Real-Time Report (15 Jul 2015 7:05 am PST – 8:05 am PST)

SynTraffic Real-time Report

SynTraffic Real-time Report

Here is a snapshot of Walmart’s daily report for 15 Jul 2015, where their availability took a serious beating – down to 91.0778%.

Walmart Availability Report (15 Jul 2015 – 16 Jul 2015 UTC)

SynTraffic Daily Report

SynTraffic Availability Report


As expected, users experienced the same and displayed their frustration on social media:Customer

The stakes are high for online retailer reputations and revenue when Amazon averages $80 million on a regular day. These lessons are challenging enough for giant, well-resourced corporations… just like it is for you and me.

Here are the 3 key takeaways:

  1. Performance KPIs: Plan and size your website and its underlying services to handle the surge in traffic from your upcoming marketing campaign. Validate by monitoring your performance KPI’s under load before your campaign goes live.
  2. Buffer Capacity: Plan for additional capacity for your competitor’s marketing campaign as well. If your competitor cannot handle their own increased traffic, you want capacity to accommodate their defecting customers.
  3. Slow with no Errors: Your customers will prefer a slow responding site to a crashing site. It is in your best interest to engineer your website to endure the load rather than crash under the weight of it.

How do you plan for your marketing campaigns? Please share your thoughts using the comments section below.

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Product Video

We have our product video on our website: We would love to hear what do you think about it. Please use the comments section below to share your feedback.

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PagerDuty Integration

We have heard you – You love PagerDuty and so do we. SynTraffic is excited to announce we are now integrated with PagerDuty. Partnering with PagerDuty’s industry-grade notification delivery platform, SynTraffic real-time smart alerts ensure the right folks on your team are notified instantly. This will help you reduce your TTD (Time to Detect) and TTM (Time to Mitigate), translating to improved uptime and happier customers.

It takes less than a minute to configure SynTraffic to route your notifications to PagerDuty. To get started you will need the “Service API Key” from Pager Duty. The instructions are available at…/202830340-Creating-a-Generi….

Once you have the “Service API Key”, follow the steps below to configure:
1. Login into your account and navigate to your alerts page:
2. Enter you “Service API Key” under “Pager Duty Settings” and hit Save
3. Enable Pager Duty under “Alert Targets” and hit Save. Now you are all set to receive notifications through PagerDuty.

Setup PagerDuty

Setup PagerDuty

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SynTraffic Launch

Today is a very special day for us as we announce the general availability of our flagship product, SynTraffic. SynTraffic wants to help your business by improving the uptime of your public Websites/APIs/Servers. Our SaaS product offers a turnkey solution so that you are the first to know when your customers are facing issues. SynTraffic allows monitoring from all geographical locations around the world. It also comes with state of the art smart alerts that will notify you as soon as the service detects issues with your website. Visit to learn more about the product.

Following us on the media channels to hear exciting things about our journey:

Here is a message from our founder, Surya Jakhotia, on this special day:

“I am very excited and proud of the team that made SynTraffic happen. I sincerely want to thank the early adopters, the awesome team, advisors, friends and family. It wouldn’t have been possible without your constant support and encouragement and I am grateful to you all. Thank you!!!

While the last few months have been fun and rewarding, we can’t wait to grow our family of customers and learn from them. If you or someone you know has an online website and want to improve its uptime, we would love to have them try our product:

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Smart Alerts

We are excited to bring you Smart Alerts. Smart alerts help you cut down on false alarms while allowing you to deal with alert storms gracefully. You can also customize and fine tune them to what is an appropriate signal to noise ratio for your services.

Manage your alert thresholds here:

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