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Web 2.0 & Co. Demand a Robust Performance

Discloses Flaws in Web Infrastructures Consumers now consider the internet as being highly influential at every stage of the shopping process, from first awareness to final decision making, whether the purchase is online or offline says DoubleClick in its recent survey Touchpoints IV Europe.

According to the study 35% of Britons obtain further information via websites and 69% use a search engine to gather product or service information followed by an internet search. Word-of-mouth advice from friends was a consistently high influence factor on purchase decisions - and those with the greatest influence on others' purchasing decisions relied heavily on the web for their own information.

Stress tests critical to success say Paessler For all e-enterprises a well designed and reliable web page has to be part and parcel of the marketing mix - especially as the online presence often establishes that vitally important, initial customer contact.

A wrongly conceived web server and over burdened pages that take too long to load and respond, are both frustrating and an unnecessary obstacle for customers and provider. Network monitoring company Paessler are firmly of the belief that only those companies that perform appropriate stress tests in advance will receive the vital information to allow them to optimize the web infrastructure for profit.

In addition to text and images or video, a successful Internet page today offers customers graphically sophisticated product tours, downloads or facilities for customer feedback via chats, blogs, or forums. In the wake of Web 2.0 applications online interaction is gaining in importance and will, in the long run, provide for a better customer retention.

As connection to the internet becomes less expensive IMRG (Interactive Media Group) says it expects internet purchases - which reached almost £3.5 billion in April 2007 - to rise by 40% in this year over 2006.

Enterprises using state-of-the-art methods in their online presence would be well advised to use an appropriate test tool at the conception stage to put the technical infrastructure to test - from hardware to web server to database. Paessler's Webserver Stress Tool, for example, can simulate the access of up to 10,000 users concurrently placing requests on the web server and generating a utilization of up to 500 Mbit/s and up to 1 million page views per hour.

This software is capable of simulating surf behaviour as it can be expected from real users and individually adjust it as necessary.

Individually programmed scripts provide for defining particular click sequences of a user in order to test certain transactions on the web site intensively. Login information can, for instance, also be passed to simulate the login of users on a portal and different visitor scenarios.

The conclusive results are subsequently available to the user in the form of tables and graphs in different formats for evaluation and analysis. The software, for example, measures the time span between the simulated first click and the completely loaded page including all graphics (click time). The achieved server bandwidth for downloading files or the bandwidth available for each user are also made transparent by this solution.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.