Two Ways to Improve Banking Application Performance
September 24, 2018

Keith Bromley
Ixia

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The financial industry is experiencing a massive wave of change over the last several years. Digital disruption has been truly disruptive to this industry. Traditional banks face stiff competition from fintechs because these new competitors are more nimble, faster, and often have a different viewpoint that allows them to understand customer needs (especially from a user experience) better.

This includes not only the technology involved with conducting business, but also how to interact and service customers in this day and age. For instance, a mobile-centric world demands optimization of mobile applications and content delivery to provide the best possible customer experience. To this end, there are several ways to go about monitoring the network and its applications to collect the necessary performance data and deliver the requisite customer quality of experience.

One way is to use packet data. A copy of the data can be made and forwarded on to purpose-built tools (like network performance monitoring (NPM) and application performance monitoring (APM) appliances) for packet analysis. The flow of this type of monitoring data to these tools should be optimized using a network packet broker (NPB) which can filter, deduplicate, strip extraneous header information, and perform other useful tasks. This reduces the amount of non-relevant data being sent to the performance tools.

A second way to monitor the network is to look at flow data. In this scenario, application intelligence within a packet broker can be used to deliver key NetFlow-based data about the network to external performance monitoring tools. Some packet brokers can also deliver additional value-add features like geolocation, user device type, user browser type, etc. to aid with better application management and troubleshooting across the network.

By combining geolocation, user device type, and browser type metadata, it is easy to understand if issues exist on the network and where. This saves an exorbitant amount of troubleshooting time. Instead of trying to figure out if there is a problem, where it is located, and who is affected, application-level metadata can answer most, if not all, of those questions. Specifically, you can visually see that there is (or is not) an application problem, which application(s) are having issues, where (i.e. between which network segments) the issue(s) is occurring, and the affected user types.

In the end, better monitoring data allows you to enhance your customer experience. Here are some examples:

■ Better monitoring data improves the measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs) for mobile application success

■ The collection of monitoring data allows you to isolate application design problems and issues to improve user experience

■ Complete network traffic visibility can be accomplished to speed up application performance analysis

■ You now have easy access to data to perform application performance trending

■ The capture and documentation of user data helps improve the collaboration between IT and the lines of business responsible for specified mobile banking applications

Keith Bromley is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing at Ixia Solutions Group, a Keysight Technologies business
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