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Tracking the End-User Experience & Optimizing IT Resources with Visual Synthetic Monitoring

November 3, 2017 No Comments

Featured interview with Amol Dalvi, Senior Director of Product at Nerdio

In the modern digital age, it’s absolutely critical for businesses to ensure comprehensive monitoring across their entire IT environment — and this especially includes the end-user perspective. With the enormous volume of transactions running through business-critical websites and applications, it’s important to have an eye on these in real-time to avoid outages or disruptions. Any major latencies can affect both the productivity and credibility of an organization, and in turn, overall revenue.

Visual synthetic monitoring is an advanced form of performance tracking that empowers organizations to proactively avoid issues, and can even help them optimize their IT resource allocation and utilization.

  • Q. What is visual synthetic monitoring?

Visual synthetic monitoring is a type of IT performance testing that uses robotic agents to simulate the real user’s interaction with a website or application, and then presents the data in a useful visual way. This includes mimicking the real user’s journey in navigating those websites and applications. The overall performance of websites and applications are largely determined by bottlenecks in processes along the way, which can exist across a variety of components, devices, and networks. Testing the end-user experience is essential in getting full visibility into the network, and determining if there are any performance issues that will impact the user’s ability to work.

  • Q. Why is visual synthetic monitoring important and necessary?

Many people are familiar with the idea of performance monitoring for IT, but the increasingly complex nature of today’s IT infrastructures have made traditional monitoring inadequate. It used to be that back-end metrics alone could measure if the quality of service was being delivered to end users. Today, however, we need much more sophisticated analytics and tools to stay on top of and ahead of performance issues, and ensure end-user satisfaction.

  • Q. How exactly does visual synthetic monitoring work?

It involves simulating multi-step user actions using different browsers and from different locations, and running these tests on a regular basis (say, hourly). IT administrators thus have a regular report about the average latency and response times for each type of service, as well as the trends over time.

For instance, Nerdio’s visual synthetic monitoring tool tests eight key dimensions of the user experience: logging in to a desktop, visiting a website on Internet Explorer, visiting a website using Google Chrome, sending an email via Outlook, opening a Word document, opening an Excel document, opening a PowerPoint document, and opening a PDF document. IT administrators can customize thresholds for each of these tests to specify when the service quality should be considered good, fair, or poor.

  • Q. How does visual synthetic monitoring help IT teams deliver better end-user performance?

Because the tests are performed at regular intervals, this type of monitoring helps IT admins pinpoint any service issues before they escalate and potentially cause major problems. Instead of waiting for help desk calls or tickets submitted to the support team from the end users, IT teams can be proactive in addressing and preventing problems before they get out of hand.

  • Q. How can visual synthetic monitoring help organizations optimize their IT resources?

A big advantage of this type of monitoring is that organizations can create new and informative data points to inform resource allocation and usage, based on real user trends. For example, you may start to notice patterns like performance slowing down at a certain time of day, and in turn boost your compute resources during those hours to help your team work more effectively. In addition, this type of comprehensive monitoring empowers organizations to ensure that they are indeed receiving the quality of service promised by vendors.


Amol Dalvi, Senior Director of Product at Nerdio

A true software geek, Amol Dalvi’s tech career began in software development in the ‘90s and hasn’t slowed down since. Prior to joining Nerdio, Amol was CTO and Co-Founder of a marketing software firm as well as an angel investor in a handful of innovative start-up companies in Indianapolis. Now, Amol is Senior Director of Product at Nerdio, where his passion lies in building easy-to-use, uber-intuitive software products.  When Amol isn’t banishing IT headaches for SMBs by making magic happen behind the scenes at Nerdio, you‘ll find him biking, hiking, running, or walking the many beautiful trails in Southern California.

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