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360 Degree Visibility Into Enterprise Network and Application Performance: Why You Need It, How to Get It

Network and application performance performance monitoring tools often do not help enterprises very much with optimizing quality of experience (QoE). Why does this matter and how to fix it?

One of the biggest challenges faced by enterprise IT teams today is how to provide end-users with excellent quality of experience (QoE). The best scenario: most users take it for granted that applications and connectivity work without a problem.

Easier said than done, of course. The enterprise IT environment is a fast-changing one, with diversified applications (including software as-a-service/SaaS, packaged, and hybrid-cloud applications) distributed in both private data centers and public clouds.

Sad but true: existing monitoring and management tools and the way they’re used are generally not helping enterprises optimize QoE. For example, in most enterprises there are separate teams, using different tools, to handle network performance monitoring (NPM) and application performance monitoring (APM). These need to be brought together in a unified system to achieve real-time, end-to-end performance monitoring and troubleshooting, and proactive problem resolution. The goal is to resolve degradation in user experience before they even notice. (Warning: we’ll be using the word proactive a lot!)

Unified View: Collaborate and Conquer

What will it take to get there? Nothing less than a unified management platform for network and application performance. Let’s break this down into parts that make up the whole:

  • Network-level usage, performance, and error management
  • Application-level, end-to-end delivery management for proactive (see, warned you!) insights into degradation origin and scope
  • Application-level performance management with transaction-level response time and proactive (there it is again!) insight into errors and back-end performance

The keywords here are end-to-end and top-to-bottom: bring NPM and APM together to cover the entire network from data center to application endpoint, and from Layer 2 through 7.

Why This is Better

This all sounds great. But how does it really help an IT department up their proactive (and again!) QoE assurance game? It may be pedantic to list the benefits in a bulleted list, but it still serves as an important checklist and reminder:

Improve troubleshooting

  • Quickly isolate issues: where does the problem originate? Client? LAN? WAN? Server? Application?
  • Handle end-user complaint better with faster diagnostics
  • Allocate cases to the right team; improve IT productivity, and reduce MTTR
  • See possible problems before they affect users (ahem, proactive again); reduce the number of complaints
  • Get faster response from vendors and service providers

Improve network performance

  • Maintain peak performance: LAN, WAN, SD-WAN
  • Get a handle on capacity management: adjust it as needed to optimize QoE
  • Detect and mitigate abnormal traffic behavior
  • Squeeze every last ROI drop out of network investments

Improve end-user experience

  • Make every interaction top-notch, whether on-premises, multi-cloud, SaaS, or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
  • Know what actions you can take, and what infrastructure investments you can make, that will have the most impact on QoE (oh, there’s that proactive thing again)

Improve change management

  • Reduce risk and impairments: synchronize efforts for DevOps during application roll-out
  • Implement continuous delivery and deployment models
  • Drive smart architecture and capacity decisions (that’s proactive, right?!)
  • Deploy new applications smoothly every time

Solution: SkyLIGHT™ PVX

We have the Gartner-recognized solution that lets you achieve true 360 degree visibility by combining NPM and APM. It’s called SkyLIGHT™ PVX, and it’s possible because we acquired Performance Vision and combined their technology with our own to create a new type of performance platform that covers the network end-to-end (core to edge) and top-to-bottom (Layers 2-7).

What is SkyLIGHT PVX? A passive, wire-analytics solution that delivers unified performance management with best-in-classes resolution and speed. It’s highly scalable and easy to set up. Traffic is captured and analyzed in real time to provide actionable insights across complex, multi-cloud network environments. Applications? Links? Users? SkyLIGHT PVX covers them all!

Here’s how it works: traffic flows are captured and analyzed in real-time. Metadata is stored in a centralized data store for reporting. In just four clicks, and only a few minutes, it’s easy to get information on specific applications and drill all the way down to TCP session details and transactions.