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Addressing cloud network visibility gaps

Mon 27 Jan 2020 | Archana Kesavan

Today’s complex IT ecosystem calls for a new breed of network monitoring

Getting end-user experience right is an ever-growing concern for enterprises – and for good reason. 90 percent of users would stop using an app due to poor performance, while 88 percent of consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.

Think about Netflix, Uber or Facebook, if the app is slow to respond, customers won’t even think twice before taking their business to Amazon Prime, Bolt, Instagram – and that’s major revenue lost. Even if you aren’t the likes of Amazon, performance issues that aren’t resolved have the potential to wreak havoc on a brand’s revenue and reputation. In fact, 98 percent of organisations say that a single hour of downtime could cost them over £80,000.

The need for visibility into application performance has never been greater and, as a result, performance monitoring tools have become critical to everyday life for many businesses. One way to monitor performance is through synthetic monitoring.

A complex IT ecosystem

Synthetic monitoring is not an alien concept. It refers to a process that involves simulating user interactions with an application or website to see how it performs from a user’s point of view. It’s a technique that was developed a long time ago and continues to be a popular choice for application, ITOps and monitoring teams to proactively monitor application performance.

Unfortunately, synthetic monitoring has seen little to no change in the past decade. The problem is that the enterprise environment that these tools monitor has undergone major transformation and is no longer an ecosystem solely built on single browsers or applications.

With the rise of online and cloud services, the digital supply chain has become far more complex. Businesses are relying heavily on SaaS. These applications each interact with multiple third-party services through APIs, operate across multiple clouds and engage with customers through multiple domains.

This means conventional synthetic monitoring tools, with their app-only focus, are no longer up to the job. Relying on a purely app-centric view leaves IT teams blind to other network and third-party components should a performance issue occur.

With applications becoming increasingly API-heavy and internet-dependent, and current synthetic monitoring tools presenting limitations for digitally transforming enterprises, a performance monitoring gap has opened up.

As such, businesses are struggling to address application and infrastructure performance issues. For organisations that want to embrace digital transformation while possessing full network performance visibility, a new breed of synthetic monitoring is needed.

Internet-aware monitoring

This new generation of synthetic monitoring must provide a holistic view of all components within an organisation’s service delivery supply chain. In today’s internet-dependent and cloud centric IT ecosystem, this involves combining information from end-to-end applications, website performance, business transactions and network paths, whilst correlating underlying cloud infrastructure as well as Internet routing and outage visibility.

Consolidating all of this information together into a singular view gives businesses an unparalleled level of visibility which can be used instantly to identify SaaS, CDN, IaaS, ISP, cloud or browser-based issues quickly, regardless of where the problem lies. This immediacy means more time can be spent on the job at hand – resolving an issue and reducing its impact. Moreover, it enables companies to test user interactions across different points in the user journey and from user-relevant locations. This is especially important for identifying bottlenecks and developing strategies to overcome them.

Whether launching a new application or website, synthetic monitoring is fundamental to performance and validating new code rollouts. But as enterprise infrastructure evolves, a new type of synthetic monitoring is required.

Experts featured:

Archana Kesavan

Director, Product Marketing
ThousandEyes

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