Have you ever forgotten to take the garbage out, and as it piles up each item you place on the top of the stack threatens to topple the whole mess? That’s an apt description for a lot of IT architectures today. They might have the latest cloud-based solutions running on the top, but it all hinges on an outdated, archaic Excel spreadsheet or mainframe application from 20 years ago. Because of that older technology deep in the stack, there’s a black box that makes it hard to see what’s going on deep inside, to measure the transactions needed to make applications run smoothly.
Visibility Challenges in Today’s Architecture
As a result of these legacy systems, businesses are selling themselves short when it comes to understanding what is happening within — and across — their applications. The financial sector is especially prone to maintaining old systems that rely on systems that might be decades old. That is a critical problem for businesses sensitive to millisecond differences in transactions. While most monitoring providers consider the digital transformation to be complete, the majority of established businesses still have key functions that depend on technology from the analog days. You may have thousands of spreadsheets moving data between databases that are virtually invisible to the “latest” monitoring technology.
This combination of old and new makes it increasingly difficult to understand how long transactions actually take. The age-old tradition of using a stopwatch to measure how long a page takes to load doesn’t work if your goal is to truly understand the real-world user experience of accessing data outside your firewall. You can try to cobble together the metrics you need for all this monitoring by looking at various disc performance and network functionality metrics, but then you’re playing detective by examining footprints and chewing gum instead of just watching the surveillance tape.
Even if you depend on outside services for monitoring, it’s unlikely that you will be a priority for those providers unless you are a billion-dollar customer. You need your own data to understand where the bottlenecks in your technology performance are.
Unlocking Visibility with Synthetic Monitoring
The key to overcoming this lack of visibility is synthetic monitoring. This user-centric approach gives you insights into the entire transaction path, from the time you log into that old mainframe application and submit a request until the time your customer can see the change in their account. You also need full visibility into desktop applications, web apps, server performance, and every other step on the path to transaction completion wherever the user may be in the world.
Apica Ascent is a unique solution in the monitoring space, because it was purpose-built to cover every conceivable combination of synthetic monitoring needs, to identify performance issues before they impact customers. Other vendors can’t provide full-stack visibility across application types. Ascent can give you the same experience for desktop/web apps, custom-built applications, legacy mainframe applications, and it can trace requests moving back and forth between all of them. Many other providers have assumed that everyone is fully digital and in the cloud, forgetting that so many businesses still have one foot in the old days. Not only does Apica handle every kind of application monitoring need, but it does so right out of the box. There’s no need to hack and tweak the functionality. It just works.
Apica allows you to script real world scenarios to truly represent your customer journeys. You can monitor, tweak, and retry traffic from any application or network device, with no need to write your own code. But you can also bring your own testing scripts and seamlessly convert them to broaden your monitoring ability and conduct checks on browsers, network components, desktop apps, and more.
Unless you’re a startup with a tech stack that is native to the cloud, you probably have some dusty old server somewhere running a 100,000 line Excel file that holds your company together. As you strive for full observability across your infrastructure, Apica Ascent delivers insights that ensure your end users have the best experience possible. And if you are a newer company, Apica’s functionality will continue to grow along with you, giving you continuous visibility to keep performance issues from limiting your success.
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