SD-WAN and application monitoring are complementary parts of your user experience strategy. Here’s why.
When we talk about networks and IT as business enablers, it sounds like a cliché. Yet IT and infrastructure leaders tell us improving quality, lowering costs, and aligning more with business units are their top three most important goals in 2019, according to Gartner. (Source: Gartner’s I&O Executive Leaders 2019 Survey.)
For many enterprises that need to transform and ‘do more with less’, this translates into improving digital customer experience, migrating to cloud business applications, and adopting more efficient agile networks to improve business processes and speed to market.
Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) are a big leap forward in terms of improving overall visibility, making the network more application-centric and giving more management and control to enterprises. These capabilities are needed both by enterprises moving applications to the cloud, and by distributed enterprises.
While SD-WAN is an improvement when it comes to detecting performance issues and intelligently routing applications across the wide area network (WAN) and between remote offices, there’s no real local perspective into what’s going on with end users.
‘Slow’ is the new ‘down’: managing local user experience
Scenario: application and network flows are all green on the WAN, but the user is having trouble with an application server. It’s possible the culprit is not software as-a-service (SaaS) service delivery across the WAN, but rather issues with the application itself. How would you know?
Monitoring application flows across an SD-WAN is not the same as managing end user experience. End-user interactions with business-critical applications are rarely point-to-point but more complex. To properly manage application transaction delay and server delay, you need high-resolution analytics on the client-server front-end and back-end interaction.
Discover application problems before they impact user experience
Enterprises transitioning to SD-WAN can add real business value if they properly manage 1) the SD-WAN overlay network, 2) the underlay physical networks, and 3) the application experience–all the way from the core to the end user.
IT teams routinely have to defend new technologies and SD-WAN is no exception. With lightweight performance monitoring solutions in place, teams gain even more visibility into their network without overcomplicating their management stack. You can baseline user experience to ensure that it actually does improve. It’s not a case of either SD-WAN or monitoring, but a combination of both.
In moving to SD-WAN, you can get the benefits of agile and cost-effective networks and the added benefit of improving end user experience by eliminating visibility blind spots. All this is possible if you:
- Proactively manage application quality of experience (QoE) to prioritize, isolate, and prevent user-impacting issues.
- Use analytics on real time granular data to pinpoint application performance degradations and adapt at machine speed.
- Distribute lightweight performance management in cloud networks as micro-services that can be initiated dynamically.
- Integrate network and application performance management platforms for full visibility.