Case Study

When Only Visibility Without Borders Will Do – Achieving Financial Services IT Project Success

 Financial Services IT Project Success


The Challenge
  • Global IT projects required consistent visibility and analytics technology, with vendor partnership commitment 
  • New high-value, multi-tier apps required enhanced visibility and real-time monitoring to assure performance and investor satisfaction 
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform 
  • InfiniStreamNG® smart visibility appliances 
The Results
  • Continual IT transformation project successes capitalized on NETSCOUT® smart visibility and analysis 
  • Reduced IT silos, improved service delivery consistency 

Customer Profile

This financial services company is globally renowned for their history of delivering trusted wealth management services. The company relies on their tens of thousands of financial services experts to provide trusted investment guidance to their institutional and high-value individual investors. 

For many years, company’s information technology (IT) operations have relied on NETSCOUT’s smart visibility and vendor-neutral service assurance solutions to help manage a vast data center operations network and financial services footprint. 

The Challenge

This company’s IT specialists faced a series of project challenges, some of which coincided with business continuity and service delivery transitions that had been necessitated by the pandemic. The IT projects identified in the subsections that follow were critical to sustaining high-quality service delivery to millions of investment clients. 

Visualizing and Monitoring Multi-tier Application Performance 

The company had developed new, digitally delivered products and services to better serve their clients remotely. These Web-based applications for wealth and asset management required enhanced visibility to support real-time IT monitoring. 

Since some business services formerly delivered to clients during branch office visits had moved to these Web-based platforms, there were logical organizational concerns about the volume, value, bandwidth utilization, and potential latency of app traffic running across multi-tier network layers and service edges. 

 For IT leadership, a central question had emerged — “How do we manage these applications more actively?” 

Network Infrastructure Expansion 

Thanks to the company’s global business growth, there were associated demands on the networks supporting regional operations. The IT teams overseeing these regional projects subscribed to a phased approach to these multi-tier network expansions, focusing on lessons learned that were used to inform their activities on the next initiative. 

A consistent theme emerged across all these projects, regardless of network infrastructure in use or regional location in scope — Successful IT rollouts rely on end-to-end visibility and our ability to access before, during, and after views into performance to ensure business service delivery and end-user and client experience. 

Data Center Migration 

Much like their ongoing network expansion projects, the company’s data center operations were expanding internationally to meet increased business service delivery requirements, and the IT team knew providing access to network resources closer to the users would reduce latency. A number of data center migrations to Co-located (Co-lo) facilities were planned, with third-party solution providers that included Equinix and others. IT leadership’s strategy in this regard focused on balancing Co-lo Data Center operations across numerous vendors, so as not to become overly reliant on a single provider that might be unable to meet an associated Service Level Agreement (SLA). 

Regardless of the respective vendors, IT understood there were common data center migration success factors — The need to visualize cloud-based Co-lo performance, monitor the performance of financial services and application workloads that had been moved to those Co-los, and quickly troubleshoot other dependencies in the service path applied to any vendor selected by the company, whether Equinix or others.

Solution in Action

Rather than relying on individual tools or vendors to visualize and monitor these respective projects, the company’s preference was to identify a single partner equipped to strategically collaborate with them along the continuum of these initiatives. Fortunately, the company did not have to look very far — their long-time business partner NETSCOUT offered the smart visibility and real-time, vendor-agnostic monitoring solutions needed to assure the success of each of these projects. 

The company’s sustained commitment to NETSCOUT’s “smart visibility, smarter analytics” approach involved deployment of the following solution service assurance technologies in numerous business operations environments: 

  • nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform, including multiple nGeniusONE Global Servers operating redundantly to safeguard the company’s data center operations and disaster recovery activities. 
  • InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) appliances supporting regional 40G and 100G network speeds as required. The ISNG appliances were deployed across wide-ranging service edges to enhance IT visibility of client edges (remote offices), network edges (for Internet, Co-lo, and WAN), cloud service edges (supporting Web-tier applications), and data center service edges (including on-premises applications, service enablers, firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and load balancers). 

Regardless of the IT project involved, the ISNG appliances use NETSCOUT’s Adaptive Service Intelligence (ASI) technology to convert the company’s network packet traffic into smart data in real-time. This data was used to source nGeniusONE’s single-pane-of-glass service dashboard and monitor views into network, application, Web, Co-lo, data center, and remote office operations quality, including the following: 

  • VPN and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) bandwidth and capacity used at client edges by employees that had shifted to home offices during the pandemic. Troubleshooting performance issues was essential for business continuity. 
  • Multi-tiered, Web-based application troubleshooting helped quickly pinpoint the source of problems in financial services applications. 
  • DNS performance issues, which are an important component of SaaS, UCaaS, and Web-based application workflows, while also representing a potential performance failure point and/or security vulnerability. 

The Results

Beyond realizing the traditional capital expenditure and operating expense cost containment benefits from a single-vendor approach, the company transformed their technology environment in a manner consistent with their Chief Information Officer’s strategic goals — thanks in part by naming the integrated nGeniusONE platform as the gold standard for service assurance across the business. Additionally, earlier project successes and continual returns on investment realized from nGeniusONE prompted leadership to attach NETSCOUT’s technology and local advisors to early strategic IT project planning. 

In the day-to-day business of running successful IT operations, NETSCOUT has brought smart visibility and analysis continuity that has prompted buy-in by NetOps, Global Monitoring & Infrastructure, Big Data Analytics, Security Operations, and Incident Response teams. 

The synergy between technology transformation project conversions and IT teams’ collective abilities to visualize and monitor these transformed environments have served to make for a highly valued NETSCOUT business partnership for this financial industry leader.