Blog Post

Mastering IPM: Key takeaways from our best practices series

Explore key takeaways from our Mastering Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) series as well as next steps to continue learning.

As we conclude our Mastering IPM blog series, it's time to reflect on the wealth of insights we shared. From delving into the critical layers of the Internet Stack to navigating the intricacies of data analysis, each installment has provided valuable perspectives on optimizing digital experiences through Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM).

Now, let's distill the key takeaways from the series.

1. The Internet is the new network

Our series began by redefining the concept of monitoring in the age of the Internet. We highlighted the transformation of application delivery mechanisms—how the cloud has reshaped data centers and SaaS has redefined application stacks. This shift underscores the necessity of monitoring the new enterprise network: the Internet itself.

The Internet, however, as proved by frequent headline grabbing outages, is not magically resilient. It demands a comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) strategy to ensure visibility across all Internet Stack layers, from applications to end users. This level of insight is crucial for any organization reliant on a resilient Internet to operate.

So, if your current monitoring setup fails to answer any of the questions below, it’s time for a reset. 

  1. Is there an issue?
  1. Which layer of the stack is affected—Network, Middle-Mile, or Application?
  1. What regions are impacted?
  1. How extensive is the impact—does it affect part or all of the user base?
  1. What’s the effect on business KPIs, such as revenue, conversions, and visitor counts?  

Read Mastering Internet Performance Monitoring: A Best Practices Series

2. You need to monitor what matters from where it matters

The second post in our series emphasized how effective monitoring in IT requires a shift in perspective, focusing not just on internal systems but prioritizing the end-user experience. Why? “Your entire network can look ‘green’, and your users can still be unable to connect. That’s because they’re coming to your systems from different geographic locations and via different routes while using different resources – any of which can degrade their experience. This means you MUST monitor what matters to your users, not just to you!”  

Using Adobe’s recent outage as a case study, this installment showcased how interconnected components of the Internet Stack influence the end-user experience and how a proactive IPM approach enables true application availability.  

Read Mastering IPM: Monitor What Matters From Where It Matters

3. Having a robust IPM strategy for CX is indispensable

Our third entry highlighted IPM's vital role in enhancing Customer Experience (CX). At a foundational level, your service must be up and running. Once it’s available, users expect it to be fast. Next, you must enable your users to access the service from anywhere in the world or at least make it accessible from all regions within your target market. And finally, your website must be consistent in its availability, performance, and reachability.  

This post featured an IPM CX suite example, illustrating how such a setup facilitates quick outage detection, reduces Mean Time to Detect (MTTD), and assists in swiftly addressing disruptions, as seen in a case study involving a notable file-sharing company.  

Read Mastering IPM: The Essential Customer Experience Monitoring Framework

4. Depend on an independent arbiter to help manage SLAs

This post demystifies SLAs, SLOs, and SLIs. It underlines how independent, objective IPM data enhances SLO tracking, directly impacting user experiences and strategic decision-making. By setting clear performance goals (SLOs) within contractual agreements (SLAs) and using specific metrics (SLIs) to gauge compliance, organizations can maintain service quality and accountability.  

This entry not only guides setting up effective SLOs but also showcases how Catchpoint's unified dashboard facilitates streamlined SLO monitoring, crucial for maintaining service quality and protecting revenue.  

Read Mastering IPM: Protecting Revenue through SLA Monitoring

5. The stakes are high when it comes to API resilience  

This installment shed light on the intricacies of API transactions, the critical nature of API resilience, and the consequences of API failures, ranging from functional disruptions to security vulnerabilities. It featured a basic guide for API monitoring, including the need to go beyond API availability to validate functional uptime, the necessity of monitoring API dependencies, automating testing within CI/CD pipelines, and selecting tools with proactive alerting capabilities.

Read Mastering IPM: API Monitoring for Digital Resilience

6. Observability data is meaningless without the ability to harness it  

The final entry in our Mastering IPM series was a deep dive into the world of observability analytics and visualizations. We looked at the fundamental principles of data analysis to consider when choosing an analysis tool for observability. Key points include the necessity of direct access to raw, nonaggregated data for in-depth analysis and the selection of tools that offer comprehensive data visualization options. The article details Catchpoint’s visualization capabilities, including Dashboards, Smartboards, Explorer, and the option for Custom Visualizations, demonstrating how these tools enable users to efficiently analyze data and derive meaningful insights.  

Read Mastering IPM: Navigating Data Analysis

Wrapping it all up

Throughout our Mastering IPM series, we've embarked on a journey through the intricacies of IPM, exploring crucial practices, tools, and strategies essential for ensuring Internet Resilience and optimizing digital experiences. From unravelling the nuances of Customer Experience monitoring, SLAs, and SLOs to API monitoring best practices, we hope to have provided valuable insights and actionable strategies to empower your organization in mastering IPM.  

Dive deeper into Internet Performance Monitoring with the experts in our engineer-led master class, Monitoring From Your Users' Perspective. Watch the recording now, or test drive Catchpoint for yourself in our guided product tour.

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