July 25, 2023
Ensure Digital Performance with Cisco ThousandEyes’ End-to-End Visibility
Monitoring across clouds, networks, appliances and endpoints enables IT teams to quickly identify the source outages and other problems.
In recent years, technological advances have altered how we think about digital performance. Cloud is the new data center, Software as a Service is the latest application stack, and the internet has become everybody’s network. This distributed, complex environment provides numerous benefits, but it also presents a challenge.
All the management tools that helped us ensure our internal data centers and applications were functioning don’t provide visibility into the wider internet and different cloud environments. Given how many businesses rely on SaaS applications today, end-to-end visibility is essential: It enables organizations to promptly identify the source of an outage or other disruption so they can deliver consistent, high-quality digital experiences for internal and external users.
Cisco ThousandEyes, an internet and cloud intelligence solution from Cisco Systems, provides that visibility in environments that are highly distributed and heavily dependent on applications beyond our control. Through multiple agents that sit across cloud infrastructure, on user endpoints and on networked devices, Cisco ThousandEyes provides IT and network teams with valuable insight into the quality of the digital experiences they’re delivering to employees and customers, whether an individual is consuming applications from the cloud or trying to log on to a corporate website from home.
Increase Productivity and Proactivity with Holistic Systems Visibility
Traditionally, outages have resulted in “war room” meetings where representatives from different stakeholder groups would come together to figure out where things broke down. Was it the network? The application code? Something else?
In one case, an outage affected several international banks in a country. Because one of those banks had Cisco ThousandEyes, it could pinpoint the failure in a content delivery network — information that enabled the bank to bypass the cause of the massive, extended outage. In another situation, a major social media platform experienced a global outage — and a multimillion-dollar loss of ad revenue — due to a small error in a DNS server. Had it been using Cisco ThousandEyes, the company would have received an alert, quickly located the error and had it fixed in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
Visibility also enables an organization’s IT department to proactively communicate with customers and employees when an outage occurs. There’s value in being able to credibly explain the cause of an outage. When organizations lack those insights, help tickets start pouring into the IT department as users find they can’t access files or applications. Inevitably, this results in significant wasted time, effort and productivity.
Faster Identification and Resolution Add Up to a Better Digital Experience
As IT professionals know, two of the most critical performance measurements are mean time to identify and mean time to recover. How fast can you find and fix a problem when it occurs? If a Priority 1 incident occurs and there’s a 12-hour MTTR, that will dynamically affect the business. Usually, IT staffers aren’t spending that time resolving a technical issue; they’re trying to figure out what or where the problem is.
Often, the initial cause of an outage is relatively minor; for instance, someone updated something or rolled out a new network policy that he or she didn’t realize would affect another part of the business. In a traditional environment, without a solution such as ThousandEyes, staffers can see only what they can control, which means they will spend a lot of time looking for a cause. Cisco ThousandEyes makes it possible to narrow down exactly where issues originate so they can be remediated.
Further, due to the mass adoption of SaaS and cloud-based services, much of an organization’s applications and critical infrastructure may be owned by third parties, so IT teams cannot fix problems themselves. Rather, their providers must make the fixes. Therefore, communicating effectively with compelling data to influence change is a must. Today, “evidence and escalate” is the new troubleshooting paradigm. Cisco ThousandEyes makes it easy to share outage information quickly using a snapshot feature to create interactive ShareLinks — URLs that link to a read-only test results web page. Accessing a ShareLink doesn’t require a login or technical know-how.
Digital experience has become the universal measure of application performance in a more distributed environment. Cisco ThousandEyes is a powerful platform that lets organizations confidently deliver a consistent experience to their workforces and customers.
Story by Tanner Bechtel, the global head of Partner Solutions Engineering for Cisco ThousandEyes. Tanner and his team focus on helping partners build successful AIOps and observability practices, create integrated Cisco ThousandEyes solutions and deliver value to our mutual customers.