Squiz Ensures Quality of Digital
Experience by Gaining Visibility
into Website Connectivity

About the Company

Squiz is a global technology company with over 500 employees located in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Squiz designs, builds and runs websites and web portals, providing customers with products and services spanning the complete digital experience lifecycle. The company has over 1000 customers across the globe, serving users in the higher education, government, financial services, utilities and media and publishing markets.
Industry: Software Headquarters: Sydney, Australia Use Case: Website and data center monitoring
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Enterprise-Class Digital Experience Platform

Squiz is helping to power digital transformation with an innovative cloud-hosted Digital eXperience Platform (DXP) that is enabling organizations worldwide to engage users with a meaningful digital experience. Squiz delivers content, applications and services for a diverse range of users, including consumers, business users, employees, students and citizens.

Global Hosting Data Centers and Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Squiz operates the Squiz Cloud out of six data centers located in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, hosting websites for customers in those countries and beyond. To ensure website performance, Squiz also operates its own CDN and has CDN endpoints deployed in 10 other data centers operated by third-party hosting providers.
Global hosting data centers and content delivery networks

"What was special about ThousandEyes is that we were able to
immediately copy the monitoring data and BGP path information
to show the DDoS mitigation provider exactly where the packet loss
was happening inside their network."

Justin Higgins
Chief Information Officer

Digital Transformation Hinges on Quality of Digital Experience

Digital transformation places a high premium on the reliability of website hosting infrastructure and network connectivity. Any disruption in application or service delivery will negatively impact customer satisfaction and can result in the loss of revenue or customers. Organizations depend on Squiz to ensure the quality of each user's online experience and ThousandEyes is helping the company to achieve this goal by providing solutions that enable network operators to gain fine-grained visibility into user connectivity for each hosted website.

Difficulty Diagnosing Internet Connectivity Problems

Squiz hosts thousands of websites and applications from the six data centers it operates. Hosting systems administrators employ a custom suite of tools based on Nagios for monitoring servers and internal network elements. These tools enable rapid root cause analysis of problems in the hosting infrastructure but their visibility is restricted to the data center.

Squiz had been using an external monitoring service with sensors distributed around the world to track website performance from the vantage point of users. However, these sensors were often not located where they actually needed to be, so the result was network problems going undetected or alerts that proved to be false positives. Support teams had to spend an inordinate amount of time diagnosing difficult Internet connectivity problems impacting users.

"We had another [external] monitoring service using sensors all around the world, but it would either not detect any problems or detected a lot of false positives, so we had to do a lot more data analysis to work out if there had been a problem," said Justin Higgins, CIO of Squiz.
Digital Transformation

"We had another [external] monitoring service using sensors
all around the world, but it would either not detect any problems
or detected a lot of false positives, so we had to do a lot more
data analysis to work out if there had been a problem."

Justin Higgins
Chief Information Officer

ThousandEyes Provides Visibility for Hosted Website Connectivity

Squiz data center operators turned to ThousandEyes to gain immediate detailed visibility into Internet connectivity for each hosted website. To gain an understanding of how users access the websites hosted within their six data centers, Squiz relies on ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents deployed within their internal data centers and inside the networks of select ISPs to mimic users connecting to their websites. Squiz also monitors bi-directional data center connectivity by leveraging the Enterprise Agents within each of them.

Due to the geographic distribution of the six data centers and customer website users, this mesh of monitoring connections provides excellent visibility into Internet connectivity from the user's perspective. In addition, to ensure that the web server software stack for each hosted website is operating properly, Squiz points each Enterprise Agent at a special URL in each web server that monitors not only external Internet connectivity but internal server operation from the application layer to the back-end database.

Each data center Enterprise Agent is also pointed at the CDN edge server infrastructure deployed across 10 external hosting data centers, enabling Squiz to monitor CDN connectivity in addition to data center connections.

With ThousandEyes, Squiz is able to gain visibility into changing paths for connections that traverse the Internet between any two Enterprise Agents. This allows network operators to rapidly detect and diagnose connectivity problems that would have proven vexing in the past.

Higgins commented, "To maintain 99.99% uptime, we only have 4.3 minutes to react to an alert. ThousandEyes enabled us to reduce the time to confirm that an alert is not a false positive from five minutes to two minutes."
Path Visualization
Figure 1: ThousandEyes Path Visualization allows Squiz to visualize Internet paths

between their assets to rapidly diagnose connectivity issues.

Faster Problem Resolution When Dealing with Large ISPs

While Squiz may be smaller compared to the large transit networks it interacts with, ThousandEyes helps put Squiz on a more equal footing when dealing with them. Support staff have immediate access to network visibility data that can be shared immediately with these transit providers via ThousandEyes Share Links to help them resolve problems faster on their end.

ThousandEyes also gives Squiz an edge over competitors who don't operate their own cloud infrastructure. Squiz owns its own data centers and manages Internet connectivity with full BGP routing feeds. By using ThousandEyes BGP routing visibility, Squiz can take advantage of its infrastructure investments to optimize customer traffic between data centers or to avoid issues on networks external to the Squiz Cloud.

Squiz has even employed ThousandEyes visibility to evaluate new providers. "We were trialing a new security service for DDoS attacks and we detected delays and packet loss. What was special about ThousandEyes is that we were able to immediately copy the monitoring data and BGP path information to show the DDoS mitigation provider exactly where the packet loss was happening inside their network," said Higgins.
BGP Route visualization
Figure 2: BGP route visualizations provides insights into BGP AS paths and Squiz' upstream service providers.

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