About the web interface controls
In addition to being accessible via Fastly's application programming interface (API), Fastly services can also be accessed via a web-based user interface for users with the appropriate access permissions.
Access to Fastly's user interface controls
Access to Fastly's user interface controls requires users sign up for a Fastly account. Signup is free. Once signed up, customers access the user interface controls via the Fastly login page. The Login page can be accessed using any standard web browser or by clicking the Login button at the top right of almost all pages at Fastly's website.
Once logged in to a Fastly account via a web browser, the user interface controls appear based on the user's roles and permissions. The controls are grouped by like functions and customers access each functional set by clicking on an appropriate icon at the top of the window. Groups of controls may sometimes be referred to as "tabs" (e.g., the Analytics tab). The default control groups appear as follows:
Not all Fastly features are enabled by default. Some features (e.g., custom VCL) must be specifically requested by contacting Fastly Customer Support at email@example.com. Once enabled, the appearance of the user interface controls will change to include these services.
About the Account Settings controls
The Account settings controls allow customers to view and modify overall account access settings as well as personal profile settings for a logged in user
What customers can control with the Account Settings
If their logged in permissions allow it, users can also change their password to the account and administer the access of multiple users on that account. The Account settings area also displays the logged in user's customer ID, company name, and API key (which can be regenerated from this location as well). Customers can cancel their account via the Account Settings page if they have the appropriate permissions at the time they're logged in.
Account settings controls appear automatically for logged in users with the appropriate access permissions.
About the Analytics Dashboard
The Analytics Dashboard, sometimes simply referred to as "the Dashboard," allows customers to monitor caching for each of their services, one at a time in real time, as they operate on a second-by-second basis.
What the Analytics dashboard tells users
The Dashboard specifically displays the following information about a service:
- the percentage of requests per second delivered from cache (via the Fastly hitometer)
- a metrics table showing Total Requests, Hit Ratio, Errors, Hits, Hit Time, Misses, and Miss Time
- a global traffic profile (via the global traffic map)
In addition, the Dashboard provides two scrolling graphs. The first graph displays either the number of requests, the bandwidth, or the hit ratio over a two-minute window for any single service as selected by the user. The two-minute rolling average for each of these measurements can also be displayed as an overlay. The second graph displays a histogram showing the distribution of miss latency times. This tells you how quickly your origin is responding to Fastly. One minute after Analytics Dashboard measurement data in these graphs has rolled off the screen, it becomes available for retrieval by the Historical Stats controls.
The Dashboard appears automatically for logged in users with the appropriate access permissions; however, it may appear grayed out and blank to some users, with no information displayed in the controls, when a customer's service does not receive enough requests for Fastly to display meaningful information about it in real time.
About the global traffic map
The global traffic map at the top of the Fastly Analytics Dashboard represents a real-time visual representation of the general regions of the world in which Fastly's points of presence (POPs) are receiving requests for your service. As each moment passes, the traffic changes, and these changes are reflected in the map visually by red dots that increase or decrease in size as your request traffic ebbs and flows.
For example, the following images show how requests to the Fastly.com website changed over the course of three seconds, at one second intervals:
The first image displays traffic coming into Fastly's POPs on the west coast of the United States (Los Angeles, to be exact), the central region of the US (in this case, Dallas), and in Europe via our Amsterdam POP.
The second image, taken one second later, shows how the global traffic has changed, with a great deal more traffic coming into our central US region, a smaller amount requested from two POPs in the western US region (Los Angeles and San Jose), and a still smaller amount going to the Europe via our London POP.
Finally, our third image, again taken one second later, shows how the global traffic has changed once again with traffic going through our Asia/Pacific POP in Tokyo, and smaller amounts going through Dallas and Los Angeles.
About the Billing and Invoice Controls
The Billing and Invoices controls provide customers with an overview of charges accrued to date for the current month. These charges are displayed both in aggregate and detailed by POP region. Customers can also access their complete billing history, payment statuses, payment amounts, and viewable invoices.
What customers can control via Billing and Invoices
This page shows customers at a glance whether or not their account is paid in full and allows them to change information about the credit card that should be charged for account payment.
Billing controls appear automatically for logged in users assigned the billing or super user roles.
About the Configuration Control Panel
The configuration Control Panel allows customers to define exactly how each instance of their cache should behave and deliver content from each data sources. Customers use the Control Panel to create versions of each service's configuration settings and then use the controls to deploy or deactivate them.
What customers can control with the Configuration Control Panel
Specifically, customers with the appropriate permissions can configure and manage:
- the domains used to route requests to a service
- the hosts used as backends for a site and how they should be accessed
- the health checks that monitor backend hosts
- various request and cache settings, headers, and responses that control how Fastly caches and serves content for a service
- how logging should be performed and where server logs should be sent (as specified by an rsyslog endpoint)
- various third-party plugins available for use with Fastly services (e.g., WordPress)
- custom Varnish configuration language (VCL) files if custom VCL is enabled
- how conditions are mapped and used for a service at various times (e.g., during request processing, when Fastly receives a backend response, or just before an object is potentially cached)
Users can activate configuration changes immediately and roll back those changes just as quickly should they not have the intended effect. The Control Panel also allows users to compare differences between two configuration versions.
