NETSCOUT Helps North American Financial Services Institution Transform Technology and Customer Experience
- Significant increase in complexity with DX initiatives creating troubleshooting challenges
- Insourcing services such as capacity planning and performance monitoring
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform and InfiniStreamNG™ appliance
- vSTREAM™ and NSX Edition of vSTREAM virtual appliances
- nGenius® packet flow switches
- Reduced MTTR and multi-cloud complexity
- Shifted to a more proactive performance management approach with end-to-end visibility
- Improved end user experience
This major financial services institution is one of the largest of its type in North America. They have 40,000+ employees operating across hundreds of branch offices and thousands of ATMs to serve more than five million members and clients throughout the region. In addition to personal and business retail banking, this organization also has subsidiaries offering products and services related to life and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, real estate, wealth management, and brokerage, among others. Recently they have embarked on a major digital transformation project, which necessitated a renewed focus on end-to-end visibility across their environment, on premises and in the cloud.
This organization’s biggest challenge was their ongoing multi-year major digital transformation project designed to revolutionize how services are delivered to their end users. This ambitious IT initiative included moving some of their infrastructure services to Cologix and Equinix for hosting some of their data center and infrastructure needs. They also selected VMware as part of their virtualization strategy, making deployment of new, customer-benefiting applications and services faster and more agile. Software-as-a-Service solutions, such as Microsoft’s SKYPE for Business for voice communications have been part of this evolution as well.
As part of this project, activities such as capacity planning and performance monitoring were being insourced from third party vendors and taken over by the NetOps team. The need for accurate, end-to-end visibility to support service assurance became a priority to meet these needs. This was deemed an essential part of a successful migration given the increased complexity of a multi-cloud environment. All parties, the bank, their co-los, cloud, and WAN providers, as well as their equipment vendors were motivated to deliver high-quality services and experiences to the customers. Visibility across all the service paths, without exception, would be needed. Having a vendor agnostic independent solution not tied to any service providers was essential to gain a collaborative troubleshooting and resolution process to attack service degradations.
Voice traffic monitoring was also key, both for ensuring internal communications between employees, but also external communications with customers. Call centers are a huge revenue source for this financial services organization, as well as being the first touch point with many customers. To ensure a good end user experience, voice call quality must be top notch.
Solution in Action
To address these challenges, this organization turned to NETSCOUT®. The NetOps team deployed the nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform, along with InfiniStreamNG appliances, vSTREAM virtual appliances, and NSX Edition of vSTREAM as data sources. The nGenius 5000 Series packet flow switch was deployed to provide access to packet data for on-demand visibility throughout the datacenter for the InfiniStreamNG appliances and other monitoring tools.
The InfiniStreamNG software and hardware appliances were deployed strategically in the datacenter and other locations, such as co-location facilities hosting cloud gateways. The NSX Edition of vSTREAM virtual appliance is being used to provide east-west visibility into VMware NSX environments in a software defined datacenter. This visibility at the virtualization layer enables NetOps to target critical applications as they are being migrated into the environment, to ensure consistent performance before and after the move.
With this instrumentation, the NetOps team was able to gain visibility end-to-end into production business traffic, as well as corporate traffic. Critical applications included financial applications related to loans, payment processing and other financial transactions, as well as business applications such as email, databases, or SharePoint. Voice monitoring was implemented, both to protect internal voice traffic, as well as SaaS-based VoIP service - Skype for Business.
As a result of the visibility provided in nGeniusONE, NetOps has the information they need to find and resolve issues, even in the cloud. In one case, the end users were experiencing slow responsiveness for one of the cloud-based services. They were able to use the nGeniusONE solution to pinpoint a misconfiguration on the load balancers of one of the server pools – not all of the servers allocated were included as part of the pool, resulting in heavier loads on the remaining servers and longer transaction times. Once the true source of the slowdown was revealed in nGeniusONE, NetOps was able to add the missing servers to the pool and response times were improved.
With the nGeniusONE solution in place, mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) has improved with the new visibility, as has overall customer and end user experience. The IT staff has now gained truly borderless visibility into their business environment, on premises and in the cloud. They have the solution necessary to break down the multi-cloud complexity, as well as to find and resolve issues on their own.
Previously, the NetOps team was more reactive, and hampered by a lack of visibility when attempting to find and resolve issues. Now they’re able to be more proactive, especially as they migrate applications and services into the cloud.