Cloud Application Monitoring and You
by Alec Pinkham Alec Pinkham on

We launched AppNeta Performance Manager recently, and after all our excitement over letting the world know about it, we’re getting down to business here with some more details. The best part about our product (yes, we’re biased) is that it truly does cloud application monitoring. It’s what you’ll need in the stage after the excitement of finding and deploying cloud, when you realize you still need to know what’s happening with your apps and users.

This has become particularly essential as so many organizations move to cloud. It’s reflected in IT spending: Gartner estimates that this cloud shift will add up to an aggregate $216 billion in spending by 2020. All this cloud movement means that IT teams are quickly losing the visibility they used to have into their infrastructures, which is where we come in. Cloud application monitoring will let you see performance throughout your cloud infrastructure, along the entire network path. That means you can see performance into the networks connecting your data center to the cloud, or your data center to other locations or SaaS provider locations.

How Does Cloud Monitoring Work, Exactly?

The technology components that make up AppNeta Performance Manager are designed to work together to gather all the necessary data for monitoring applications in the cloud, then share, alert and report that data for IT to take action. We measure application performance in multiple ways, since that’s what today’s distributed infrastructures need. Users and infrastructures are scattered, so the old types of device-dependent monitoring tools can’t offer the right information in the cloud.

Here’s how we gather the right application and network data: First, you’ll put physical or virtual monitoring points at the locations that are important for you to measure—wherever your users are. Our monitoring points will collect packet data via span port or inline to identify the applications being used on the network. Because performance varies so much by location, it’s essential to measure the end-user experience of your business-critical apps from specific user locations. Then, our tool will actively measure over your WiFi and internet connections to those critical services to identify both network and application metrics.

Once you set up the monitoring points, they automatically start sending data to either our public or private cloud analysis service. (You pick which is better for your environment.)

How Does AppNeta’s Technology Do Monitoring?

Our Performance Manager includes three components that do the monitoring necessary for IT to get the whole performance picture for cloud and SaaS.

What Your End User Sees

The “Experience” part of AppNeta Performance Manager measures how end users are experiencing applications at actual locations or allows you to measure experience from global points around the world. AppNeta’s Performance Manager uses periodic synthetic scripting (based on the industry-standard Selenium language) to show you what your end user is experiencing in any particular app, wherever they are. With the addition of our monitoring points in your office, you’ll be able to see performance behind the firewall and over WiFi. When performance drops, our technology lets you see exactly what the user saw when a page failed. We’ve added custom milestone markings to Selenium for you to better measure the time it takes for data to load in even the most complex single-page apps that never load new pages.

What’s Happening on Any Network

The “Delivery” part of our product continuously measures the application delivery path through the network. Using our TruPath technology combined with our analysis system, we can identify more than 80 of the most common network issues and show you the symptoms as well as a confidence score on how likely that it’s the root cause of your issue. That’s any application and any network, not just on-premises ones under total IT control. We view the entire, hop-by-hop path of the network over TCP, UDP or ICMP, so you can actually see when and where the performance problem occurred. (This is especially handy when you can pinpoint an exact IP address to tell your ISP about a problem on their network.)

Which Apps Are Deployed

The “Usage” part of Performance Manager is the technology that continuously monitors apps in use for every user and every application. You’ll get a current view of how different applications are affecting overall performance of your network. Right now, we’re already up to more than 1,500 apps built-in that are automatically identified and categorized. You can also add custom applications for apps you’ve built yourself or recategorize apps from Recreational to Business Critical if you need to. The graphs and charts in our tool give easy-to-read info, so you can quickly view the culprit when users are reporting slow network issues, whether it’s one app, one office or one user (hint: It’s probably YouTube streaming).

Ultimately, cloud application monitoring involves both technology and people, who will most certainly let you know when performance isn’t up to snuff. We’ve put together the product that considers modern app and network performance from every angle.

Filed Under: cloud computing, Networking Technology

Tags: AppNeta Performance Manager , cloud applications , network performance monitoring