by Rudi Shumpert

Having spent the last few years working with clients large and small to eval­u­ate and imple­ment tag manage­ment systems, I have heard it all.

Does your tool produce golden eggs?”

Does your tool have heat vision?”

Does your tool guar­an­tee that if the Mayans are right and the world ends that your servers will still be up and running to serve the track­ing code?”

Sound famil­iar?  Have you heard ques­tions like this, or even better, asked them your­self to a vendor?

I will grant you that these seem a bit silly, but the last one about the reli­a­bil­ity of the infra­struc­ture of the solu­tion comes up every time.   And for some large enter­prise orga­ni­za­tions I have seen some solu­tions actu­ally have a nega­tive impact on page perfor­mance.  But before we dig into how Satel­lite handles this infra­struc­ture ques­tion, let’s make sure that we are all talking the same language or at least clear up a few common miscon­cep­tions.

Impact on Performance

If your analyt­ics provider has a track­ing code javascript file that is 100k in size, that code, in some shape or form, still has to be deliv­ered to your site.  If your site is loaded with market­ing pixels and you put them all in the TMS tool they still have to be deliv­ered to your site.  There is no magic potion that takes the 400k (combined javascript file size of all your current analyt­ics scripts) and turns it into 4k.  Some perfor­mance can be gained by only serving subsets of code to the sections of your site that need the code, but there is a trade off in the process­ing time for the TMS to deter­mine which code is loaded on which page.   After you read all the propa­ganda out there on file size and site speed impact, go out and use YSlow, Keynote, or Gomez, you’ll most likely find there are plenty of other opti­miza­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties for your site than getting caught up on a 10k file size differ­ence in code libraries.

Hosting & Infrastructure

Now that we are talking about compar­ing apples to apples, let’s get back to infra­struc­ture.   Satel­lite puts the choice on where and how the Satel­lite track­ing library is hosted and served to your site.  The first option is we can host it for you on the highly reli­able Amazon S3 cloud.

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Others might scoff at this and regale you with tales of their multi­ple cloud clus­ters that offer the latest in redun­dancy & reli­a­bil­ity.   More clusters…more points of failure, but lets say you have some legit­i­mate reasons for not wanting to use a hosted option of delive

ring Satel­lite’s track­ing library.

  • Privacy & Data Secu­rity:  Most finan­cial insti­tu­tions and other compa­nies with strict privacy compli­ance polices may not be legally permit­ted to use a hosted option.
  • Reli­a­bil­ity: You do not trust in the cloud providers to ensure that your mission crit­i­cal app or web prop­erty is never impacted by any hiccups in the cloud clus­ters or you are a current user of such a clus­tered setup and have seen first-hand issues with keeping multi­ple clus­ters in sync and the anom­alies that can result from that.
  • Server Calls:  You might already pay your analyt­ics provider for server calls so why would you want to intro­duce another vari­able cost item into your budget?
  • You just don’t want to.  Also a valid reason.

*Mi Casa, Su Casa *

Well, we agree with you.  That is why Satel­lite gives you another option for hosting your track­ing library.   Host it your­self.  You have invested time and budget already build­ing a robust hosting envi­ron­ment for your digital assets so why not use that and elim­i­nate the intro­duc­tion of a foreign hosted set of code on your site.  This will also keep to a minimum the number of inter­nal meet­ings you will have or have to have with your IT depart­ment when their moni­tor­ing solu­tions keep flag­ging the hosted code library files.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 11.36.16 AM Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 11.36.42 AM

I can feel you nodding from here and you are ready to hear more about this feature. Satel­lite provides two methods for hosting the code library your­self.  You can set up an FTP server and Satel­lite will push the code libraries to your server on demand or you can work with your IT folks to create a process that will fetch the code from our servers.   You get to choose which method you are most comfort­able with… heck you can use them in conjunc­tion if you want to.   Lets say you are a large retailer who’s agency is creat­ing a microsite for a new holiday promo­tion that will be hosted outside your normal envi­ron­ment.  No problem, just flip the Amazon S3 switch on and send them the embed code and you are all set.   The point is you get to choose your own comfort level with the Satel­lite hosting options.

If you would like to learn more about the hosting options that Satel­lite provides or to sched­ule a demo to see all of the features, email me rudi(at)