One of the areas highlighted in end-user reviews from Catchpoint’s Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice Distinction was the depth and breadth of visibility our global node network provides. 

“Any time we have had a question about an element of our environment we have been able to create a Catchpoint test to measure it. The data collected by Catchpoint tests is in-depth and very useful for understanding product behavior and performance.”

Network Engineer, Infrastructure & Operations

“Unparalleled node coverage. Most synthetic monitoring tools have very low APAC node coverage, but not Catchpoint. It has extensive coverage in India, China, and almost every South East Asian country. Provides a wide variety of test types. From simple up-down availability test, to full blown user-journey tracking capabilities. Different network level test types (Traceroute, ping) provide complete digital monitoring.”

Solutions Engineer Team Lead, Sales and Marketing

For today’s tech tip, I’ll be sharing a clear and precise description of what the different node types are within the context of the different types of data they provide. If that’s all you need, this blog should provide you with those nuts and bolts.  

If you want to know more about how to use them, check out this week’s video, where I’ll also share some best practices and provide a set of example scenarios for each node type.  

An Overview of Catchpoint’s Backbone, Last Mile, Enterprise, Wireless, and Cloud Node Types 

We pride ourselves on offering backbone, enterprise, last mile, wireless and cloud points of presence on Catchpoint’s global monitoring network, allowing you to detect performance issues from anywhere in real-time.  

Our synthetic tests are powered by our external nodes, but it’s crucial to know which one corresponds to your unique situation. Each variant is slightly different in terms of its configuration, offering a different piece of the puzzle, helping us figure out what went wrong and why. 

Let’s take a look at a top-level overview of the properties of each node type.

Node Type Properties 
Backbone Nodes Use backbone nodes to monitor your digital service from outside the infrastructure it resides in. Backbone nodes are deployed on high-speed lines inside Tier-1 ISPs.  Backbone nodes provide you with data that accurately represents the end-user experience, excluding the variations brought in by the end user’s network. 
Last Mile Nodes Use last mile nodes to monitor performance from a local ISP or mobile provider. If you’re running a synthetic test with a last mile node, you’re likely trying to troubleshoot issues on a more local scale. 
Enterprise Nodes Use enterprise nodes to determine both internal and external issues. Enterprise nodes are installed inside a client’s network. They can be deployed physically and virtually, on either Windows or Linux.  
Wireless Nodes Use wireless nodes to see how performance varies across different mobile networks in different locations. Wireless nodes utilize 3G/4G networks and cell towers to tell you how your mobile users are experiencing your application and services on a variety of wireless providers. 
Cloud Nodes Use cloud nodes to measure the speed and availability of your digital services and applications from the vantage point of the cloud itself. Cloud nodes allow you to preempt performance challenges from global cloud providers. Often times, Catchpoint cloud agents will be on the same cloud network they are testing. 

In addition, you can install Catchpoint’s Endpoint client on an employee laptop and turn it into another monitoring point.

The ideal Digital Experience Monitoring solution is one that offers multiple node types to tailor towards your specific use case, and which can be used holistically. It can be helpful, for instance, to correlate data from last mile nodes with more consistent backbone and broadband provider locations. 

In this week’s video, I’ll show you how each of our node types works within the software itself and how to plan out an instant synthetic test for your application. I will also share: 

  • A quick, clear rundown of our backbone, enterprise, last mile, wireless and cloud nodes; 
  • When to use each node type and why; 
  • Real-world use cases that are best suited to each node type. 

Let’s jump in!