How is your network treating your applications and their users?
These days, most forward thinking enterprises are prepared to invest in improving the performance of their applications. They know speedy tools cut down on frustration and make their workforce more productive.
But one of the hardest things about IT investment is knowing what to invest in to get the best results. Application chains are complex, and it’s a challenge to figure out whether the application itself is to blame, something has gone haywire in the delivery infrastructure, or if an issue at a certain location is disrupting user access.
User experience of the application over the network
Obviously the user’s experience of applications can be affected by many things at many levels. Fortunately there are RUM tools for passive monitoring of the real situations that users are experiencing. Such solutions measure the quality experienced by all application users, in all usage contexts, on any application delivered on whatever network they are using.
Business applications on corporate networks
Some RUM tools are specially designed to analyze the performance of networks over which applications are accessed. Let’s focus on this now, as it is especially important for internal business-critical applications (ERP, CRM and others) running on specific networks (WAN, LAN).
What exactly is slowing things down for end users? Is it a problem between the application and the database? Is limited bandwidth throttling performance, or is a certain application hogging resources? What exactly happens when a staff member tries to process an order?
To find out, you need “wire data”, in other words, information about how traffic transits over the wires of your network and its impact on application performance.
Network-level application performance
An application-aware, non-intrusive, unified solution like Network APM captures traffic flows on virtual, physical, and SD networks, all without any overhead which could interfere with QoE. It provides three kinds of data: about how the network is used and how it responds, about application delivery on the infrastructure, and about transactions (the performance of the application itself).
Such tools monitor real-life usage of applications and how your network handles that traffic. Network-level performance monitoring tools measure flows from client to server and between application tiers. Now it’s easy to see exactly what user complaints are about – a detailed view of each session, with its transactions and errors, shows you where and when things are not running smoothly on the network.
Network APM audits conducted by professionals are designed to help make the most of investments by prioritizing the problems to resolve. Their analyses and custom reports are an important basis for justifying investments and, most especially, for measuring improvements. That’s the whole point of such technologies: to continuously improve user QoE by improving application performance across the network.