This post was originally published on this site

UPDATE: February 8th, 2016 5:00pm


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 10:24pm

That’s the game!  Congratulations to the Denver Broncos.  So the results for the web site performance for advertisers during the game are in as well.  Here is the complete list, and as you’ve seen tonight while there were some fumbles everyone recovered well…  well except, we are still waiting for it to recover. (edit. look like it recovered around 3am).


In terms of the top performers, and took the top three spots.   These sites were rock solid for the entire game.  This chart below shows the last 4 hours and congratulations needs to go out to the web teams responsible for these sites.


Great Game!  Keep checking back with the Dynatrace APM Blog as we go through all of these data from this evening and discuss best practices for next years advertisers.

UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 9:55pm

And it looks like the Axe fell on (sorry couldn’t resist).  The desktop site looks to have had critical issues, however their mobile site slowed down but remained up.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 9:50pm the company that won the Intuit Super Bowl Commercial contest had a bit of a rocky ride but it looks like someone had a defibrillator and got their site back up in no time.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 9:25pm

Reports on Twitter that is down.  HTTP 5XX errors usually indicate something wrong on the server side.  Read some of our earlier updates to under why this happens and what can be done to prevent it.


Our tests confirm that this is a server side issue.


The error message on the page shows a generic NGINX error message.  NGINX is a web server technology, while this is not this transaction map shows a simple application built on NGINX.  Understand what is happening on the server side is critical!


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 9:00pm has offered up a million free hamburgers.


Doing this during the Super Bowl results in this (below).  This was very ambitious, Looks like the web team pulled it off.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 8:30pm

Here come ColdPlay and crowd.  NFL’s Halftime page is up and running fine so far.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 8:25pm

OK, it’s half time.  There have been a couple of fumbles so far but good recoveries by all.  Here is a real time view heading into half time.  All the advertisers look like they are up for now.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 7:55pm

Did the DrinBai ad air?


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 7:50pm

Dynatrace’s Keynote Internet Health Report is showing more red.  This is peering health between backbone carriers.  Overall traffic is high this evening so not surprised to see this.   Peering is how traffic hops from one carrier to another.   When peering start showing issues it can result in slower response time for end users.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 7:30pm

Good job Marmot, not as lethal as we thought.  Quick recovery on a pretty serious server side error.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 7:20pm

Marmot is starting to have issues.  The Dynatrace Root Cause Analyzer is seeing multiple issues but the 503 Error on the root page is pretty lethal.  Let’s see if things can get turned around.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 7:00pm

30 Minutes since kickoff and the top 3 advertiser sites are still Audi, Heinz and “Get to the Choppa…” MobileStrikeApp.  Performance is all about optimization.  Great job so far to the web team’s for these advertisers.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 6:30pm

Moments to Kickoff.  Here is a view of what we are seeing from our Desktop and Mobile Website tests.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 6:00pm is showing some slow DNS activity.  This can usually be tweaking at the CDN.  We will keep an eye on things.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 5:34pm

OK, Puppy Bowl is back up! Whew.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 5:15pm

Problems with the Puppy Bowl Site?  Not sure what is going on here but Getting initial response from the Puppy Bowl site but no content is showing up.


Seeing the same thing in our local browsers.  We will keep an eye on things because… well Puppies are adorable right?


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 5:00pm

90 minutes to go before kickoff, here is a view showing a comparison of the top performers and the bottom performers.  Those sites which are fully optimized for this evening are on average delivering less content (byte count), are less complex (fewer round trips for object and connection requests) and using fewer third parties (social media, ad networks, analytics tools, etc…).


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 4:40pm

Thankfully it looks like a quick recovery for  Good job by the web team.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 4:30pm

Looks like has made a change and it looks like it is impacting response times. This might be a pre-game configuration change. Mini

It could be a pre-game Content Delivery Network change, here we can see that some of the remote points of presence and IP addresses are showing some pretty wide differences in performance.


We hope that things come back around quickly before the game starts.

UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 4:15pm

Having a quick look at the Digital Experience Dashboards (DEC) and dialing in the test resolution and frequency so that we don’t miss anything.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 4:00pm

Most of our data this evening will be coming from synthetic tests (software robots) running real browsers located across the US.  While synthetics provides useful information it should always be used in combination with real user data when possible.  Below is an example of a Dynatrace User Experience Management dashboard showing live data for a Fortune 100 US based company.  In this case you can see that the site is processing 3,800 requests per minute.


We expect that many of the advertiser sites tonight will experience traffic well beyond this.  Understanding real user performance is key during live events like Super Bowl Sunday or Black Friday.

UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 3:00pm

Here is an update as to how some of the media companies are doing today.  Leading up to the Super Bowl these sites get a tremendous amount of traffic as sport viewers try to keep up to date with last minute news.

media sites

Kudos so far to the team at CBS.  After some up and down the past couple of days the last 12 hours for CBS Sports has been rock solid.  Great Job guys.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 2:30pm

Checking in with an update from Dynatrace Outage Analyzer.  This is a real time view of “collective intelligence” based on every test running across the Dynatrace Network.  Here we are looking for current outages for third party services used by different websites.


The Dynatrace Keynote Internet Health Report is showing a lot less red than we saw yesterday.  Hopefully backbone peering won’t be an issue today.


UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 2:00pm

Today isn’t just about the advertisers, it also about media and other sports related sites, like Fantasy Football sites.   Here we can see that Fireleague, Fleaflicker and RTSports are all performing grey well.


We just talked about server side response times in our last update, continuing on that theme we wanted to show how an online gaming site uses a service like Dynatrace Ruxit to automatically discover “back end” services and processes.  Below we can the response times for a backend service (notice the increase in response time earlier in the week).


Here we can see some detail around one of the processes this service is based on.  Here we can see some network quality issues related to packet retransmission causing an issue.


Understanding the interdependencies within applications is one of the hard things to do when managing complex applications.  As sites today (including many of the advertisers) use elastic computing, often organizations have no idea what resource are running at any given time let alone which one is causing an issue.  Below is a visualization called a SmartScape which shows auto-discovered services and process and their relationship with each other.


Tools like Dynatrace Ruxit represent the next generation of intelligent APM technology that site owners will need to manage the dynamically changing complexity in their applications.

UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 1:20pm

We’ve been looking at the End User Response Time for the advertiser’s sites.  A substantial part of these End User Response Times are made up of Server Request Time.  This is how much time it takes a server to respond to inbound request from a browser.  We measure this as how much time does it take for us to receive the first packet of data in response to a request.  Let’s put it this way, this is how much time it takes for the server to “think” about responding to a request.

Server side optimization IS what Dynatrace does.  Speeding server response times not only makes for faster end user experience it also makes for more efficient use of resources on the server side.  Optimizing the code which runs on these servers means that fewer servers and computing resources are required to handle massive amounts of traffic.  Rather than throwing more hardware at an issue, an optimized “back end” will mean being able to support higher volume with less computer resources.  So a relatively small investment in upfront optimization will mean that advertisers can spend much less on computing resources to support their sites.

So let’s look at Server Request Times for the advertisers…


Here we can see that Kia, Colgate and Audi have the fastest server side response times for the past 24 hours leading into the SuperBowl.

Optimizing the server requires specialized understanding as to how all the moving parts (applications, services, processes, hosts, methods, code, etc…) interact with each other.  The web sites advertiser use are incredibly complex and finding performance bottlenecks or application issues can be an expensive time consuming process without the right tools.

For example this is what a website can look like from the server side…


So when we see advertisers with a 2.39 second server side request time we know there is room for improvement as other advertisers only spend 0.05 seconds on server side request time.

UPDATE: February 7th, 2016 12:40pm

We have been tracking’s Super Bowl page this week and have seen some intermittent issues.  Some of the issues point back to servers however other issues look to be caused by third parties (these are things like social media widgets, ad providers, analytics, etc…).


When we started to look at where some of the content and third party service were coming from we saw some interesting things that sites owners need to keep on top of.  For example this map is where we are monitoring from for today’s event.


Everything being monitored from locations in the US.  Now below is a map showing where responses (content) are coming from.


Insert “scratch head” icon here.  What would cause this?  This is actually not that uncommon. End User’s are often not aware that when they load a page in their browser (even if it is for a US site) that content could be coming from locations outside the US.  In this case, even though we are loading the pages from US locations we are seeing that some times responses for content coming from Facebook, Yahoo, Google and  ScorecardResearch are coming from non US locations.  Now this might be by design or it might be the result of misrouted traffic.  In any event the, the further away content is from its destination the slower that content might become.

External Synthetic Monitoring is one of the best ways to understand when this happening and what the impact on end user experience it has.

Game On!  Welcome to the Live Blog!

So after months of preparation, anticipation and some incredible football it is time to sit back and enjoy the Big Game #SuperBowl50.   We’ve been blogging about our preparations this week (see below) and have been seeing some interesting things.

We expect that today will (like any good football game) have some high points and low points for advertisers.  This Live Blog will go over a lot of technical details and we will do our best to translate technical metrics to business outcomes.  In the end that’s what this is…

The Super Bowl is NOT a sporting event, it is a Business and Brand event.

