Blog Post

Internet Stack Map: A gamechanger for Internet Performance Monitoring

For the first time, IT and Operations teams can view a real-time, visual, detailed Internet dependency map and see everything that might impact a user in one place.

In this blog, we are going to focus on Internet Stack Map, a milestone development for Internet Performance Monitoring.

Our CEO, Mehdi Daoudi, sees this as Catchpoint’s iPhone moment. Why? 15+ years of innovation laser focused on Internet Performance Monitoring have been distilled into an ingeniously simple AI-powered dependency map of everything that impacts an application, customer, or user. For the first time, IT and Operations teams can view a real-time, visual, detailed Internet dependency map and see everything that might impact a user in one place.

Internet Stack Map

Simply answering the key question: why is my critical service is slow or down?

The first question any SRE or other engineer confronted with a critical service being slow or down is, of course, why.  

Legacy monitoring tools cannot sufficiently help determine root cause since today’s applications are multi-cloud, hybrid, and service oriented. Indeed, most applications are the net total of hundreds of components and systems across the Internet Stack that must work together in milliseconds. Isolating what’s impacting your critical application within the entire Internet Stack is not easy. Consider the number of components that could be at fault:  

A blue and purple rectangular chart with textDescription automatically generated with medium confidence
The Internet Stack comprises all the technologies, systems and protocols that work codependently to make the Internet function and impact every Internet connection. It includes core Internet systems like BGP, network technologies like TCP/IP, protocols like QUIC and third-party dependencies, including web services and APIs.

These are the notoriously difficult to troubleshoot areas because while your application must rely on third-party services and other applications to properly function, you obviously don’t own them. You can’t deploy an agent on their servers and they’re definitely not sending you logs. Without visibility, how can you have any clarity or agency when something goes wrong?  

Visualizing a single service or application within the entire Internet Stack is likewise difficult. Indeed, the ability to identify application dependencies from test results is akin to using a microscope to read a book.  

Remember, time is always an added pressure and when outages happen, each minute of downtime can cost thousands of dollars. Reliability practitioners know that when the pressure hits, the requirement to find and fix the issue as quickly as possible is intense. The financial implications of downtime (or slow time) are very real.  

“There are two things that keep CIOs up at night: having systems that are up and running and the performance of those same systems. We estimate the reputational, productivity and revenue loss when these two core elements of digital operations aren't working to be in the billions. This isn't just an IT problem, it's a business problem.  

The hybridization of IT infrastructure and the increasing reliance on cloud services and Internet connectivity are causing IT teams to struggle with identifying the best path forward. Internet Stack Map answers this call. The platform arms customers with the visibility and insights they need to proactively manage and resolve issues before they impact digital experiences.”

Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and co-founder of Catchpoint

Internet Stack Map: An AI-powered gamechanger for reliability practitioners

We’ve previously had dependency maps for individual apps, and topology maps for networks, but Internet Stack Map is the first-of-its-kind live, interactive Internet-dependency map.  

Internet Stack Map shows you a live view of the health of your digital service and the services it depends on.

You can set as many as you’d like up for any or all of your key applications or services. For each one, Internet Stack Map will use AI to automatically discover all of the external components and dependencies that your websites and applications use to run.  

At a glance, you can understand the health of your application or service by looking across the Internet through backbone connections and core protocols, all the way down to the origin server and its supporting infrastructure, in addition to any third-party dependencies, external APIs, and other services across the Internet. This unique, next-generation view is not possible with any other monitoring or observability provider.  

At-a-glance visualization for rapid issue diagnosis

Let’s take a closer look at how it works. In one single visualization, you can see all your dependent services and applications and how they interrelate. Any issues discovered with any one of your dependencies are clearly highlighted in red (the Origin/Backend database in the example below):

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Internet Stack Map highlighting issues in red

Internet Stack Map is not just a pretty dashboard. It’s real-time and fully functional. Clickable elements allow IT teams to click in for detailed drilldowns to specific errors and specific tests:  

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Clicking on Internet Stack Map elements to drill down to specific tests

Internet Stack Map also allows you to view performance issues over time:

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Internet Stack Map - analysis blade

Historical information can also be parsed for analysis.

Who is Internet Stack Map for?

This is a bridge tool for use by teams across the organization, including:  

  • SREs - Immediately spot problems and determine which applications are impacted and by what
  • Application Owners - Easily monitor the health and status of your critical applications
  • IT Ops/Helpdesk - Quickly validate complaints or tickets and provide a definitive answer as to why there’s an issue
  • Executives - Simple, at-a-glance health status understandable regardless of expertise levels  

The key benefits of Internet Stack Map

  • Individual Stack Maps
    • Create a separate Stack Map for every critical service or application
    • Auto discovery of the common services you use (CDN, DNS, etc.)
      • Simple visualization of the entire Internet Stack for that service or application
    • Customize your map
      • Manually add services that aren’t auto discovered
      • Change the view to make it the way you want it
  • Real-time monitoring for proactive issue detection and resolution
    • Utilize the live operational dashboard to:
      • Minimize downtime
      • Understand severity over time
  • Informed decision-making
    • Data is correlated with Catchpoint’s Internet Sonar, which monitorsthe Internet’s third-party services, cloud providers, ISPs, SaaS providers and others to provide a quick answer to the question, "Is it us or is it something else?", eliminating the need for last-minute, costly war rooms
    • Internet Stack Map is also a simple display of application status that can be easily understood by anyone, regardless of skill level. It’s particularly well suited for NOCs or executive overviews.
  • Enhanced control
    • Identify all first and third-party dependencies at a glance
    • Click down to rapidly ascertain the specific error (and see the related test)
    • Better visibility means better digital experiences.

The radical simplicity of Internet Stack Map translates to three simple, yet critical outcomes: faster troubleshooting, easier collaboration across the entire organization, and an optimized service experience for your users.

Remember, if you have multiple key applications and services, you can have multiple Stack Maps.

You won’t find this anywhere else

“Ultimately, Internet Stack Map will help you to achieve Internet Resilience and get ahead of the things you don’t own or control out on the Internet by seeing their status and health. All powered by AI to help you work out root cause. You won’t see this from anyone else. You might see app stack maps from tracing, but for the things that you rely on outside your abilities, beyond your front door, you need this kind of next-generation visibility and visualization.”  

Matt Izzo, Chief Product Officer, Catchpoint  

To find out more about Stack Map and all our recent innovations to the Catchpoint IPM platform, check out yesterday’s Spring Launch Webinar. Hosted by Matt Izzo, Chief Product Officer and Howard Beader, VP of Product Marketing. They showcase all our new products and enhanced capabilities that enable:  

  • End-to-end visibility (user to code)  
  • AI-powered optimization for integrating Internet Stack telemetry  
  • Operational efficiency to support your DevOps lifecycle  

Watch the Spring Launch Webinar recording (no registration required).

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