Nlets Statistics 101

May
04, 2021
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Nlets Statistics 101

You’ve probably heard Nlets staff share some very impressive statistics that pertain to how well we are performing. But we know that phrases like ‘uptime percentage’ and ‘roundtrip time’ can be very overwhelming if you’re not sure exactly what they mean.

Today, we’re going to break down four key statistics: Network Uptime, System Uptime, Message Response Time, and Transactions by Year.

Our Measurement Model

To make sure our data is as accurate as possible, we express our performance statistics using the 5 nine’s model. In other words, we take the statistics out to the thousandths place. For Nlets, achieving 99.999% for the System and Network Uptime would mean only 5 minutes of downtime for the year. As you can see, using this model of measurement gives us granular control of the calculation to give us a precise amount of time that we were up and available.

Nlets Network vs Nlets System

Let’s start by defining the difference between the Nlets System and the Nlets Network. At a high level, all the traffic coming into Nlets comes in through the network to get to the System, otherwise known as the message switch. As the network and the system serve different functions, their performance is tracked separately.

Network Uptime vs System Uptime

When measuring Network Uptime, we are examining the effectiveness of the core Nlets communication infrastructure. This includes core routers and highly available network connections to our private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) cloud; the private cloud that only Nlets devices have access to. In 2020, our Network Uptime was 99.975%. Nlets is able to maintain this up-time due to our end-device configuration. Each router contains an MPLS connection and a backup connection utilizing a VPN backup or a cellular connection.

Our System Uptime, on the other hand, measures the effectiveness of our virtual machines and applications that our message switch uses to process messages. These servers and applications are critical to Nlets’ being able to process the messages that are sent from states, federal partners, and strategic partners. If any of these servers go down or become unresponsive, it could stall or even cease communication altogether. In 2020, our System Uptime was 99.981%.

As you can see by the high percentages of Network Uptime and System Uptime, our Network and System were, and continue to be, highly effective.

Message Response Time

Another important statistic we track is known as the Message Response Time. This number is calculated by sending a query to a state and determining how long it takes to get a response. It is critical for us to keep this number as low as possible, because we want our officers in the field to get the information they need, when they need it. We are constantly working to keep the average response time as low as possible. In 2020, our Message Response Time was 1.79 seconds.

Transactions by Year

Another metric that we keep track of is our Transactions by Year. This is just a simple count of the messages that have traversed our network. Since we know which message types have been sent and who sent them, it is very easy for us to determine how many messages have been processed through our message switch and who the biggest senders are. In 2020, over 2.77 billion transactions traversed the Nlets network.

Conclusion

So, we hope that reading this article today cleared up any confusion you might have about what some of the key Nlets statistics really mean. If you have any additional questions or would like us to explain anything in more detail, feel free to contact Matt Butler, Nlets Operations Services Manager, at mbutler@nlets.org.