New Age of Observability

Part 1: Performance Monitoring 

Packets have been the gold standard for monitoring and analysis of network systems for years. In today’s changing landscape, network topologies now have expanded to include cloud-based services that are accessed from remote offices and users, making network analysis tricky.

As a Wireshark Instructor and Packet Analyst for over ten years, I’m a true believer in the value that packet-level data can provide to network and operations teams for troubleshooting network and app problems. That’s one of the reasons I love Wireshark and the VIAVI end-user experience (EUE) scoring. Watch the video to see the value.


But times are changing…cloud-based apps and remote users mean that packet-level monitoring remains necessary but is no longer sufficient on its own for complete visibility. That is because traffic flows directly from the end-user to the cloud, instead of through our networks where we can capture it. To address this visibility gap, the VIAVI Observer platform has introduced active monitoring for measuring network and application response time. It is designed for analysis of applications where we cannot get packet-level access.

How is this achieved? By taking the EUE scoring I demonstrated in the video and adding active testing to the equation. Until now, EUE scoring was limited to on-prem apps where we had direct packet-level visibility. With active test-based EUE, we can now measure network, client, server, and application delays for applications that are hosted in the cloud, even for remote users.

For example, if a remote user accessing a SaaS app suddenly begins experiencing issues, IT teams can quickly deploy an active agent to investigate. Additionally, ongoing testing can be performed to proactively detect SaaS service degradation before the users complain. Observer helps IT teams to maintain peak hybrid IT network performance and quickly troubleshoot issues. Faster troubleshooting helps any business keep not just users happy but productive. And it allows customers to really understand the performance of key applications and where they need to focus to ensure that the customers, employees, and partners are having the experience in response and quality that they need/deserve.

Check out these Observer demos for more information.


About The Author

Chris Greer is an experienced packet analyst who has helped companies around the world make sense of their network traffic. Over 20 years ago, he started his career doing technical support for Fluke Networks, focusing on the packet-level troubleshooting tools. Over the past 15 years, he has focused on the Wireshark analyzer for teaching others the art of packet analysis, helping them to go from Packet Novice to Packet Head. When he is not teaching or recording content in his packet-shredding studio, he consults with companies to resolve their network and application problems at the packet level. You can follow Chris for tips and tricks on Wireshark, TCP, and more on YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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