What is Cato Experience Monitoring

This article explains the Cato Networks Experience Monitoring feature, and how it can be used to help IT identify issues in your organization.

Overview

Traditional network analytics are often insufficient to provide full visibility into the user experience for SaaS applications. Admins can use Cato's Experience Monitoring to assess and optimize the end-to-end digital experience for the user experience with cloud-based apps over your network. Experience Monitoring presents additional data and metrics that provides insights into performance, availability, and user interactions.

Experience Monitoring lets you combine the existing Network Analytics with app and user analytics to provide you a holistic view of issues that your users are experiencing. This additional context, such as packet loss or tunnel age, gives you the information you need to determine if the issues are related to your ISP, the Cato Cloud, or perhaps something else. You can also use the performance score to determine if a specific app is suffering from a global impact, or only performance issues in specific locations.

Note

Note: The Account Experience score is metric is calculated from January, 23rd 2024. All other application performance metrics are collected from December, 2023.

You can implement Experience Monitoring without deploying any specific agents or configuring anything within your system. Based on your network connection to the Cato Cloud, you are able to gather information based on network traffic, last mile (ISP), and application data, including:

  • User monitoring - Gather and analyze user data to understand the source that is impacting their app experience. You can also use this information to see if there is a broader issue across multiple users, which could indicate a problem in your network or bandwidth allocation. For example, Time to First Byte or HTTP/S Latency widgets can show you if a specific user is experiencing issues with a specific app.

  • Application monitoring - Using the network data, you can better understand how network conditions are impacting your app performance and user experience. In addition to Time to First Byte and HTTP/S Latency, HTTP/S Error Rate or TLS Connect can show you if a specific app is experiencing issues.

  • Network monitoring - User-centric network analysis that can identify trends and patterns such as latency, packet-loss, and other network issues that might impact performance. Packet Loss and Tunnel Age widgets for specific users can help analyze potential ISP or app issues.

  • Synthetic probes - Simulating user interaction through probes, you can proactively assess system behavior and identify potential issues before they arise.

    Note

    Note: Currently, synthetic probes are sent from the site and not from the Client to minimize the impact on network performance.

Based on the performance app metrics of the information we gather, the page shows you an Account Experience score. You can drill down further into specific apps or users and you'll see a score specific to the respective apps(s) or user(s). For more information about Experience Monitoring and the widgets you can use, see Using the Experience Monitoring Page.

DEM-Account_Experience.png

This is very useful to help understand if a problem is related to a specific user, site, or app in your network, or perhaps the problem is a global outage for that specific application.

Known Limitations

  • Application performance metrics are only calculated for TCP traffic. We will support metrics for additional protocols in the future.

  • Sometimes, there are multiple records for a user, such as connecting remotely as opposed to when they are behind a site.

Help Desk Ticket Use Case

A ticket arrives in the help desk queue of a remote user who is complaining about poor response times from Atlassian Jira. The help desk admin navigates to the Experience Monitoring page and sees that the overall Account Experience score is Good. This indicates there is no global problem with the network. The admin navigates to the Applications tab and filters for the app for which the ticket was opened.

They see that overall, the Application Experience score is also Good, and from looking at the Application Performance metrics, there are no issues that the admin sees. This indicates that the issue is most likely specific to the user who opened the ticket.

DEM-Application_Performance_Metrics.png

The engineer navigates to the Users/Hosts tab and filters the data for the specific user and specific app. They immediately see that there is some correlation between the Time to First Byte metrics and the Last Mile Performance metrics, specifically Packet Loss and Distance. The admin then concludes that there might be a problem with the user's home network and recommends that they contact their ISP.

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