Equifax and AWS: How One Minor Thing Can Pull Down Performance

It's always fascinating to us how your choice of Cloud Host can impact your performance. For example, we noticed some issues with the Equifax API we monitor. There are a lot of issues. Over the last week alone, there have been protracted periods when the endpoint doesn't respond to queries at all which affected everyone. However, we did notice a significant difference in latency between the 4 major clouds. AWS calls were, on average, almost 1.5 seconds longer than calls made from other clouds. When we drilled into this, we could see that for some reason DNS calls made [...]

By |2018-04-18T08:29:45+00:00April 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Don’t Trust That 200 OK! 200 OK Is Not Necessarily OK – At All

We've often made the point that 200 OK is not necessarily OK. But I don't think the point can be made enough: 200 OK is not necessarily OK – at all! Just because you are getting a 200 back doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with the API. You need to check what you get back. Sometimes that's easy. You know exactly what you are going to get back. In that case, it might enough just to check the size of the returned payload. But in other case, the size might change. If I am interested in the weather [...]

By |2018-04-05T07:38:13+00:00April 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New: Monitoring the Untestable – A White Paper from APImetrics

APImetrics has just published Monitoring the Untestable, a new white paper that focuses on the Catch-22* at the heart of PSD2 and open banking: if you don’t actively monitor your production environment with synthetic transactions, you have no idea whether your bank’s APIs are truly compliant at any given moment. But banks are often reluctant (with good reason) to allow testing in the live environment. As we've said, to manage your APIs, you must monitor them. But if you are only passively monitoring your APIs, you are not monitoring them – which means you are not managing them. So, it's important to actively monitor [...]

Why Measure Your API?

Here's a short tale of 2 API calls. They're both from large, well-known American companies. The API calls are doing exactly the same thing. We won't say what, because that would give the game away – and we don't want to do that. They're not complicated REST APIs. They're pretty simple. Both have security, both calling their respective providers' Sandboxes. Only, one of them is half a second faster than the other. And not only is one faster than the other; one is more consistent, showing almost no variation day-to-day. Bear in mind that these are 'smoothed' averages for [...]

By |2017-09-28T11:49:07+00:00September 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Trust But Verify…

Cloud API Hosting Comparisons One of the ways people use APImetrics is to validate what their hosting and hosting optimization services are actually doing versus what they say they are doing. You might have a hosting provider who claims to provide the fastest routing options from A to B, and that's entirely possible, but if their DNS servers struggle with mapping to public locations, or they don't work well with another service which handles IP address routing then you may be wasting your money. We have had customers who've been assured that a service like Akamai are [...]

By |2017-09-28T11:51:20+00:00September 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Artificial Intelligence, AGIs and APIs: What are AGIs?

The term "artificial intelligence" was coined in 1955 by John McCarthy as the title of a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956. But AI as we know had already been around for a few years by then. McCulloch and Pitts published their original paper on neural nets in 1943. Wiener's Cybernetics appeared in 1948. Turing's seminal Mind paper in which he defined the Turing Test was published in 1950 and he was giving talks on the topic on the BBC around the same time. Ashby invented the homeostat in the late 1940s and published Design for a Brain in 1952. [...]

By |2018-06-05T09:23:31+00:00August 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Location Latency Mapping

We've been trying to work out the best way of visualizing latency data by location and we're pleased to announce our first version. We're taking the data for each of the steps of an API call we log; DNS look up, connect time, handshake, processing time etc... and map it to circles of varying sized on a map. The map shows where the data center is and the color of the circle indicates the source - blue for Azure, yellow for AWS, red for IBM and green for Google. The large the circle the longer the measured latency. It's already [...]

By |2017-07-31T08:22:01+00:00July 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

API Monitoring: Getting The Measure Of It (But Not For The Sake Of Measurement)

In the context of API monitoring, your API management system might generate logs to help you learn about the behavior of your APIs. For instance, you might get an alert if a HTTP error is seen. That might tell you there are problems with the API, but only problems of certain kinds. If won't tell you if there is a problem with what is being returned to the user. This can be a big issue. Some systems will always return a HTTP 200 response code, even if there is a server error. (SOAP API are especially notorious for always [...]

By |2018-08-11T12:26:38+00:00July 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Your API Management System: Using The Wrong Tool Can Be Dangerous, Cost More, And Take Longer

IT is a function of your business, so you need to manage it. And IT is responsible for the APIs that your business increasingly relies on as vital components in mission-critical workflows. Which is to say that you need an API management system. There are lots. Just take a look at the Wikipedia page on API management! There are also a lot of different aspects to API management. One is an API monitoring system. (We can have an interesting discussion about what exactly is meant by API monitoring. See Andrew Slivker's article on Nevatech's blog that I plan on responding [...]

By |2017-06-22T08:37:13+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Want To Monitor Internal APIs? It’s As Easy as Raspberry Pi

Making calls to API endpoints from one of our 64 cloud locations on five continents isn't ideal – or even possible – for every API stakeholder. Many APIs are purely internal. No one is going to be calling them from any cloud location on any continent. But your internal APIs are just as mission-critical as any external, third-party API. In fact, internal APIs might well be more important. Monitoring is a vital part of any API management process, although one all too often neglected – especially for internal APIs. But luckily, we have a solution for the issue of monitoring [...]

By |2017-06-16T08:37:20+00:00June 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments