Service Monitoring from Customer Viewpoint

SUMMARY

The client needed to predict and act on their service failures before customers encounter it. Parkar took a radical approach of building a proactive monitoring solution that can bring services online faster. The result was a lean scalable service monitoring framework that increased operational efficiency and helped the client manage all their applications and services from a single dashboard; as well as take proactive actions to enrich their customer experience. This solution has compelled the client to define a strategy to migrate all their applications to this ecosystem.

CLIENT PROFILE

The client is a leading provider for telecommunication and data analytics solutions, with various portfolios and services spread over the space of Internet Registry, Telecommunications, DNS, and Data Analytics.

CRITICAL CHALLENGES

The customer needed to predict when their services fail to perform adequately before customers do. They needed to get the services back on line much faster than they have been doing now, and they needed to have clear ways to assess how well their services can do this.  The Service Monitoring from a Customer Viewpoint project should provide the tools, processes, documents, and management to significantly upgrade their service monitoring.

One of the major issues in detecting problems before customers do is that most of our monitoring today is from within the networks and systems that are being monitored.  To achieve this, the services need to be monitored externally. Moreover, this needs a radical approach to monitoring where customer interfaces are monitored for functionality rather than internal system parameters.

This problem called out for re-thinking the whole monitoring domain and how various metrics are utilized to generalize the health of a system or service under observation. There were three specific requirements to fulfill:

  • Monitoring should be external to the service, and should not be co-located with the services
  • The monitoring should target the functional aspects on the customer interfaces, rather than working on system parameters like load average, memory, process uptime etc.
  • The system should be capable of monitoring various kind of customer interfaces (e.g. Web, REST, DNS, S/FTP, etc.)

OUR SOLUTION APPROACH

Parkar proposed a radical approach by combing few solutions to address the problem than a liner / traditional solution available in the market.

Infrastructure

A public/hybrid cloud-based approach was envisioned/opted/proposed for the monitoring infrastructure to avoid the infrastructure management at customer locations which take time and incur heavy capital expenses. This approach further enabled us to distribute the test units across multiple third-party managed data centers.

Packaging and Update

The test units are packaged as Docker images that / which helped us to deploy it as a core unit The containerizing approach gives the advantage/ability to deploy it remotely without affecting the underlying infrastructure across various cloud providers and orchestrate them remotely.

Ability to test various customer interfaces

Developed a lean framework that has the capability of testing few of the interfaces like HTTP Web, REST, S/FTP, DNS which could further be extended to include other interfaces in the growing arena of modern technologies. Parkar has also decoupled the framework from the monitoring tests to make the framework and test suites more maintainable

SOLUTION OUTCOMES

Location based monitoring solution

Geo-based orchestration of test suites

Reducing operational costs

Uniform Packaging & Deployments of the tests

BUSINESS VALUE DELIVERED

The results of all these efforts was a lean service monitoring framework that can utilize the cloud to run tests for various customer interfaces yet operate at a low cost. The deployment and operation of the test units across geography can be orchestrated automatically without much human intervention. The framework being scalable and maintained separately, boosts time to market new features. Meanwhile, the upgrades to the tests or the framework can be done until they are interface compliant.

This monitoring eco-system combines a mix of containerization, micro-services, RESTful interfaces and remote execution. All that at a lower cost of operation.­ This de-coupling helps teams to focus on different aspects of the system.

This has helped the client to monitor different applications and services from customer locations, and get notified of any service disruptions or performance degradations. They are now able to monitor the health parameters of their services from a single dashboard and take proactive actions to enrich their customer experience. The client plans to onboard all of their applications to this ecosystem.

© 2017 Parkar Consulting Group

info@parkar.consulting

1844 8246 686