Solving Application Performance Issues with Multi-Segment Analysis
August 09, 2017

Chris Bloom

Share this

Enterprises are increasingly relying on a variety of locally hosted, web- or cloud-based applications for business-critical tasks, making uninterrupted application performance a must-have for business continuity. For that reason, unplanned network disruptions mean business disruptions, and the severe cases can often lead to financial losses and even legal consequences. Burdened with the task of keeping all of an enterprise's network and its applications, clients and servers up and running at peak performance, network engineers require tools and processes that make this task possible.

With today's distributed application architectures becoming more common, a technique called multi-segment analysis, can greatly help IT professionals pinpoint the location and cause of latency or other application performance issues.

What is Multi-Segment Analysis (MSA)?

In the past, all of the data needed to conduct an analysis of centrally-located applications could be gathered in real time from that single location. With distributed application architectures, the same data is required. But multiple network links, or hops, must be analyzed to get the full picture. Once the issue is isolated, you still needed to determine whether it's the application or the network. If it's the network, what network link is it occurring on? When troubleshooting application performance problems for users at a remote site, the IT team would ideally have access to data collected at the remote office internet connection and at the data center, to give a holistic view of the issue.

By helping IT professionals gather the necessary data from multiple network links, multi-segment analysis provides the solution to troubleshooting application issues.

How Does MSA Work?

Multi-segment analysis is a post-capture method that automates and simplifies the process of gathering and visualizing network data from multiple network segments and/or multi-tiered applications. This technique correlates the data across various network segments, finding common elements so that individual application transactions can be reassembled from a network perspective, then visualized and analyzed to indicate potential problem areas.

MSA provides a clear view of the application flow, including network and transaction latency, application, turn times, packet retransmissions, and dropped packets. Armed with this depth of information, network engineers can easily pinpoint any application anomalies at the client, server, or on the network.

Deploying MSA-Capable Devices at Multiple Points is Key

Multi-segment analysis requires at least two capture points to work. In fact, the accuracy of MSA improves significantly when additional measurement points are placed at strategic points along the network.

Most enterprises already have highly capable network monitoring appliances deployed at their data centers or corporate offices, so remote or branch offices with limited network bandwidth only require a small network monitoring appliance as an economical way to collect network data. With an appliance at each remote office, these supplementary measurement points can be used to measure network latency between any point, such as a remote office, and the data center.

One additional consideration is whether to adopt a passive or an active solution. If the solution being deployed is "active," it may generate a lot of test traffic on the network that can exacerbate existing latency problems if not managed properly. A passive system, on the other hand, does not generate additional network traffic; it monitors and measures real traffic to identify and flag problems only when they occur.


Multi-segment analysis is a valuable tool in any IT professional's arsenal, accelerating the MTTR of application-level issues. Through experience it is possible to automate the process of gathering network data from multiple, strategically located network segments, and/or multi-tiered applications. In short, MSA makes the troubleshooting process much simpler and helps network engineers achieve an uninterrupted and granular view of the network.

Chris Bloom is Senior Manager of Technical Alliances at Savvius
Share this

The Latest

March 16, 2018

The State of the Mainframe report from Syncsort revealed an increased focus on traditional data infrastructure optimization to control costs and help fund strategic organizational projects like AI, machine learning and predictive analytics in addition to widespread concern about meeting security and compliance requirements ...

March 15, 2018

The 2018 Software Fail Watch report from Tricentis investigated 606 failures that affected over 3.6 billion people and caused $1.7 trillion in lost revenue ...

March 14, 2018

Gartner predicts there will be nearly 21 billion connected “things” in use worldwide by 2020 – impressive numbers that should catch the attention of every CIO. IT leaders in nearly every vertical market will soon be inundated with the management of both the data from these devices as well as the management of the devices themselves, each of which require the same lifecycle management as any other IT equipment. This can be an overwhelming realization for CIOs who don’t have an adequate configuration management strategy for their current IT environments, the foundation upon which all future digital strategies – Internet-connected or otherwise – will be built ...

March 13, 2018

Many network operations teams question if they need to TAP their networks; perhaps they aren't familiar with test access points (TAPs), or they think there isn't an application that makes sense for them. Over the past decade, industry best-practice revealed that all network infrastructure should utilize a network TAP as the foundation for complete visibility. The following are the seven most popular applications for TAPs ...

March 12, 2018

Organizations are eager to adopt cloud based architectures in an effort to support their digital transformation efforts, drive efficiencies and strengthen customer satisfaction, according to a new online cloud usage survey conducted by Denodo ...

March 09, 2018

Globally, cloud data center traffic will represent 95 percent of total data center traffic by 2021, compared to 88 percent in 2016, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021) ...

March 08, 2018

Enterprise cloud spending will grow rapidly over the next year, and yet 35 percent of cloud spend is wasted, according to The RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Survey ...

March 07, 2018

What often goes overlooked in our always-on digital culture are the people at the other end of each of these services tasked with their 24/7 management. If something goes wrong, users are quick to complain or switch to a competitor as IT practitioners on the backend race to rectify the situation. A recent PagerDuty State of IT Work-Life Balance Report revealed that IT professionals are struggling with the pressures associated with the management of these digital offerings ...

March 06, 2018

Businesses everywhere continually strive for greater efficiency. By way of illustration, more than a third of IT professionals cite "moving faster" as their top goal for 2018, and improving the efficiency of operations was one of the top three stated business objectives for organizations considering digital transformation initiatives ...

March 05, 2018

One of the current challenges for IT teams is the movement of the network to the cloud, and the lack of visibility that comes with that shift. While there has been a lot of hype around the benefits of cloud computing, very little is being said about the inherent drawbacks ...