5 min

Styling itself as the Internet Resilience company (in trademarked capitals), Catchpoint has collaborated with IT analyst house Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to produce a new analysis into system observability in the age of the web, the era of the cloud and the epoch of mobile-first always-on Internet-driven applications and services. In a world where IT surveys are (arguably, but typically) self-serving vehicles designed to deliver a company-centric message set payload, Catchpoint insists its Modern Enterprises Must Boost Observability with Internet Performance Monitoring analysis is of genuine worth as it highlights a call to action for businesses to adopt a more direct and comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) strategy. 

But what is IPM and why is it important? 

Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) is described as a specific approach and defined generation of solutions designed to provide deep visibility into every aspect of the Internet that impacts a business and its revenue. We can think of it as rather like Application Performance Monitoring (APM) in many senses, but instead of APM and its family of observability-related cousins, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles (depending upon which side of the cloud monitoring family you are born on), IPM is not for an application stack, it’s for an organisation’s Internet Stack i.e. those services, applications and data repositories that are essentially delivered, accessed and managed over the web in the first instance.

Talking about how IPM is core to upholding Internet operations for companies operating in any industry, Catchpoint suggests that a progressive IPM strategy is crucial to bridge the significant observability gap within today’s complex IT infrastructures. The recommendation may be timely, given that practically all 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.  

The hybridisation of IT infrastructure 

EMA’s analysis presents a description of a digital landscape that has morphed into an extremely complex environment – it’s a reality we all know if we look at the current deployment surface of modern cloud, but it still needs to be said out loud. This complexity is characterised by a shift toward hybrid networks, an increasing reliance on a mix of cloud services and distributed apps and a growing remote workforce. 

“The hybridisation 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.”

Daoudi and team assert that we’re now at a point where Application Performance Management (APM) tools are increasingly inadequate. Why? Because (the company – and its analysis report) says they fail to capture the breadth of visibility and insights necessary. The general Internet is invisible to these tools, claims Catchpoint, in a further assertion. EMA’s examination proposes the need 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.

Omnipresent instability

“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,” notes Catchpoint. “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 utilising multi-cloud architectures instead of dedicated infrastructure in datacentres. [This study] 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.”

Really seeking to drive its points home, the company wants users us to remember the criticality of Internet connectivity to modern WAN architectures. It also seeks to underline the notion that 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 leading drivers of hybridized WANs are identified as: cloud services connectivity (46%), network flexibility (46%), and higher bandwidth requirements (38%).

“Catchpoint continues to lead the market in Internet Performance Monitoring with ease of use, depth of real-time knowledge and rapid deployment,” said Enterprise Management Associates Vice President of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, Shamus McGillicuddy. “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.”

PEAK: IT Performance Summit

Techzine attended Catchpoint’s recent ‘Peak’ IT performance summit in Atlanta, Georgia, USA to hear CEO Daoudi present alongside a number of peers and customers including Gerardo Dada, field CTO at Catchpoint.  During a session entitled ‘IT Leadership Evolution: Driving Innovation and Growth’, Dada insisted that IT does not need to be a cost centre, it must now (as we have heard from so many enterprise software platform companies) evolve to become the enabler for digital business, a function that helps companies reduce digital friction and protect growth. The maturity model here is a roadmap to ensure IT is strategically aligned with the business and is value-led.

“In the old days, IT was only regarded as the guardian of uptime – meaning people only called the IT team when something went wrong,” said Dada. “Today we know that every company is a software company, so IT can be more of an enabler because every business process is a digital business process. As we now focus more directly on operational excellence, IT teams should focus more directly on driving the business process.”

Reminding us that IT complexity is still increasing, Dada notes that people had always thought the arrival of component-based programming would make things easier, but that epiphany moment never really happened. He thinks that part of the answer comes down to understanding the different categories of risk management and so techniques in this space include application tiering (as detailed in order below):

  1. Tier #1 – Mission-critical apps
  2. Tier #2 – Business-critical apple
  3. Tier #3 – Business operational apps
  4. Tier #4 – Administrative apps

Slow is the new down

“To us, performance is critical because slow is the new down,” said Dada. 

The enterprise IT resilience journey is now all about moving from reactive to proactive to value-led – and for Internet performance, that means enterprise websites being capable of loading within what is often noted as just two seconds. The sum result of these efforts – and this is according to Catchpoint CEO Daoudi – is that it might be about time for firms across all industry verticals to start formalising and appointing chief resilience officers. The time of the Chief Resilience Officers (CRO) is nigh.