Switch to Digital Experience Monitoring

Author
Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

It’s time to replace your application performance monitoring and real user monitoring systems with digital experience monitoring (DX) for a more comprehensive monitoring solution. 

What is Digital Experience Monitoring? 

Digital experience monitoring uses multiple mechanisms to identify application problems: 

  • Application performance monitoring (APM) 
  • Real user monitoring (RUM) 
  • Active testing of service response through synthetic transactions 
  • Network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD) 

To understand more about DX, read my article about it on nojitter.com: Why You Should Use Digital Experience Monitoring. 

The power of DX comes from correlating all the available data to produce more accurate assessments of problems. This includes application performance monitoring, user monitoring, and real-time testing. 

The correlation of the different mechanisms allows DX to accurately identify a problem’s source, including your network, the application’s internal processes, or networks outside your control. Its ability to analyze SaaS/PaaS/IaaS applications is especially valuable because it can detect problems within a service provider’s infrastructure. 

On the client end of the link, DX can identify problems that affect the client’s computer and its local network. In one case study, we were able to identify a problem with an executive’s home WiFi. 

The prevalence of cloud-based services, work-from-home, and internet VPN means that many network paths are over networks that are not under corporate control. DX can identify when there are problems with these networks. In another use-case, we were able to identify a network routing problem between two ISPs that was affecting file transfers several times per hour. 

DX is also useful for identifying problems with critical parts of web sites, such as the order placement component or product search function. Getting a baseline for performance and then monitoring it over time is essential to smooth eCommerce operations. You’ll want to use DX tools to differentiate between a JavaScript problem on the client endpoint and an application or database problem. 

Unified communications and collaboration problems are also transparent when DX is applied. Is it a server problem, network problem, or something else? If it is a network problem, what part of the network is the cause? This diagnostic capability across many endpoints is essential for supporting the work-from-home staff that many organizations rely on each day. 

Making DX Useful 

Sound reporting systems are critical to any network monitoring system. Efficient reporting mechanisms are required to allow you to identify the most severe problems without examining data from hundreds or thousands of applications, networks, and clients. You’ll also want the ability to feed alerts to an event management system where algorithms can alert operators. Some event management systems are now using machine learning to correlate events, resulting in fewer actionable events. 

One customer uses their DX product to identify at least one problem every day, allowing them to continuously improve their Internet presence. 

Conclusion 

Catchpoint is NetCraftsmen’s preferred DX partner. We’ve used it in several use-cases, solving problems that would have been challenging and time-consuming to solve with other tools. If you have an application or network problem that’s been impossible to solve, give us a chance to examine it. Our combination of tools and expertise means that NetCraftsmen personnel identify and solve problems efficiently. 

 

Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.

 

Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.

 

John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.