Joe Martin reported that CBS is charging $5 million USD for a 30 second commercial and that last year the Super Bowl generated 100 million social mentions.  His study showed that post SuperBowl, brands who advertised saw a boost in the stock value.  If that is the case, there is a lot at risk today.  The ads themselves have to be creative and compelling, however the point of the ads is to promote the brand and in today’s business environment the anchor of every brand is a businesses web presence.  The $5 million spent on the ad is only a fraction of what companies spend on maintaining their web and mobile web presence.  That is why we are focusing on each advertiser’s web site today.  The goal of the ads is to drive traffic and interest in the advertiser’s brand.

Other studies have shown that 50% of millennials will be watching today’s event on more than one device. cited a study which showed that the 2016 AFC Championship online viewership was at record levels with 1.2 million unique viewers watching streams online for more than an hour.  We expect that will mean an increase in mobile web traffic and we hope that advertisers will have made appropriate investment in responsive design techniques to speed the performance of mobile web sites.

So let’s have a look at how things currently stand for the advertisers with one of our real time dashboards…


Based on what we are seeing so far it looks like Audi, Heinz and MobileStrikeApp (insert Austrian voice “Get to the choppa” joke here) are going to have a good day.

Keep watch throughout today as we report on live events as they occur.

UPDATE: February 6th, 2016 4:15pm

Some predictions for tomorrow for some of the advertiser’s websites.  Unless these sites are planning some big changes in the next 24 hours (which can absolutely happen) we expect that will be at or near the top of the performers.  The site has been highly optimized, the page weight (amount of content being delivered) is relatively low, the page is not complex (fewer objects and connections or network round trips being made) and they are using only one third party from what we can see.


On the flip side we hope that does well tomorrow but we are seeing some issues which should be addressed.  Based on our experience sites like this will be challenged when faced with a  lot of traffic.  Our waterfall chart shows some of the issues we are seeing with SSL times.


A further look with some browser developer tools on their page show some other issues.  Most of these look like they are issues with third parties, some certificate issues. The browser developer tool (Safari) we are using had the debugger stop the page loading for a couple of these events.


Complex pages tend to struggle during high traffic events.  We hope things go well for them tomorrow.

UPDATE: February 6th, 2016 2:30pm

Looking at some of the third parties prepping for tomorrow.  Outage Analyzer is seeing some services out with what looks like CDN tuning.


Dynatrace Keynote Internet Pulse showing a lot of red.  This tracks peering at the backbone/carrier level.  Again we hope that this is prep activity and we do not see this tomorrow during the big game.


UPDATE: February 6th, 2016 11:30am

Updated the advertiser list to include some last minute additions.  While we can run our tests from ten of thousands of locations world wide, for the Big Game we will focusing on 9 locations across the US with 5 regions for Real Desktop Browsers using a Chrome profile and 3 regions for Mobile tests using a Webkit based iPhone6 profile.


We will be augmenting the above data with tests running from a Chrome Browser from a random selection of over 10,000 locations in real users homes and workplaces.  This is called Last Mile monitoring.


Each time a single test runs from any of locations above (either the Backbone, Mobile or Last Mile) our Browsers load the complete page, including all the third party content.


This is a substantial amount of data.  Tools like our real time Dashboards and Root Cause Analysis allow us to pinpoint problem areas in moments as opposed to to taking hours sifting through various screens of data.

UPDATE: February 6th, 2016 1:00am

You read that right, what are we doing up at 1am?  Websites never sleep, so this weekend we won’t either.

Here is a view of over the past 7 days.  Looks like there were a couple of performance issues during the past 24-36 hours.


Dynatrace Root Cause Analysis shows the following issues…


Putting our thinking caps on it looks like some pre-game configuration tuning with CDN (Content Delivery Network) partners. Hoping that’s all it is and doesn’t show up on Sunday.

UPDATE: February 5th, 2016 3:00pm

So we are putting the finishing touches on our monitoring Dashboards for the weekend.  If you were at the Dynatrace Perform Conference this fall you would have seen our Digital Experience Center (DEC).  In preparing for the SuperBowl we created a mini-DEC for the event.


This DEC above pulls in data from Dynatrace Synthetic Tests (upper left) tracking NFL and related media sites, a custom Google flight search widget (lower left), a live Twitter feed for #SuperBowl (center), a Google Trends Map widget for SuperBowl related searches (upper right) and a link to Outage Analyzer for tracking third party outages (lower right).   This view allows us to use multiple sources of data in a single pain of glass for tracking a big event.


