Companies need a strategy for application network data analysis, and they need it now. In a business setup where it's competitive, the time between application development and final deployment is ever more compressed and retaining customers matters.
It is essential to do everything in your ability to ensure that your app delivers a steady performance, 24/7.
Network data analytics reveal loads of information. They detail how a network is functioning so that IT and networking pros know how to improve app network services. Gathering the right data and analyzing it proves to be a challenge for most IT departments.
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Availability of a single weak link in the chain can negatively impact the application performance - this is where network diagnostic tools come in.
Here are the four essential network diagnostics tools every business should have:
1. IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools
These tools capture the availability of IT infrastructure monitoring components that reside in a data center or are available in the cloud as infrastructure service (Iaas).
“The era of cloud and digitalization is driving exponential application growth—applications are now the prime medium by which customers experience a brand, making uptime and end-user experience more critical than ever,”
They not only look at application networks but also at the servers and data storage, evaluating everything including application availability to overall network health to uptime.
While it's possible to monitor IT infrastructure manually, especially on a small network, it is quite a time-consuming process and sometimes can prove to be nearly impossible.
This is why companies employ tools like the SolarWinds network performance monitor, the PRTG network monitors among others, to help in infrastructure monitoring.
2. Network Performance Management and Diagnostics (NPMD) Tools
In today’s emerging hybrid IT environment, awareness of assets hosted in the cloud is also important, as is the ability to monitor technologies.
These tools look at infrastructure but focus mainly on enabling IT and network operation teams to understand the ongoing behavior of the network and its constituents.
NPMD tools are ideal for maintaining peak performance of all IT services. This is to respond to traffic demands, network utilization and behavior. Measuring and reporting on performance is critical to ensuring that performance stays at an acceptable level.
Network problems are prevalent and sometimes inevitable. However, some network troubleshooting tools can be used like Pingdom, Nmap among others.
In some instances, there is often an unexpected overlap between Network Performance Management and Diagnostic Tools and other network monitoring tools, so know what works best with what.
3. Application Performance Management (APM) Tools
These tools examine application traffic within servers. We are all aware from firsthand experience that nothing brings dissatisfaction to end users more than unexpectedly slow response times.
APM stands for Application Performance Management that are used for monitoring and managing the performance of your code, transaction times, application dependencies and comprehensive user experience.
APM is now more user-friendly than in the past, with evolving performance elements that are impacting the application lifecycle in one way or another.
APM is essential throughout the pre-deployment, production and post-deployment stages. Application Performance Management can give testers, developers and business team members more clarity of what they should expect once an app is finally deployed. This ensures few reliability issues that get them off guard.
4. Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) Tools
These tools are a new development shaping the network performance market. They mainly focus on supporting the optimization of operational experience and the behavior of a digital agent, human or machine, as they interact with enterprise applications and services.
Businesses embracing a digital transformation in their operations need to implement a solid Digital Experience Monitoring plan to remain competitive and deliver amazing digital experiences.
Companies are currently trying to adopt Digital Experience Monitoring tools to help deliver a better end-user experience and track important metrics like what customers are searching for, what they want and how best to meet their needs.
Some techniques used to gauge performance include Synthetic Transaction Monitoring (STM), Real-User monitoring (RUM) for both mobile and web users and java injection.
Application networks are more dynamic than ever, and the types and amount of data flowing through them are too. Making sure that your application is up and running is essential, but it's not enough.
These tools will help in ensuring that everything from application performance to accessibility is made a key priority to ensure business continuity.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.