An application without the network is like a rowboat without a paddle: it will keep you afloat but will not move you forward in the direction you want to go. And in this cloud-native ecosystem that we are now in, evidence acts just like oars; not enough, and you get stuck rowing circles. But just enough, and you can influence the network in ways that optimize your application's time to the finish.
Below are five steps to help you on this journey.
Step 1: Acknowledge Your Interconnectedness
Apps are no longer standalone entities operating in contained environments controlled by IT. Instead, their architecture is increasingly complex, with diverse communication channels that span the globe. Moreover, apps communicate with your company's data centers over the Internet, which is fragile and—analogous to a motor vehicle highway—is prone to crashes and slowdown.
Application delivery today is as vital as architecture and performance when it comes to ensuring customer satisfaction. And for even the simplest of modern applications, the process from edge to edge consists of hops at DNS providers like Cloudflare, CDN providers like Fastly, and a multitude of APIs. In addition, your app may be using a payment gateway or messaging system that depends on an external API environment, which is great for agile development but further grows the number of dependencies outside of IT’s control.
Step 2: Acknowledge Your Limitations
The pandemic accelerated the enterprise adoption of the Internet as the new network and the cloud as the new data center. Only one problem: The Internet was never built for enterprise use. It has no service-level agreement precisely because it has no governing body that can enforce it. The Internet is a public, best-effort network that is ever-changing.
Traditional monitoring is not enough for this new enterprise reality. What was once possible with traditional instrumentation and a bespoke application does not work with SaaS. Moreover, the conventional silos IT teams have used for custom, on-prem environments have created visibility limitations that delay resolution when issues arise. In addition, the app teams and network teams have different perspectives of the same environment, burdening both with proving innocence when problems occur. Adding to the obscurity further are the blind spots that happen with each hop from backend to application to edge to end-user.
Step 3: Choose Collaboration Over Contention
Costly war rooms and wasteful finger-pointing are consequences of the current misfit between traditional monitoring approaches and modern app architecture. The lack of visibility originates contention rather than collaboration among colleagues and service providers, diluting trust and growing frustration in resolving a lagging app experience. It can often seem like a match between ITOps versus NetOps versus AppDev, but it doesn't have to be this way. Enterprises can build trust and relieve tension among co-workers and vendors in their quest for top-quality digital experiences.
Read our new eBook, "Applying a DevOps Mentality to Network Monitoring"
End-to-end visibility offers a new path to optimizing the digital delivery of bespoke and SaaS apps and services over the Internet. This distributed monitoring technology helps teams isolate the root cause of the problem, all while restoring teamwork and cooperation at your business.
Step 4: Gather Complete, Actionable Intelligence
ThousandEyes is the foremost provider of end-to-end visibility on the market today. With ThousandEyes, you gain the power to decouple overlay and underlay network paths to quickly surface actionable insights and visualize any network as if it were your own.
The telemetry behind ThousandEyes is correlated into one view, giving you an outside-in perspective of how users are experiencing your application in a single pane of glass. Our Cloud Agents are deployed in over 200 cities and provide a global perspective of cloud network performance. Together with Enterprise Agents installed in data centers and Endpoint Agents installed on user desktops and laptops, ThousandEyes gathers complete end-to-end monitoring intelligence that allows you to approach problems internally and with vendors with evidence to back you. Best of all, you can send ThousandEyes ShareLinks™ to anyone—no login necessary—allowing all troubleshooters an interactive display of your findings.
There is a leg-up to understanding your application experience with ThousandEyes. To improve backend and API functionality, we launched adaptive API monitoring to help enterprises understand the changing nature of the hundreds of APIs they manage on average. With BGP visualization, digital businesses can test their application's availability, reachability, and performance down to the local level. And with our native integration with AppDynamics, you gain the usability and workflows to examine if your application is performing as expected.
Want to see a use case and demo? Sign up and watch our on-demand webinar, "Optimizing App Experiences Across NetOps and AppOps."
In the demo, presenters Archana Kesavan, director of product marketing, and Hans Ashlock, director of technology, showcase a multi-CDN (Cloudflare and Fastly) and microservice-based application running on Kubernetes. Watch as the duo investigates a latency mystery causing page load times to quadruple in Sydney, Australia. Hint: it is not an app development issue.
Step 5: Manage Smarter
With ThousandEyes capabilities at your fingertips, you can benchmark ISPs for smarter purchasing decisions. Before you sign that SLA, understand with network agnostic data which vendors experience recurring issues that may impact your application's performance. And with our synthetic metrics, your team can grow more predictive in addressing app delivery issues before adversely affecting customer satisfaction or, if internal, employee productivity.