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Monitoring WFH users and VPN with AppNeta
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

Across industries, work-from-home (WFH) became the new normal over the past few weeks, forcing enterprise IT teams to push the gas on their network transformation projects, or start fast-tracking new ones altogether to support a deluge of remote users.

Fortunately, AppNeta Performance Manager is here to ensure enterprise IT teams rise to the occasion and can gain the remote visibility into WFH user experience that would otherwise be hard to come by as workers avoid the office.

By deploying AppNeta Workstation Monitoring Points that live on the devices used to connect WFH workers to the network backbone, AppNeta Performance Manager gives IT end-to-end insight into application performance across all the networking technologies that enable safe and effective WFH – the service delivery chain (ie. VPN and WAN), 3rd-party networks, and last-mile transmission to remote workers.

All of this is essential data IT teams need to respond quickly to complaints wherever employees are located.

Active Monitoring for WFH Users

To get the most visibility into user experience at the remote office, AppNeta Performance Manager should be deployed in a bi-directional setup: Our traditional Monitoring Point agent being deployed at the data center, network hub, or corporate office to use as a target, and a Workstation Monitoring Point deployed on a laptop or workstation to act as the source of monitoring. Data can then be sent to either our public cloud service or an on-premise deployment of AppNeta Performance Manager. This allows AppNeta to provide performance measurement to critical systems through dual-ended monitoring and, when split tunneling for critical SaaS and web apps is in use, 3rd-party apps hosted in the cloud via single-ended monitoring.

Local Perspective into (and around) VPN

Once Workstation Monitoring Points have been deployed to remote users via native installation for Mac, Windows, and Linux, performance can be measured both through VPN tunnels (network overlay) and independently on the network underlay, allowing teams to compare performance on each path and isolate what might be causing degradation.

This concept of “overlay vs. underlay” is not much different than how it’s understood in monitoring for SD-WAN deployments: Measuring inside the tunnel is an indicator of VPN performance, while measuring outside the tunnel is an indicator of the critical delivery path and providers used to connect your users to the infrastructure or external apps.

Tailor Monitoring for User Needs

When deciding what to measure and how, it’s important to think of how your end users will be interacting with the network and what considerations and requirements need to go into ensuring their apps perform as needed. Factors include geography, job function and business unit (which in turn are indicators for what applications are critical to understand), and dependency on the various major and minor ISPs that your users depend on.

For instance, monitoring for cloud-dependent unified communications applications may be more important for users working in customer support than tracking VPN access back to network hubs. On the flip side, IT may want to have at least regional geographic representation of performance to VPN gateways and concentrators, as well as a reasonable sample of the major ISPs that end users are depending on as part of this application path.

Whatever the priorities of end users are or the different network technologies they rely on to get the job done, our platform can help IT teams visualize network pathways hop-by-hop, while arming these teams with actionable insights to proactively address potential issues. We do this by offering a wealth of reporting and alerting functionality on how vital network traffic is behaving as it travels across decentralized enterprise networks, which has simply never been more essential than it is in today’s unique enterprise climate.

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Filed Under: performance monitoring, company news

Tags: cloud computing, remote workforce, remote office, remote worker, remote work, wfh, work from home, enterprise network monitoring, enterprise network, enterprise WAN, enterprise IT, network monitoring, Network Performance Monitoring, AppNeta

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