European Insurer Removes Network Blind Spots to Ease Network Upgrade with NETSCOUT
- Planned network migration highlighted network performance issues and blind spots
- Insurance customers adopting mobile, Web platforms, increasing IT real-time monitoring needs
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform, with smart performance analytics
- NETSCOUT® Certified InfiniStreamNG™ Software Appliance, with NETSCOUT ASI-generated smart data
- Network upgrade success realized through improved NETSCOUT smart visibility
- Expanded IT utilization assuring real-time performance of company’s digital platforms
In the first 10 minutes of operation, nGeniusONE showed more of what was happening on the insurer’s network than a competitor’s solution ever had.
This European insurance and financial services company’s history dates back more than 100 years. Today, the organization has more than 4 million personal and commercial customers taking advantage of homeowner, health, life, and commercial coverage programs, as well as pension options.
The company continues to extend its heritage of personalized services, using hundreds of regional agencies and 4,000+ insurance and financial services experts to deliver locally based representation. While mindful of maintaining their high-touch personal approach to customer service, they are engaged in digital transformations to improve the company’s business efficiencies, with widespread adoption of mobile claims and Web-based applications.
The company’s information technology (IT) team manages a multi-tier network environment used for delivering business services to agency representatives working at regional offices, as well as corporate-level users.
While IT used a long-time third-party technology to monitor the company’s high network traffic volumes, they had both near-term and future concerns about that solution’s ability to support organizational digital transformation. For example:
- There was a near-term need for real-time monitoring of the company’s digital platforms, including Web services being used by personal and commercial customers.
- The Server Operations team was aware the company’s network traffic usage trends had been changing, but they had no means of visualizing or analyzing what was happening on their network.
- The Load Balancer team was experiencing performance issues with a cloud-based Kubernetes platform used to manage containerized applications. The network monitoring tool was not providing visibility into the multi-node Kubernetes cluster, nor delivering the analysis necessary for effective load balancer performance troubleshooting.
IT also had concerns about how potential network monitoring tool limitations would impact the success of a network upgrade designed to offer increased performance necessary for supporting more company applications, devices, users, and customers.
With company leadership allocating network upgrade budgeting, IT realized it may be time to also re-examine their performance monitoring platform to determine if next-generation technology would address their visibility issues.
Solution in Action
The company ensured network upgrade success and eliminated blind spots by moving to NETSCOUT’s smart visibility solution to gain improved insight into network, application, and business service performance, while improving user experience. The IT team is gaining the necessary visibility by deploying NETSCOUT Certified InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) Software Appliance technology in their upgraded data center environment. Designed to provide maximum performance in large-scale networks like that of this company, the software-based ISNG appliance with NETSCOUT’s patented Adaptive Service Intelligence™ (ASI) technology is transforming the packet-based traffic into smart data used by nGeniusONE analytics for real-time, end-to-end IT monitoring. As a result, IT now has the means to provide capacity utilization, performance analytics, and trended data required to plan for future needs.
The company is using nGeniusONE to proactively monitor:
- Web-based business service performance required for reliable customer application performance
- Service enablers (e.g., SMB used for file transfers, DNS for Web-based services) whose performance provides essential support for business service delivery
- Network performance, identifying root causes of TCP retransmissions, server/ client window zero errors, and session timeouts
- Load balancer performance, leveraging NETSCOUT smart visibility and performance analytics to identify misconfigurations in the networking to / from the Kubernetes load balancer pods, which had earlier resulted in traffic not getting transferred correctly.
As part of network upgrade planning, IT also used nGeniusONE as part of network clean-up activities designed to identify issues (e.g., legacy application code making faulty DNS requests leading to retries and application slowdowns) that could compromise future service delivery to customers and users.
Beyond technology, NETSCOUT’s business partnership provided direct access to nGeniusONE and ISNG knowledge transfer for the company’s IT Architect and subject matter experts that would be using this next-generation tool across the business – this was an approach not factored by the incumbent vendor in positioning their own next-generation solution to this important European customer.
In the first 10 minutes of operation, nGeniusONE provided more insight into the company’s network environment than the legacy tool ever had, which helped improve the IT team’s profile across the organization. With this enhanced visibility, the IT team can now ensure efficient customer interactions through the company’s Web portals and mobile apps, leveraging NETSCOUT’s smart visibility/ smarter analytics approach.
The IT team was able to bring in NETSCOUT’s next-generation approach under the company’s cost containment guidelines, thanks to the software-based ISNG appliance technology. With bottom-line return on investment in mind, NETSCOUT is also improving the value of other company toolsets, with ISNG network packets forwarded to a third-party packet broker to promote the highest network efficiency and efficient load balancing.