Next generation Web services demand next generation network performance management

WAN

Web-based service delivery models like cloud computing, SaaS and VoIP are revolutionizing IT. These distributed deployments offer cost, scalability and manageability advantages too compelling to pass up.

But the performance of web-based applications is heavily dependent on the networks that deliver them to remote sites. A host of variable, intermittent factors can crash business-critical services. Network issues like jitter, packet loss and long latency times are compounded by the round-trip involved: an input from a user must first reach the remote server, which then processes it and sends a response back to the client.

Traditional datacenter tools that monitor application, server or network device performance are not designed to analyze network-dependent service levels at remote sites from the user’s perspective. For example, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) based tools gather metrics that are vital for monitoring the health of network devices like routers and switches. But SNMP cannot tell you how well the network is doing overall at connecting users with data and applications.

Similarly, “ping checks” can give you a crude sense of the latency users are experiencing with web-based applications, but cannot provide the detailed network performance data necessary to gauge user experience as a whole. Website performance monitoring services provide insight from the perspective of “the internet” to public web services, but not from the perspective of end users to mission critical internal HTTP applications.

SaaS and cloud service providers monitor performance within their infrastructure, including internal connectivity with devices like servers. But who’s monitoring the health of the networks between the cloud and your users? How can you tell whether data packets traveling from the service inception point to the service consumption point are encountering problems along the way?

To get a sense of how well applications are working for your remote users, you need to see the full spectrum of bandwidth and performance characteristics of the distributed network, in real-time. That capability is called Remote Performance Management.

Remote Performance Management delivers performance insight from the perspective of the remote office user to the point of application delivery and back. Any deviation or interruption, such as congestion or data loss that could impact user experience, is immediately evident. All these metrics are reported for each hop in the network path – even across service provider networks.

With Remote Performance Management, you can detect and address increases in service response time across public networks, WANs, LANs and VPNs. You’ll know exactly when and where a problem is occurring and what’s causing it, so you can take quick and effective action.

Jim Melvin is currently the President & Chief Executive Officer at AppNeta. Prior to AppNeta, Jim was the vice president of marketing and security solutions at RSA, The Security Division of EMC. In this role, he was responsible for corporate, field, solutions, channel, and partner marketing; corporate and marketing communications; interactive and web programs; press and industry analyst relations; and RSA Conference events worldwide. Jim has been awarded three US patents in fault tolerant systems design. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering and an M.S. in management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and sits on the board of directors at Fortisphere, and Cape Cod Beer.