Spot the Symptoms of Poor App Performance - Part 1
June 10, 2019

Ricardo Belmar
Infovista

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Are your business applications sluggish? Choppy? Prone to getting hung up or crashing at the most inopportune times? If these symptoms sound familiar, you might be suffering from the heartache of … poor application performance. Stop me if any of this sounds familiar:

Symptom 1: Important apps periodically get slow, choppy or just crash

This is the most obvious sign — and the one you're likely to hear about first and loudest from end-users. Internally, your media and collaboration apps get choppy and unresponsive at unpredictable times. Employees complain they can't understand what colleagues are saying over Skype. Or their Slack or Teams connection keeps dropping and asking them to reconnect. Or it takes multiple tries to get a video conference to load.

Symptom 2: Real-time business apps show unexplained faults and errors

As more companies roll out analytics, machine learning and other apps geared towards automating real-time decision-making, they need those apps to work in actual "real time." Think a manufacturing floor applying analytics to optimize production processes, or an oil rig monitoring heavy equipment, or a retailer updating inventory systems. If the real-time data stream those apps rely on gets backed up, it can create unexpected issues in higher-level operations.

Symptom 3: Some apps are sluggish or crashing, while others seem fine

This symptom is quite common, especially in businesses using software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN). For example, users dialing into an important video conference experience lags and disconnects, while people in the break room watch the new Avengers trailer in 4K video without a blip. Your SD-WAN is supposed to optimize app performance, so what's going on here? Well, the SD-WAN is optimizing your apps. The problem is, you have lots of them competing for limited bandwidth, and it's optimizing the wrong ones.

Symptom 4: You've recently deployed new technology and aren't getting the benefits you expected

In your quest to digitally transform your business, you might deploy new tools — like launching a new IoT app in a manufacturing facility or giving sales clerks iPads to help customers check out on the retail floor. But the IoT app isn't lowering your maintenance costs. Or sales conversions haven't gone up the way you expected. The issue might be that those apps require a baseline level of performance that your network can't maintain. In customer-facing situations, staff may even be abandoning the new tools because when they try to use them, they end up with frustrated customers.

Symptom 5: Adding more bandwidth doesn't fix the problem

Many businesses experiencing issues like these think they just need a fatter network pipe. So, they throw more bandwidth at the problem, but it doesn't go away. Especially frustrating, even real-time data flows — where the amount of data transmitted is relatively small — keep getting congested. The likely cause: occasional high-volume data flows (like big file transfers) are overwhelming flows with smaller transactional components. More bandwidth won't solve that problem.

If these symptoms sound familiar, don't worry, you're not alone. App performance issues have become a global epidemic.

Read Spot the Symptoms of Poor App Performance - Part 2, where we try to diagnose what's happening here.

Ricardo Belmar is Sr Director, Global Enterprise Marketing, at Infovista
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