Box is a leader in Cloud Content Management, providing users easy access to their information and a secure platform to share and collaborate. Box delivers its cloud-based product via web applications, integrations with partner solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite, and publicly exposed and supported APIs that enable customers and partners to integrate Box into their systems.

As with any SaaS application, performance, reliability, and availability are critical to the business. Box strives to maintain optimal end-user experience with sophisticated monitoring and analysis tools. Catchpoint has helped Box take decisive monitoring initiatives that focus on performance from the end user’s perspective. 

“We provide a consumerized-style web experience both directly and via our APIs so users expect reliable access and fast performance. That makes it table stakes to understand the customer experience, and Catchpoint plays an increasingly valuable role in helping Box achieve that.”

Dan Dennhardt, Sr. Product Manager, Box 

Performance Analysis from the End Users Perspective

SaaS monitoring is critical as the user’s business relies on application availability. The application should be accessible from any location or network without any performance degradation. In late 2018, Box experienced service issues that had a major impact on customer experience. The company investigates all site impacting events, but such exercises always fell short when it came to analyzing actual customer experience. “We had a good handle on the experience with our web app but were in the dark when it came to what customers experienced on the other end of API integrations. To better understand and serve our API customers, we needed a more accurate representation of their experiences,” explains Dan Dennhardt, Sr. Product Manager, Box. 

Box decided to use synthetic monitoring to proactively gauge the end-user experience and improve application health. The company decided to use Catchpoint after comparing different monitoring tools. They were looking for a tool that fit their requirements in three key areas: 

  • Data visualization, analysis, and a wide range of metrics to monitor.  
  • Ease of exporting data and integrations available. 
  • Extensive node coverage and global footprint. 

These three factors eliminate blindspots in the existing monitoring strategy and this translates to faster incident detection, effective root cause analysis, and quicker incident resolution. With Catchpoint, Box gains great visibility into customer experience throughout the delivery chain.  

Improved Incident Management   

Box APIs are consumed by millions of users around the world and as such, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the cause of performance degradation. When there is an incident, the root cause analysis relies on understanding if the issue is specific to a region, the user’s network, or the API action itself.  Through the Catchpoint dashboard, the Network Operations Center (NOC) and monitoring teams can quickly zero in and dissect these issues. The teams can also use instant Catchpoint tests to verify or rule out network degradation. 

With billions of API calls per day, there is a lot of data to go through when trying to determine what is causing an error or adding latency to the application. To make it easier to investigate, Box uses Catchpoint tests to compare datasets and analyze anomalies. The Catchpoint platform provides a single pane dashboard to track availability and performance from multiple API endpoints. 

Integration with Third-Party Tools 

Box uses additional third-party resources, so it has a complete monitoring suite at its disposal. Catchpoint’s ability to integrate with these tools was an added advantage for Box. For example, Box ingests Catchpoint data into Wavefront to get more robust metrics from its monitoring and application metrics tool. Another example is Catchpoint’s integration with PagerDuty. By feeding Catchpoint data into PagerDuty, Box can alert its NOC team to investigate platform issues and assess the duration of impact and recovery. 

Summary 

Box aims to power how the world works together by delivering innovation to organizations across the globe. Today, more than 100,000 companies and 68% of the Fortune 500 – including AstraZeneca, General Electric, JLL, and Morgan Stanley – use Box’s Cloud Content Management platform and APIs. Box accelerates business processes and powers a secure workplace collaboration all while working with a best-of-breed enterprise IT stack. 

A powerful platform like Box requires an equally powerful monitoring platform. Catchpoint’s comprehensive and easy-to-use monitoring has helped Box maintain application health while enhancing application performance and reliability. 

The Box NOC team uses Catchpoint regularly as a general signal for maintaining site performance. As Dan explains, the NOC has a difficult job. “They have to be aware of and think about so much to understand site health and recover it quickly when it’s lower than acceptable. With Catchpoint, the team gets tests with the detail they didn’t have previously so they can more easily get to the root of problems.” 

Read the complete case study here.