In addition the DEC will also be using this dashboard (above) for part of our live real time cover during the Super Bowl.  We have live feeds for tests hitting both Desktop and Mobile web sites.

As you can see the tests are up and running, we have comparative data coming in.  Here is our first public view of how the #SuperBowl advertisers are shaking up.


We hope the big game will be exciting and the ads entertaining this Sunday, but mostly we hope that the advertisers sites are ready for the traffic.  There is a lot of investment running on these sites, let see if they are up to the challenge.

UPDATE:  February 4th, 2016 10:30Am

So as I am prepping for monitoring the Big Game (#SuperBowl) this weekend I started to run into some issues using Twitter as an indicator of when sites may be failing.   Now this is really a unique situation, however I imagine that trying to use keywords in social media as strategy to monitor #CX and #UX is more common than we think.  We’ve scene scenarios where a “C” level or executive VP reads an unkind tweet and it starts the snowball rolling.

In this situation I thought it would be useful to create a widget to track occurrences of #SuperBowl and #Crash to see what social media is saying about any advertisers sites crashing this weekend.  Choice of words is important…


So #Crash is clearly not the word to use this weekend, #Fail might be but we shall see.  The point here is that Social Media is a great tool, however using it to track #CX and UX poses some challenges.

Ideally what advertisers and site owners should be doing is using some sort of solution for tracking real user interactions.  User Experience Management or Real User Monitoring is how the industry commonly describes what site owners will need this weekend.  This type of tool is different from Google Analytics or Omniture as they provide data in “Real Time” on every end user visit and every end user interaction (meaning every click, touch, swipe, etc…), not just page loads but all those client side “asynchronous” events which are used by almost every modern site today.


The view above is from Dynatrace Ruxit.  This view allows a site owner to track end user performance and end user activity, but it also tracks things like browser or client side errors (JavaScript errors).  These are the things which can unexpectedly impact site owners  during events like the big game this weekend.

Understanding when these events are occurring is often a difficult task and why more often than not site owners use tools like Social Media to tell them when end users are having issues not being detected by their server side monitoring.  A good User Experience Management or Real user Management tool will automatically detect these events.


An even better User Experience Management solution will tell a site owner what JavaScript is having an issue, what the issue is, what browsers or locales are being impacted and most importantly (this is the hard part) who is delivering the JavaScript.  Many times we have seen a JavaScript introduced by a third party cause issues and tracking down who delivered the JavaScript is a costly time consuming process.


Automating the discovery, detection and impact of these events is what the industry needs as sites are using more and more third parties.  I expect that we will see some sites this weekend be impacted by third party javascript issues.  Site owners and advertisers need to keep on top of this as looking for Social Media comments for bad #CX and #UX alone is a losing strategy.

Original blog post: Prepping for The Big Game 2016 — February 3

It’s only a couple of days away and the team here at Dynatrace has been working hard this week prepping for The Big Game.  We will be having a Dynatrace “Performance Bowl” to monitor a variety of websites all touched in some way by the wrap up this season’s final game for the NFL.  Given the hype and investment being made for this one single event all eyes will be on the game and the ads this Sunday.   Advertisers have to get it right. It won’t be enough to come up with a creative ad, they need to make sure that after the ads air that their websites can withstand the onslaught of traffic which will follow.   The Brands in question are investing a lot of money, so there is a lot at risk.  Having a website crash after the event can damage a brand and potentially waste well-intended advertising dollars.

The Dynatrace “Performance Bowl” will be tracking the following:

  • NFL websites
  • Ticket websites
  • Team websites
  • Betting/Gaming/Fantasy Football websites
  • Official Broadcaster website
  • Major sports sites

And of course…

  • Advertiser websites

We will be tracking these proactively using real browsers running from multiple locations across the US and the globe.

The SD Times just posted a great article ( about what the media and advertisers need to keep in mind.  Like we did last year (, we will be providing a live blog before during and after the game.  Keep checking in to see how the sites we are tracking are performing.

About The Author
David Jones
David Jones Director, Sales Engineering. APM Evangelist David Jones is the Director of Sales Engineering and APM Evangelism for Dynatrace. He has been with Dynatrace for 8 years, and has 20 years’ experience working with web and mobile technologies from the first commercial HTML editor to the latest web delivery platforms and architectures. He has worked with scores of Fortune 500 organizations providing them the most recent industry best practices for web and mobile application delivery. Prior to Dynatrace he has worked at Gomez (Waltham), S1 Corp (Atlanta), Broadvision (Bay Area), Interleaf/Texcel (Waltham), i4i (Toronto) and SoftQuad (Toronto).