How Real User Monitoring Will Help Boost Site Availability

real user monitoring
Monitoring solutions center around maximizing availability for websites, networks, applications, and more. Maintaining website availability determines success for modern businesses. Organizations use a range of solutions like synthetic monitoring, real user monitoring (RUM), and application performance monitoring.

Synthetic monitoring detects reachability and availabilities that prevent a user from accessing a site or service. This method measures performance and availability from preset locations by simulating users. It gives users full control over simulations, so they can collect a complete set of data for performance and availability errors. But does it fall short?

Synthetic monitoring doesn’t show real end-user experience, only a simulation. So how do we alleviate this problem? Real user monitoring alleviates this flaw by capturing data from real end users, revealing regional performance discrepancies. Thus, combining multiple monitoring tools appears to be the solution for effective monitoring.

This issue arises in application performance monitoring as well. Just an APM doesn’t provide reachability detections like DNS failures, TCP timeouts, or server errors on the CDN. To compensate for this, APM users typically turn to synthetic monitoring to simulate end users. Synthetic doesn’t provide a complete view of user experiences, though. So, again, real user monitoring comes in with deep insights into response times of end users. But, availability metrics have hindered RUM’s success.

If a user can’t connect to a website, the page won’t load in the browser, the browser won’t be able to execute the JavaScript RUM code. Thus, no collected data. There has been no way to measure real end-user availability, until now.

Catchpoint solution

Chrome 69 comes with a new method for reporting errors called Network Error Logging (NEL). So, the first time a user visits a website registers, the site registers that it wants to report errors to Catchpoint. Therefore, if a site fails to load in the future, the failures are reported. This means that end-user DNS, TCP, and 400/500 HTTP errors will be collected.

Site reachability diagnostics with Catchpoint RUM enhances NEL data with information about all end users. It combines information from geolocations, ISPs, browsers, and much more. Without using NEL, Catchpoint customers can detect changes in website availability with Catchpoint’s Outage Analyzer. Outage analyzer establishes baseline models of traffic and notifies when traffic decreases. With NEL though, Catchpoint pinpoints specific issues users may have when connecting to a site.

Doug Atkinson

An entrepreneur and executive with a passion for enterprise technology, Doug founded Solutions Review in 2012. He has previously served as a newspaper boy, a McDonald's grill cook, a bartender, a political consultant, a web developer, the VP of Sales for e-Dialog - a digital marketing agency - and as Special Assistant to Governor William Weld of Massachusetts.

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