Today an increasing number of IT professionals focus their attention on network reporting. There are a lot of reasons for this. Indeed, reports synthesize the operational analytics that
- Compare a period of time with another to help understand trends and issues
- Show the impact of projects, deployments, and changes
- Act as a management tool to show the progress towards objectives and performance optimizations
Depending upon the approach, producing performance management reports based on network data may change the overall efficiency of the IT team… and the Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) of performance degradations!
How can you provide performance management reports based on network data?
- The old NPM way, which involved capturing, storing packets and generating reports out of them
- The IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) way of using wire data, which involves processing network traffic to achieve real-time transaction analysis to provide instant visibility on network and application performance
Is the good old NPM approach fit for today’s business context?
Sure, you can run regular audits or troubleshooting operations, you can capture and store network packets for in-depth post-mortem analysis, and you can spend some (generally a lot of) time on it and then produce great reports.
As good as it sounds, nowadays this is not enough anymore! The major drawbacks of producing reports based on traditional traffic capture are that:
- Generating reports this way is costly (in time and resources)
- Extracting application performance analytics from packet data for a long period of time, based on packet analysis, is almost impossible for a large scale system
- If they are great at telling you what happened in the past, traditional traffic capture solutions don’t tell you much about what is happening right now
Today’s businesses are interconnected and users/customers are less and less patient. Users and your management want responses and they expect it to be almost immediate. You need to know exactly what is happening right away! If your boss calls to complain about service quality, answering, “I will run an investigation and then send you a report next week”, will not be well-received anymore. Responsibility might be determined later on but the service has to be restored first and as quickly as possible. How can you achieve that if you are not even aware that something wrong is going on?
There are new ways to process wire data to transform it into IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) which will help your team keep up with the growing performance demand, complexity, and data volumes.
Wire data REAL-TIME transaction analysis is the key!
If there is an issue with one of your critical business services, you have to be aware of it, ideally even before users start really complaining about it… When the issue occurs, the following information is crucial:
- Which applications?
- Running on which servers?
- Impacting how many users?
- For which application transactions?
What you need are not the packets stored somewhere for later analysis (with the data volumes exchanged nowadays, this way of doing things is simply outdated), but all that information already processed, one-click away whenever you need it, whatever the quantity of traffic represents!
Real-Time Stream Analysis needs to go down to the level of APPLICATION TRANSACTIONS
You need to be able to drill-down from a global status of the delivery of an application through the infrastructure to the details of the application transactions to understand what is going on:
- Which HTTP request is failing?
- Which specific database request is killing application response times?
Extracting this end-to-end visibility in real time from the wire data is mandatory to shorten mean time to repair (MTTR) which is key for full operational availability. This is truly decisive for running a successful business.
Example: SkyLIGHT PVX pinpoints the origin of performance issues, see details of SQL transactions analyzed in real-time.
How can you start getting performance analytics from your wire data?
You first need to realize the criticality for your business and your team needs to move away from a situation where it relies on after-the-fact investigations based on reports or post-mortem analysis.
You can then boost the service levels that you provide to your end users by leveraging a real-time IT performance analytics solution. You will be able to troubleshoot and fix potential issues as they happen.
SkyLIGHT PVX covers the major network and application protocols used on the market:
- Web (HTTP and HTTPS)
- File transfers and storage (CIFS, SMB)
- Name services
Whatever the solutions you have in place in your IT environment, SkyLIGHT PVX can help.
Another reason that companies may not adopt real-time analytics is the common misconception that real-time transaction analysis is way too expensive to adopt. Is it?
This may have been true in the past. At the time, intrusive hardware components on the network were required that were both technically challenging and cost prohibitive. Technology has changed drastically over the past few years. In fact, SkyLIGHT PVX has no impact on your network and, being software-based, it can be deployed in any kind of environments: standard, virtual, in the cloud or SDN based… We’re breaking barriers making wire data real-time analytics available everywhere, easier to use, and more affordable.
Wire data real-time monitoring is not meant to fully replace network reports. There is still value in the analysis of old data and in identifying trends. There is some insight that you can get from the analysis of high volumes of data over time that real-time analysis will not provide. You do not have to choose one or the other. You will benefit from mixing real-time wire data analytics with network-based reporting. SkyLIGHT PVX easily covers both aspects in a single product. Wire data real-time transaction analysis for all applications across your IT posture will give you a better chance to fix problems faster, as soon as they arise. You will save time and money by being more reactive and providing a better service for your end users.
SkyLIGHT PVX offers a unique end-to-end solution combining wire data real-time analytics, network infrastructure, application and user experience monitoring for a