CEIP, SQM – the sticky yellow banner in the ISA UI

Ever wondered what CEIP stands for?

How about SQM?

Have you seen the yellow sticky banner on top of the ISA UI that just doesn't go away and wondered what it's all about?

 Well, here are all the answers... read on.

CEIP stands for Customer Experience Improvement Program and it’s the ‘official’ name for SQM which stands for Service Quality Measurement. This is a relatively new technology used in more and more MS products to improve connection with customers and help the product teams learn about how the product is really doing in real life (after leaving the factory grounds).

In ISA, we decided to adopt this technology and we just introduced it in ISA2004 SP2 and in ISA2006 Beta. When you install those, you can see on top of the UI a yellow banner with a link in it saying something like ‘click here to learn about the Customer Experience Improvement Program’. If you click it, you can choose to participate (and you should!) or not to (bad choice). There’s also a link pointing to our ‘official’ word on SQM – it’s here: http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/help.mspx (try it some time).

If you choose to participate in the program, we start collecting information about your ISA server/servers and send this info to MS. This is very similar to when you see an app crashing and you get this Watson pop up saying ‘click here to send the error report to MS’. The main difference is that in SQM we don’t collect info only when things go bad, we collect info about typical real-life scenarios and use it to optimize the product to the way users really use it.

Let me give you an example:

Take Cache for instance. Cache is a feature we introduced many years ago in ISA and we’re developing it (see the cool feature called BITS for instance) and testing it to make sure it’s reliable etc. etc.

Now if we wanted to know what’s the typical size of cache users usually have we’d be in a tough spot till today. We could conduct a survey but we’d probably get no more than 20-30 customers to answer us. Then we’d deduce the cache size based on this survey and invest work in optimizing the cache to work at its best at this specific size.

Now think SQM! with SQM we get cache sizes from thousands of ISA servers on daily basis.  We shipped ISA2004 SP2 a few days ago and we have cache sizes reported to us from more than 1500 ISA servers worldwide. This is amazing!

So we know that looking at 1500 real ISA servers, the typical cache size is between 2-5GB of disk. This is not guessing, this is not survey. These are hard facts. We can now tune the performance of the cache to work at its best at those sizes.

Talk about improving the customer experience.

Want more? Look for my next post on SQM.



Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kind of frustrating when the link it .

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