Performance is examined from several angles; this must always be done for applications including simultaneous users in different locations.
Today’s Higher Education IT teams face a diverse range of institution-critical tasks; however, the end purpose of data systems is always to facilitate a person using an application. Monitoring the performance of applications helps IT teams keep those applications up, responsive, and secure.
Colleges and Universities must support their user community throughout a long-term process.
IT must also provide real-time performance management of network, application, and cloud services – in wired and wireless environments - to ensure student access to higher education and SaaS Cloud Computing applications (e.g., LMS and ERP). Adding to the challenge, IT is under an obligation to safeguard the information infrastructure from attacks.
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NETSCOUT Application Monitoring
To examine how the NETSCOUT solution assures application performance in each case, we will break down the applications an institution of higher learning uses into five categories.
Administrative & Employee Services
Applications used for these services may be industry standard ones or they may be narrowly focused on the education market, or legacy applications developed in-house. The user community for them spans the faculty, students, and administrators. Their performance must be monitored carefully regardless of platform.
The first impression which a prospective student forms of any institution of higher education is the admissions process, making remote application performance critical for this phase. Data must be collected about each applicant, kept private, and presented in a logical way for decision makers. Several specialized applications exist for this purpose and SIS programs often offer Admissions modules as well.
Student Services begin with Student Information Systems (SIS), or University ERP systems. Student services encompass housing, health services, class registration, work/study programs, commuter student services, event scheduling and notification, and financial aid administration which are also critical to the student experience.
The actual interactive process of teaching students is complex and a focus of professional educators, of course. Even setting aside the area of Distance Learning, the process of designing courses, presenting material, and so on has long since become intertwined with technology, even in on-campus in person situations. These applications are also challenging to deploy as there may well be a BYOD situation, so the monitoring of them is more complicated and even more necessary.
Testing, Auditing and Evaluation
Student testing and grading have long been at least partially automated. Continuous improvement and the maintenance of professional standards are a constant matter for concern among education professionals, so in addition there are a variety of applications available to collect data from course and instructor evaluations.
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Solutions for Higher Education
The NETSCOUT Visibility Without Borders approach for Higher Education leverages the following smart data and analytics solutions.