Author Profile: Mike Canney is the President of getpackets.com, specializing in providing application and network performance consulting services. Over the past 22 years Mike has helped 100's of companies identify and resolve their application and network performance issues. Mike has also developed coursework and taught thousands of engineers how to identify, remediate, and prevent network and application issues by analyzing traffic flows at the packet level.
The Hidden Value of End
user performance monitoring is currently a very hot topic amongst IT management
these days. Take a quick walk around the
vendor pavilion at Interop and you will count at least 5 companies touting that
this is what they do and that they do it better than anyone else.
concept totally makes sense. As a
Network Engineer for that past 22 years, the ability to see what the end users
are doing as well as being alerted to “slowdowns” before the phone rings is
very cool. This value alone is worth
investing IT budget dollars into but the real value of a solution like this is
a “hidden” value.
of us engineers have taken calls when things were reported, as “The
Network" is slow. The typical first step is to get your
analyzer in place, grab trace files and begin troubleshooting. The
really frustrating thing is when everything looks fine, and the problem just
“magically” went away. I am sure most of
you have spent countless hours troubleshooting these types of issues. I
have an old buddy of mine that used to jokingly say, “Well, the Sniffer must
have fixed it”. Why is this the
case? Why do these problems seem to all
of the sudden go away once you get your analyzer in place?
am going to go out on a limb here and say that most of the time…
THE END USER IS NOT BEING HONEST!!!
Ok, well that may be a bit strong but I have seen in countless cases
where we are proactively monitoring end user experience that help desk calls go
dramatically down when the user knows that you can see what they are doing.
I had a customer tell me the other day
that a user of his was constantly complaining that SAP was slow.
The user would constantly raise a
stink with his management that the “network” was slow and that he couldn't get
his work done because of this.
The end user knew that SAP was a hot
button with management and he could get all kinds of management attention if he
just mentioned the word “SAP”.
Little did the end user know that
their IT staff was now watching every end user transaction on the network!
This time, when he complained that SAP was slow, the network staff pulled up
the end user’s transaction report at the time of the supposed “slowdown of SAP”
and it showed that the user’s SAP transactions were in the 1-2 second
On the other hand, his FaceBook and
YouTube response times were definitely slow.
How many hours do you think you have
wasted over the years trying to troubleshoot a problem that never existed in
the first place? To the end user, SAP
was the same as FaceBook and YouTube. They were all in the “network”.
Now the fun begins: What do you think happened when their manager saw that
SAP was fine but in actuality, what the user was really complaining about was
his (non work related) facebook page being slow?
Exactly, no more phone calls complaining
that the network was slow from this end user. Ever!
Good Luck! Have fun Monitoring! Mike.
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