Are Your End Users Haunted by Ghosts?
by Joe Michalowski on

No, that’s not a question for superstitious IT leaders. We’re talking about application performance ghost issues—the bane of IT’s existence. Ghost issues are the ones that come up intermittently to degrade end-user experience, but are often impossible to reproduce, identify and fix.

Your IT team might be a great group of problem solvers, but application architectures are getting more complicated, making continuous monitoring a must-have to avoid the consequences of slow or buggy performance—especially if you have remote users.

Manual Troubleshooting: Finding a Needle in a Haystack

We call them ghost issues because their random nature is so mysterious to the IT team looking to mitigate the damage. You receive an influx of help desk tickets complaining that a particular cloud application is running slowly or that users are being disconnected. But these are vague statements that do nothing to lead you to the root cause.

Instead, you’re left to dive into manual searches through event logs for a trial-and-error approach to problem solving. Even the best system administrators run the risk of spending days or even weeks trying to find the needle in the haystack.

Even worse, enterprise system administrators may turn to other leaders such as database administrators or network administrators in an effort to target specific resources that could be causing problems. However, pulling more IT resources into one ghost hunt without first identifying the true problem is a surefire way to hurt the company’s bottom line.

Ghost issues will take time away from more important, strategic IT projects while end users continue to experience productivity-reducing performance issues.

And this isn’t even considering the added problems of remote office locations. Problem solving with trial-and-error within an on-premises data center is one thing, but ensuring a great end-user experience for an increasingly remote workforce requires more than just a manual approach.

Why Continuous Monitoring Should Supplement Your IT Ghostbusters

The ghostbusting skills of IT administrators are legendary. With very little to work with, IT departments of the world’s largest enterprises have been solving these difficult problems. However, the pressures of enterprise globalization and an increasingly remote workforce are weighing heavily on manual problem-solving skills.

When you’re dealing with ghost issues that are many miles of cable, ISPs and network hops away, continuous end-user experience monitoring is a critical capability. Continuous monitoring gives you historical data at your fingertips so you don’t have to spend time sifting through millions of event log entries.

For example, capturing route history in real time and performing remote packet captures can help you prevent (or resolve) ghost issues regardless of where users are experiencing issues. As long as users have efficient means of reporting issues, you can start taking back precious IT resources even when feedback from end users is vague.

Continuous monitoring is important for the fight against ghost issues. But you know that ghost issues aren’t the only problems enterprise IT teams deal with. If you want to learn more about efficiently curing remote office headaches, download our free whitepaper, How to Solve the Top IT Issues at Remote Locations.

Filed Under: Industry Insights

Tags: end user experience monitoring , network monitoring , remote location monitoring