The Need for Speed

Latency is the new outage—uptime and availability are now table stakes while speed is the new differentiator.



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In the modern online world, speed is everything. From downloading a web page to buying groceries online to making a financial transaction, users value speed almost as much as base functionality. If your apps and websites don’t deliver lightning fast responses and real-time results, even the most powerful features, the most beautiful design, and the lowest prices may not be enough to attract or retain digital-savvy consumers. 

Latency is the new outage

In fact, organizations increasingly understand that slow products and services might as well not be available at all—that too much latency can be just as damaging as a website or app being completely unavailable. They know that it’s no longer the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow. They know that uptime and availability are no longer the sole key metrics. They know that high availability is now the baseline, and speed is the new differentiator. 

But wait, there’s more—just as the rules of business changed to focus on the need for speed, the rules of the game also got vastly more complicated.

Many companies have worked to scale and accelerate delivery of their services by leveraging the promise of the cloud and modular, distributed applications to bring online content and services to customers around the globe, one at a time or millions at once. But this approach has a flip side: application modularity and infrastructure complexity. With data located in so many places and transmitted across so many different networks, it is hardly surprising that there are plenty of opportunities for data conflicts to occur. Ironically, the same traits that make global online business possible can also lead to slow application performance.

A fast data layer is critical

Poor performance can come from many factors, but the speed of the data layer, the common horizontal layer across the application, is critical. Being able to use a geographically replicated data layer, while avoiding issues of data inconsistency, is a challenge that all IT leaders looking to build scalable, global, and responsive services need to resolve. 

To overcome the inherent limitations of cloud infrastructure and distributed applications to achieve the instant experiences that customers now demand, organizations need a unified data layer across clouds and around the world. And that becomes only more important at the huge scale and global reach required of many modern applications. 

Cut latency to the bone

To reduce latency as much as possible, organizations need to understand what latency is and the factors that contribute to it, and have clear, definitive guidelines for reducing, as much as possible, latency for the users of their applications and websites. 

To explain how to make that happen, from adding a caching layer to your databases to moving your entire data store into an in-memory database, I wrote a Redis Labs whitepaper called Latency is the New Outage. I cover how leading brands are delivering speed in a complex world of applications for digital consumers, and share the intelligence you need to deliver the lowest latency physically possible for your customers.

Just don’t wait. As we move from the Availability Epoch to the Speed Epoch, you no longer have the luxury of time.

In addition to checking out Latency is the New Outage, for more on the need for speed, don’t miss our white paper on Building the Highway to Real-Time Financial Services, our e-book on Real-Time Inventory, and our case study on how fantasy sports leader MyTeam11 relies on Redis Enterprise Cloud Ultimate running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure to maintain real-time leaderboards for 15 million users.