To Host Or Not to Host?

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.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 11.35.48 AM

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)

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