Service-Level Assurance Through Active Transactions
Why Transaction Monitoring?
Being in a constant reactive state can be both stressful and unproductive for yourself and your team. Having to find and fix problems while customers wait and suffer through productivity downtime or service outages can damage your reputation and revenue as well as theirs. In the long run, actively knowing what is going on with your services can be corrosive to the business. And when your customers realize something’s happened before you do, risk losing those customers.
Ensuring that your servers and applications are operating within their data centers is only the start of a proactive mindset. Today’s complex applications are often made up of interconnected webs of transactions. Web servers, databases, API services, potential ads, tracking beacons and more can all be activated with a single click at the start of a user’s journey. Therefore, monitoring the heartbeat of a server, an API endpoint or each application is not enough when they are in isolation. Active transaction monitoring can help companies regain control over their inbound or outbound services and avoid the challenging cycle of reacting to an event. Active transaction monitoring tools offer an early warning system that, when targeted correctly, can give your teams the breathing room to employ outage prevention or mitigation processes.
Web transaction monitoring involves scripting a user journey through a website or a web-based set of steps that are critical for a company’s function. They mimic how a user or application would interact with all the services necessary to fulfill their goal.
For example, take a banking application with a critical web transaction of user log-ins. After entering the username and password, the user passes the two-factor authentication to check their account balance and log out. The systems behind this series of events would be captured and replayed regularly, as close to authentic as possible, from different locations, by agents located within the data center, behind the firewall, to cloud-based agents or on mobile devices.
When you proactively look for ways to reduce your services’ downtime, you can envision the more extensive company ecosystem monitoring opportunities and needs. This ecosystem is a virtual cascade of actions and responses that need to be identified and you need to monitor from the perspective of what critical transactions need to be maintained. Often what is lost is finding out what business journeys cost the company in revenue leakage, how they worsen productivity loss or add to user dissatisfaction and how they might put the company in non-compliance if performance or enforcement is missed.
Deploying Apica’s Service-level Assurance platform from multiple locations and devices enables all the interactive microtransactions that complete a journey. By regularly exercising all the transactions that matter to your company, you gain essential insights into typical behaviors, performance and availability for a transaction and its parts.
By deploying the Apica platform, you monitor the whole transaction, not just the parts that are easy to replicate. You need to understand how the total measurements of the transactions add up and average out over the long run.
Apica Service-level Assurance helps you understand network-based elements (DNS, SSL), authentication-based responses (tokens and session IDs) and the digital end-user experience in full context. The result is knowing what thresholds to set for abnormal responses, performance or availability. Once you set your thresholds to account for any abnormalities, you can then set alerts and ITSM systems up to take preemptive or remedial actions before what is just an anomalous response becomes an outage with more severe consequences.
Using the Apica Platform for Website Transaction Monitoring
Apica’s Service-level Assurance platform helps your company visualize the larger picture and capitalize on trends to avoid an outage and reach your SLA goals. Apica can provide insights into questions like:
- What is your end-user experience, not only from near your servers but anywhere in the world you provide those services?
- How does user experience change with intranet, VPN, distance, device or bandwidth?
- Can I monitor just as my users work (in the office, at home or via mobile)?
- How can I monitor the total security of my data and multifactor authentication?
- What days and times are the fastest response or slowest?
- What transactions can be improved, and how?
- Are our vendors supplying us with the SLAs that we’ve contracted with them?
- Is a third party slowing our web application down? How and why is this happening?
As your Apica datasets and trend analyses grow over time, you can better anticipate new development and have a sound basis for comparing overall performance with newer releases or features. In other words, Apica’s input can inform DevOps what works and what needs improvement in the next version.
Global Footprint Coverage: Apica has international agent coverage and can generate synthetic traffic from more than 180 locations in more than 60 countries. Apica can also supplement these cloud-based SaaS agents with private agents and on-premises installations.
Unparalleled Flexibility: Apica’s Service-level Assurance platform is highly flexible. Apica has the distinction of hybridizing the monitoring mix between on-premises and SaaS and monitoring legacy Windows applications. With Apica’s added flexibility to monitor with load testing scenarios, API transactions and automated DevOps environments, synthetic monitoring is no longer confined to web-only applications or only users’ public locations.
Proactive Incident Management: Apica enables Service-level Assurance on critical transactions for any device, authentication, service, application or scale. By extending your awareness of business-critical transactions adaptably, Apica removes barriers to monitoring blind spots and vulnerabilities. Along with providing initial testing and ongoing checks for analyzing long-term trends, Apica can keep your team’s mindfulness high and alert for anomalies that could impact them.
Break the Cycle
Service incidents happen, but that does not mean you cannot be prepared to mitigate the circumstance that causes them. See for yourself how the Apica Service-level Assurance platform helps you get ahead of problems before they turn into outages, report on your compliance, and retain your customers and revenue.