ThousandEyes better than 1 in service problem detection

Innovation

The rise of mobile apps, the shift from on-premises to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and the reliance on third-party services has increased the complexity of application delivery. ThousandEyes and AppDynamics address the newly emerged challenges of cloud and internet-centric enterprise environments by bridging the gaps left by traditional, siloed monitoring tools to provide a proactive and comprehensive view of the app experience.

Nowadays, when things go wrong, no matter where, online operations and site reliability teams are expected to react quickly to minimize the impact on their customers. The challenge for app providers is that users may often experience service degradation even when the application stack seems to be working perfectly fine, making troubleshooting extremely difficult.

In addition, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to ascertain what the problem may be. Service degradation may be due to problems anywhere in the application delivery chain: inside the user’s local network or the customer’s corporate network, in the internet or even in the app provider’s data center.

Traditional performance monitoring solutions that rely on server-side instrumentation are ineffective in troubleshooting these various network segments between the end user and the app itself, each of which can negatively impact user experience.

The primary challenge that online operations teams face today is lack of deep visibility beyond their application stack. Users may still complain about the app being slow or unavailable when nothing seems wrong with the application as seen by the provider. This is typical when things go wrong in delivery. Several things outside the data center environment may be impacting the user experience.

A third-party DNS service the application relies on could be misbehaving; a CDN used by the provider could be adding longer delays; or network problems somewhere along the path could be negatively impacting the application.

Furthermore, the source of the problem might be within the enterprise or local network using the application, making it almost impossible to troubleshoot. There are a host of things that can go wrong. App providers need to track an ever-growing variety of different metrics in order to find out the root cause of service degradation.

New Solution

To troubleshoot problems quickly, a new solution is needed that can find problems anywhere along these different network segments and can correlate network issues with application performance. Many VPM solutions are fragmented and work in isolation, resulting in overdesign and additional spend. Working in tight cooperation, Cisco and it's primary VPM partner NTT Ltd provides a fully integrated approach to monitoring your entire hybrid IT environment.

ThousandEyes Internet and Cloud Intelligence integrated with AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring is the industry’s most comprehensive digital experience monitoring solution that offers visibility into the end-to-end digital supply chain.

ThousandEyes provides a unique solution that allows SaaS providers to characterize and troubleshoot the different elements of app delivery using measurements from lightweight agents. Providers can conduct measurements using Cloud Agents spread across the globe or easy-to-install Enterprise Agents in their own data centers or customer environments.

The solution provides deep visibility into each layer of application delivery and a connecting thread between these layers, making it possible to jump from layer to layer to understand where the problem is.

Online Operations teams can immediately identify which component of application delivery (e.g. DNS, HTTP, Network) is broken and dive deeper into that specific component to visualize the problems and interact with the data.

In addition,ThousandEyes clearly shows large scale internet outages, learned from data in all customer tests, to speed up the process of root cause analysis.

The solution combines active and passive monitoring techniques to gather telemetry across the digital delivery stack that enterprises don’t control. ThousandEyes vantage points proactively collect performance data on internet health and routing behavior, ISP connectivity, network metrics, cloud connectivity, and tracks the impact on application availability and end-user experience.

AppDynamics, through agent instrumentation, goes deep into the application code, monitoring performance between service tiers and identifying anomalies impacting business transactions. Together, the two platforms give IT Ops a common dashboard to detect business-disruptive incidents across the entire digital delivery stack and every dependency on which the business relies.

Greater Clarity

Thanks to the service, one can now detect service disruptions in ISP networks as well as DNS and CDN providers, and see how it impacts app availability, response times, and page load performance. Furthermore, visibility into hybrid- and multi-cloud deployments slows for the testing of backend application interactions and dependencies with external third-party APIs or cloud-based services.

 Using ThousandEyes and AppDynamics together offers a simple, efficient solution for anomaly detection, as ThousandEyes reports and alerts are now embeddable as widgets within the AppDynamics dashboard.

It is also possible to create custom events in AppDynamics upon alert notification to trigger policy actions for remediation or to trigger enhanced ThousandEyes tests adaptively. In order to make moving across the two platforms seamless when troubleshooting, ThousandEyes’ interactive share links are also embeddable within the AppDynamics custom event alerts.

With these cutting-edge solutions, online operations teams can troubleshoot application delivery problems in hybrid environments in a matter of minutes. Cloud agents are an easy way to get started with ThousandEyes, since they don’t require any special deployment effort except test configuration.

Enterprise agents can be deployed at customer sites and be configured to perform periodic tests on the application provider’s application. ThousandEyes can reduce the MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution) of infrastructure problems from hours and days to a few minutes.

More information is available at www.thousandeyes.com and appd.hu.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of March 26, 2021.

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