As we celebrated our 10th birthday last week, we received a surprise present. Gartner has named Catchpoint a Cool Vendor for Performance Analysis: Analytics and Containers. Sometimes we get the question “Why isn’t Catchpoint on the APM Magic Quadrant?” The short answer is we are not an APM vendor. The longer answer as to why we aren’t an APM vendor is below.

We started Catchpoint ten years ago with a simple goal: to rapidly provide actionable monitoring data on the end user’s experience. This meant monitoring should not only happen on the internal servers, networks, or code running an application, but also the delivery mechanisms outside the firewall across the internet that often have the greatest impact on end-user performance. For that reason, many of the companies delivering the most sophisticated digital experiences recognized the value of Catchpoint and became customers, including Google, Microsoft, and LinkedIn.

Several years ago, many also wondered how Catchpoint differed from APM and whether there was value in this type of monitoring. APM looks at the end-user experience almost exclusively from the application’s perspective. Providing an amazing end-user experience requires more than just understanding how the code on an application is performing. While APM is important, we believe effective Digital Experience Monitoring ultimately helps IT leaders to maintain sufficient visibility across new technologies and approaches underpinned by cloud, SaaS, and more.

Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in Performance Analysis; Analytics and Containers” Report makes a note of these shifting monitoring demands on IT leaders. You can read a full copy of the report here.

Over the past couple of years, we have observed a real interest from our customers in ensuring they have full visibility into every element of the modern application delivery chain that can impact end-user experience. Cloud is becoming mainstream. SaaS is now mission-critical. IT budgets focused on hardware, infrastructure, and enterprise software have migrated to the cloud – SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. According to the 2017 BetterCloud report on the SaaS Powered Workplace, 38% of businesses are currently running more than 80% of their business applications on SaaS.

In spite of moving huge portions of the technology stack outside the firewall, IT organizations still face the following challenges:

IT is still responsible for uptime and blamed for outages

When an employee experiences a problem with an application, their first step is to call the help desk. When the application is a SaaS application, there is not much internal monitoring systems can tell you. IT needs a way to monitor SaaS as well as on-premise software; you can’t rely on your employees to tell you there is a problem with a mission-critical SaaS application. Most SaaS vendors provide status pages to check how a service is performing, but these don’t give full visibility.

Relying on a vendor’s status page may tell you everything is fine when it isn’t. In March 2017 Amazon’s S3 service was unavailable for over four hours, causing a domino effect taking out other services that relied on S3. During these four hours, their dashboard continued to show all systems as available. Organizations cannot rely solely on reports from their vendor that all systems are green.

IT needs to correlate data across a complex IT ecosystem

Resolving outages or performance issues starts with being able to correlate monitoring data from your cloud provider, your infrastructure, your ISP, and your end user. Sharing this information with vendors outside your organization as well as people in your organization needs to be done quickly and easily.

IT needs visibility

Monitoring web services is different from monitoring physical servers. Network monitoring tools that have provided visibility within the organization’s boundary don’t work with SaaS and IT is left blind.

Catchpoint uses over 800 global synthetic monitoring vantage points combined with real user monitoring to measure reliability, availability, and performance. The combination of active and passive monitoring helps IT to comprehensively monitor any SaaS, cloud, or legacy application that is important to your customers or employees. It is one of the big reasons we believe we were named a Gartner Cool Vendor and has us excited about how we can continue to lead the Digital Experience Monitoring space over the next ten years.

Author Mehdi Daoudi

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