The Control Panel appears automatically for logged in users with the appropriate access permissions.
About the Historical Stats Tool
Fastly's Historical Stats tool provides you with statistical information about your website. We display the information as a series of graphs derived from your sites metrics starting from the moment you first start using Fastly.
Using Fastly's Historical Stats tool allows you to view two core categories of metrics:
- Caching and Performance. These metrics help you optimize your website's speed.
- Traffic. These metrics help you analyze your website's traffic as it evolves over time.
Taken together, these statistics can help you not only optimize the overall performance of your website but also expose issues that may be hidden by caching, such as degradation of origin performance or unusually high numbers of errors and redirects for a particular timeframe. By analyzing metrics beginning from the very moment you start using Fastly, you can see how your traffic has grown over the lifetime of using Fastly. Use the information to not only diagnose non-trivial issues, but also make informed marketing and business development decisions by identifying clear traffic growth and patterns for your site.
About each of the core metrics
The Historical Stats tool provides a graphical interface to our popular Historical Stats API. Two types of metrics are displayed: caching-performance metrics and displayed traffic metrics.
The displayed caching and performance metrics include the following:
- Hit Ratio metrics tell you how well you are caching content using Fastly. This metric represents the proportion of cache hits versus all cacheable content (hits + misses). Increasing your hit ratio improves the overall performance benefit of using Fastly.
- Cache Coverage metrics show how much of your site you are caching with Fastly. This metric represents the ratio of cacheable requests (i.e., non "pass" requests) to total requests. Improving your cache coverage by reducing passes can improve site performance and reduce load on your origin servers.
- Caching Overview metrics compare Cache Hits, Cache Misses, Synthetic Responses (in VCL edge responses), and Passes (or requests that cannot be cached according to your configuration).
The displayed traffic metrics include the following:
- Requests metrics show you the total number of requests over time that were received for your site by Fastly.
- Bandwidth metrics show you the amount of bandwidth (measured in bytes) served for your site by Fastly.
- Header & Body Bandwidth metrics show the relative proportion of bandwidth (measured in bytes) used to serve the body portion of HTTP requests and the header portion of the requests for your site.
- Origin Latency metrics show you the average amount of time to first byte (measured in milliseconds) on a cache miss. High origin latency means that your backends are taking longer to process requests.
- Error Ratio metrics show you the ratio of error responses (4XX & 5XX status code errors) compared to the total number of requests for your site. This metric allows you to quickly identify error spikes at given times.
- HTTP Info, Success, & Redirects metrics shows the number of HTTP Info (1XX), Success (2XX), and Redirect (3XX) statuses served for your site using Fastly.
- HTTP Client and Server Errors metrics shows the number of HTTP Client Errors (4XX), and Server Errors (5XX) served for your site by Fastly.
Controlling the amount of historical information displayed
You have full control over how you view the historical information.
Specifically you can choose:
- A single service or all services aggregated together
- The exact date and time range you wish to see
- How often to sample the data (by Day, Hour, or Minute)
- Whether to view worldwide data or only data from a specific region (USA, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, or Asia Pacific)
About the graph controls
All historical information, regardless of which metric you're viewing, appears as a graph with three major sections.
Specifically, you can interact with:
- The Statistics Display controls
- The time-series graph
- The utility buttons
Use the Statistics Display Controls to view other information about the statistics displayed in each time-series graph. For example, the Caching Overview graph includes the statistics for hits, misses, synthetic responses, and passes:
Notice the word "avg" and the menu button to the right of each colored label. The menu buttons control the statistical function used to display the values in each graph. You can choose to display each statistic independently as an average, as a 95th percentile, as a minimum, as a maximum, or their total. Simply select the menu button next to each statistical value and set them to the desired function:
You can even exclude certain statistics entirely. For example, in this Caching Overview graph, we've completely hidden Hits from the display by clicking the checkmark button next to the word "Hits" in the controls.
Notice that the checkmark in the statistical controls changes to a minus sign when a statistic is hidden. The actual numbers still appear in the controls but the graph doesn't display it.
Two utility buttons appear at the top, far right of each time-series graph:
When clicked, the explain button provides a quick explanation of the displayed graph in its default state and how to interpret the information it presents. Clicking the png button downloads the currently displayed time-series graph as a .png file, which can then be used in presentations and reports.
When the Historical Stats Tool appears
Historical Stats controls appear automatically for logged in users with the appropriate access permission; however, the general display of historical stats are delayed between 15-30 minutes and require a statistically measurable amount of traffic to appear in the graphs at all.