Case Study

Addressing Elusive Mobile Application Performance Slow-Downs with NETSCOUT

Addressing Elusive Mobile Application Performance Slow-Downs with NETSCOUT


The Challenge
  • Mobile communications software plagued by poor performance
  • Visibility needed into performance of hundreds of agency- and citizen-impacting applications
The Solutions
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
  • InfiniStreamNGTM appliances with ASI-generated smart data instrumented at data center backbone and remote locations
  • vSTREAM™ virtual appliances for VMware environments
The Results
  • Increased Government service availability, with continuous application monitoring and efficient troubleshooting across a vast agency network

Customer Profile

Like many of today’s government organizations, this large-scale agency uses a centralized information technology (IT) team to manage the network, application, and Unified Communications (UC) platforms necessary for delivering municipal services to residents and regional visitors.

The IT team is managing a complex network supporting:

  • Many agency departments
  • Thousands of well-known and custom and applications
  • Numerous data centers and remote locations
  • Web-based applications, as well as software-as-a-service (SaaS), hybrid cloud, and VMware virtual platforms to deliver diverse government service

For years, the agency has used the NETSCOUT® nGeniusONE platform to assure the performance of mission-critical digital, voice, and video applications running in geographically diverse environments.

The Challenge

The IT team was asked to resolve numerous challenges with a heavily used mobile communications application that was generating unwanted attention from agency management, with such issues as:

  • Field users reporting that the process of sending an email for encrypted transactions was taking more than 60 seconds, which was prompting those frustrated agents to repeatedly contact the IT service desk for resolution.
  • Fifty percent of application transactions were being categorized as slow.
  • The SaaS provider hosting the app was a company operating on another continent, further complicating efficient troubleshooting.

As this encrypted app was also highly used by government agency management, improving real-time monitoring of this application’s performance represented a high-profile issue for the IT team.

They also recognized the importance of gaining visibility into all their applications in a more holistic, cost-effective manner.

Solution in Action

Using the smart data generated by NETSCOUT InfiniStreamNG appliances deployed in the agency’s primary data centers and remote delivery locations, the IT team was able to use nGeniusONE performance analytics to quickly identify and troubleshoot the application performance slow-downs.

The IT team used an nGeniusONE Service Dashboard configured for real-time monitoring of the agency mobile device community, including the overall performance (factoring round-trip delay analysis, transaction volumes, and session information) of the individual Web-based email and certificate-based encryption apps running on those devices.

With IT users quickly drilling down from the Service Dashboard into granular session record analysis and network packet forensic data, nGeniusONE revealed that an SSL connection being used to create a secure communication between user devices and the SaaS running the mobile communications app was taking 60 seconds to set up. In turn, the IT team used these nGeniusONE performance analytics to address this specific problem as well as several others, including:

  • Forwarding the troubleshooting analysis to the agency’s appropriate internal group to reconcile the issue
  • Sharing the data with the SaaS provider to “keep them honest” in terms of the in-place Service Level Agreement, as well as providing information necessary to address the anomaly on their end
  • Demonstrating ongoing performance analytics to agency management by generating 31-day trend reporting
  • Adding server capacity to help support spikes in application traffic (occurring at beginning of month, for example)

The agency has also deployed vSTREAM virtual appliances to expand visibility into the VMware virtual platforms used to run certain government applications.

The Results

Even long-time NETSCOUT users on the agency’s Applications team were surprised when their already-in-production nGeniusONE platform was used to so quickly identify the source of the mobile application performance issues impacting government users.

The organization’s buy-in of NETSCOUT-provided service assurance solutions to their network, application, and business service challenges is evidenced by a daily nGeniusONE user population of more than 50 IT specialists. With this level of adoption, the agency is addressing numerous IT challenges with the single-vendor approach that NETSCOUT brings to them, including:

  • Contact Center Performance Management: The IT team benefits from the flexibility of nGeniusONE’s ad hoc monitoring and reporting features to view the performance of hosted Client Contact apps and SaaS applications used to support high-quality call center performance. With nGeniusONE, the IT team can view response time and utilization analytics to ensure that residents enjoy satisfactory telephone exchanges with the government’s Contact Center agents.
  • Remote Site Management: The agency can monitor remote site technical environments in a manner that tracks to the organization of their business, employing the “nGeniusONE communities” concept to group users, locations, and technologies in a logical manner that allows for the most effective monitoring and troubleshooting.
  • Troubleshooting Management: The agency benefits from efficient IT troubleshooting that leverages intuitive workflows, meeting a mission-critical element for successfully delivering everyday government business services.