Calling for a New Era of Digital Observability: The Imperative for Comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring
April 11, 2024
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Businesses must adopt a comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) strategy, says Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT analyst research firm.

This strategy is crucial to bridge the significant observability gap within today's complex IT infrastructures. The recommendation is particularly timely, given that 99% of enterprises are expanding their use of the Internet as a primary connectivity conduit while facing challenges due to the inefficiency of multiple, disjointed monitoring tools, according to Modern Enterprises Must Boost Observability with Internet Performance Monitoring, a new report from EMA and Catchpoint.

EMA's analysis presents a stark reality for modern business: the digital landscape has morphed into an extremely complex environment. This complexity is characterized by a shift toward hybrid networks, an increasing reliance on a mix of cloud services and distributed apps, and a growing remote workforce. These and other factors all highlight the necessity for robust Internet connectivity and a more comprehensive approach to observability.

Traditional Application Performance Management (APM) tools are increasingly inadequate, the report notes, since they fail to capture the breadth of visibility and insights necessary. Indeed, the general Internet is invisible to these tools. EMA's detailed examination underscores the necessity for IPM solutions that provide visibility into global Internet performance, ensuring businesses can maintain resilience, efficiency, and superior digital experiences in an Internet-centric operational landscape.

Today's digital era has ushered in an age where the Internet is not just a utility but the backbone of business connectivity, bridging applications, users, sites, and the cloud in an intricate web of digital interactions. However, the omnipresence of the Internet introduces levels of variability and instability that need to be monitored specifically. An IPM solution is crucial for ensuring digital performance and user experience.

Application infrastructure has also changed, with most enterprises now utilizing multi-cloud architectures instead of dedicated infrastructure in data centers. The EMA report identifies application health as one of the biggest variables for digital experience and also highlights poor IPM tools, inconsistent global performance across geographies, and a lack of traditional SLAs as major pain points for IT operations that operate Internet-based WANs.

Key findings

Key findings of the report include:

■ The Internet is pervasive in modern digital architectures. Legacy APM tools reveal the health and performance of application environments, but do not provide the visibility into global Internet health that a robust IPM solution does.

■ The rise of multi-cloud architectures, with nine out of 10 enterprises expected to adopt multi-cloud by the end of 2024.

■ The criticality of Internet connectivity to modern WAN architectures.

■ The leading drivers of hybridized WANs identified as: cloud services connectivity (46%), network flexibility (46%), and higher bandwidth requirements (38%).

■ The extension of digital infrastructure into the homes of remote workers, with 94% of companies having permanently expanded their remote workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that IT teams must continue to support the user experience of remote employees for the foreseeable future.

■ The importance of adopting a platform approach to Internet Performance Monitoring, enabling IT teams to consolidate observability tools and streamline workflows.

To address these challenges, the report highlights the need for organizations to adopt a unified, multi-function IPM solution. Such solutions leverage probes deployed across various network vantage points to track Internet performance and provide granular visibility into application performance and user experience that APM solutions do not cover.

"The hybridization of IT infrastructure and the increasing reliance on cloud services and Internet connectivity are causing IT teams to struggle with identifying the best path forward," said Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and co-founder of Catchpoint. "The EMA white paper underscores the critical need for Internet Performance Monitoring to bridge the observability gap and empower IT teams to ensure excellent digital experiences for their end-users."

The report also offers practical guidance for IT decision-makers, outlining key considerations for choosing IPM solutions. These include adopting a platform approach, ensuring observability across hybrid WANs and multi-cloud environments, and leveraging advanced analytics that utilize AI and ML technology.

Enterprise Management Associates Vice President of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, Shamus McGillicuddy, concluded, "With legacy APM tools instrumented for applications within the organization's four walls, an IPM solution is needed to expand observability to where it matters most – where your workforce and customers are."

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