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

July 09, 2020

Enterprises that halted their cloud migration journey during the current global pandemic are two and a half times more likely than those that continued their move to the cloud to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs, according to Virtana's latest survey report The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT ...

July 08, 2020

Every business has the responsibility to do their part against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint while increasing sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing optimization of IT infrastructure is one method companies can use to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainability and increase business efficiency, while also keeping costs down ...

July 07, 2020

While the adoption of continuous integration (CI) is on the rise, software engineering teams are unable to take a zero-tolerance approach to software failures, costing enterprise organizations billions annually, according to a quantitative study conducted by Undo and a Cambridge Judge Business School MBA project ...

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...

June 17, 2020

In the agile DevOps framework, there is a vital piece missing; something that previous approaches to application development did well, but has since fallen by the wayside. That is, the post-delivery portion of the toolchain. Without continuous cloud optimization, the CI/CD toolchain still produces massive inefficiencies and overspend ...

June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated digital transformation projects. To better understand where IT professionals are turning for help, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers. Our research found an increase in demand for resources related to APM, microservices and dependence on cloud services ...