end user performance monitoring

As an IT pro, making sure that the end users have a good experience is one of the most important parts of the job. It’s so important in fact, that there are numerous tools available for monitoring the performance of end user sessions. In most cases, such monitoring tools work by examining a series of performance counters in an effort to quantify the end user experience. In reality, however, performance data and what the end users actually experience can be two very different things.

Because performance counter-based monitoring tools can give IT professionals a false sense of wellbeing, Goliath Technologies has designed its Application Availability Monitor to take a completely different approach to not only quantifying the end user experience but detecting issues before the users notice them.

One of the key advantages of Goliath’s solution is that while most application monitors perform real-time monitoring, Goliath’s Application Availability Monitor is designed to work proactively as an advanced warning system. To see why this distinction is so important, imagine for a moment that a problem has occurred overnight and that if left unchecked it will impact user logins in the morning. A system that is based solely on real-time monitoring will detect the problem at the same time that the end users do. Of course, that’s assuming that the monitoring system detects the problem at all. Performance counter-based monitoring solutions often have blind spots that they cannot monitor and may, therefore, overlook a serious problem.

Goliath Application Availability Monitor does things in a much different way. Rather than blindly examining various performance metrics, Application Availability Monitor synthetically reproduces the actual user login experience.  The “Goliath virtual user” logs on to your applications from your network endpoints, using exactly the same steps as a real user.

This synthetic logon process can be scheduled so that it runs automatically on any or all network endpoints. This is important for two reasons. First, if users are scheduled to arrive for work at 8:00, Application Availability Monitor can be configured to test the system well in advance of the user’s arrival, such as at 4:00. That way, if problems are detected, the IT department will have adequate time to address those problems before the users show up for work.

The other reason why the synthetic logon process is so important is that it occurs directly on the network endpoints. In contrast, many of the other monitoring solutions that are available run on a network server and focus on monitoring the Citrix infrastructure. Such a solution would typically not be able to detect a problem occurring at the endpoint where the user logs in.

One more thing that makes Application Availability Monitor different from competing solutions is the way in which it gathers diagnostic information. Rather than presenting the administrator with a cryptic message indicating that a threshold value has been exceeded, the software actually takes screen captures of the virtual user’s experience. IT pros can use these screen captures to address any problems that may be occurring and can easily forward the screen captures to vendors or external support providers if necessary. Similarly, MSPs may use the screen captures as a way of documenting the uptime or SLAs of their service to their customers.