serves up Web pages faster with Coradiant

* Major League Baseball serves up faster Web sites

Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or for short, discovered that supporting 30 teams' Web sites during regular season - never mind the playoffs or World Series games - would challenge any Web infrastructure. That's why the organization turned to NetScaler (now part of Citrix) to better load balance traffic among servers. Yet the efforts, while successful in what they were designed to do, didn't quite satisfy the IT team.

"We do a lot of switching at the URL level. When requests come in they are directed to a certain group of machines based on the URL," says Ryan Nelson, director of operations for "But because of that, debugging a problem or tracking a cookie became next to impossible."

Nelson realized he needed another tool to augment his NetScaler rollout to help him determine where an end-user's visit to any of the sites went awry. NetScaler pointed him in the direction of Coradiant, which makes an appliance dubbed TrueSight that actively monitors actual Web site traffic, giving IT managers insight into potential performance problems before it impacts end-user experience.

Nelson installed a redundant pair of TrueSight appliances in the organization's data center by plugging them into the span port on's Cisco Gigabit switches. He points out that the product passively monitors traffic crossing the network, but doesn't represent a single point of failure if a problem with the appliance occurred.

Nelson says, by using TrueSight he can now see what happened when a user encountered a problem, to the point that the technicians at can fix the problem.

"It stores data and acts as a time machine for us. We can search the logs collected in the database for specific metrics and see what happened when the problem occurred," Nelson explains.

He says while others might use Coradiant TrueSight to monitor Web traffic in real time, takes advantage of the device's traffic analysis capabilities to figure out how cookies get mangled and help the developers fix the problems.

"We use NetScaler to segment our traffic by URL and then we use Coradiant as a engineering response tool to really pinpoint the URLs causing problems and then go back to the load balancers to segment then out," Nelson says. "TrueSight is the analysis tool in our toolbox."

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