Xaffire recently released a report guiding network executives on how to minimize performance degradation when delivering applications and services over the Internet.Xaffire, the result of a merger between Matrix NetSystems and Alignment Software, offers products for Internet performance monitoring and transaction management.Matrix NetSystems provided Internet performance measurement and optimization products for enterprise customers, and Alignment Software made application management software to identify and diagnose problems in complex distributed application environments.The report discusses how now more than ever the Internet and the applications that cross it can affect an enterprise company\u2019s bottom line. Using an Internet infrastructure to send key applications is critical to increasing productivity and reducing costs.Xaffire suggests enterprise companies work with more than one ISP and get third parties to verify that the ISPs are meeting service-level agreements (SLA).Xaffire also advises that companies know where their key clients reside and identify which ISPs service those areas.Peering agreements between ISPs that may cause traffic to travel on the same physical nodes is another factor enterprise network managers need to consider when deciding which ISPs they should partner with. For example, if one ISP is having problems, companies can prevent their service to end users and customers from being affected by having an alternate route through another ISP. The report says to avoid using ISPs with peering agreements in these cases, because a problem in one physical connection could bring down service for both providers.Xaffire details some of the statistics that should be included in an appropriate SLA. Metrics such as latency, packet loss and reachability are must-haves for any SLA with an external service provider. Enterprise companies should employ a performance measurement service, which shows how the performance supports their business drivers, but also alerts them to when SLAs are missed.