When Managing Application Experiences Requires Internet Visibility
The cloud has become that new data center for how business gets done, and the internet is the new enterprise network backbone for how services are connected, said Joe Vaccaro, head of products for ThousandEyes, a provider of network monitoring systems. If an organization does not “own” all network connections across the internet, “you can’t take the same approach that you’ve done in the past, to be able to understand the digital experience through them,” Vaccaro explained.
In this The New Stack Makers podcast, hosted by Alex Williams, founder and publisher of The New Stack, Vaccaro discussed today’s digital supply chain for the modern app experience and managing backend interdependencies, as well as the value proposition ThousandEyes brings to the table.
The ambition to help organizations “really understand the internet,” similar to how Google Maps allows users to find and locate locations anywhere in the world, has served as the inspiration behind the creation of ThousandEyes, said Vaccaro.
“In essence, what ThousandEyes does is we help people to see every network like you own it, and to be able to understand that full digital experience journey from the user to the application.”
Since applications have shifted from monolithic deployment architectures to microservices, there is also a “heavy dependency” on third-party APIs for core functions. “So, if you think about all those things that are changing the complexity across that different path, it is just increasing the places where ultimately something can go wrong,” said Vaccaro. “And what goes wrong ultimately impacts the digital experience to access that application.”
A case example might be a SaaS company delivering an application that is difficult or slow to access. While some users might assume it is the application that is causing problems, it could instead be slow network connections that are interfering with the experience. Conversely, employees struggling with accessing applications might blame the network, while the errors could be due to “part of the path in between that user and the application that they’re trying to access,” said Vaccaro.
“Since the Net — the internet itself — is made up of a network of networks, and across it, there are multiple different paths that any one time a user might be taking. You not only need to be able to measure the right metrics, but you have to be able to measure through the right paths that are brought together and correlated together: What we refer to as a path visualization,” said Vaccaro.
This “path to visualization” is also expected to continue to draw more interest, as workforces and application developers will likely continue to work remotely and remain connected to highly distributed environments in the future.
“It’s a fascinating time to be in this industry and thinking about how that digital supply chain continues to evolve in all the different places, and being able to then measure that experience from an end-to-end basis,” said Vaccaro.