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Posts Tagged ‘SaaS

Web-based service delivery models like cloud computing, SaaS and VoIP are revolutionizing IT. These distributed deployments offer cost, scalability and manageability advantages too compelling to pass up.

But the performance of web-based applications is heavily dependent on the networks that deliver them to remote sites. A host of variable, intermittent factors can crash business-critical services. Network issues like jitter, packet loss and long latency times are compounded by the round-trip involved: an input from a user must first reach the remote server, which then processes it and sends a response back to the client.

Traditional datacenter tools that monitor application, server or network device performance are not designed to analyze network-dependent service levels at remote sites from the user’s perspective. For example, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) based tools gather metrics that are vital for monitoring the health of network devices like routers and switches. But SNMP cannot tell you how well the network is doing overall at connecting users with data and applications.

Similarly, “ping checks” can give you a crude sense of the latency users are experiencing with web-based applications, but cannot provide the detailed network performance data necessary to gauge user experience as a whole. Website performance monitoring services provide insight from the perspective of “the internet” to public web services, but not from the perspective of end users to mission critical internal HTTP applications.

SaaS and cloud service providers monitor performance within their infrastructure, including internal connectivity with devices like servers. But who’s monitoring the health of the networks between the cloud and your users? How can you tell whether data packets traveling from the service inception point to the service consumption point are encountering problems along the way?

To get a sense of how well applications are working for your remote users, you need to see the full spectrum of bandwidth and performance characteristics of the distributed network, in real-time. That capability is called Remote Performance Management.

Remote Performance Management delivers performance insight from the perspective of the remote office user to the point of application delivery and back. Any deviation or interruption, such as congestion or data loss that could impact user experience, is immediately evident. All these metrics are reported for each hop in the network path – even across service provider networks.

With Remote Performance Management, you can detect and address increases in service response time across public networks, WANs, LANs and VPNs. You’ll know exactly when and where a problem is occurring and what’s causing it, so you can take quick and effective action.

To learn more about Remote Performance Management reporting capabilities, visit


Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployments are irresistibly appealing to organizations of all sizes, especially those with multiple sites. From browser-based access, to painless installations and upgrades, to minimal IT overhead, seamless scalability, and lower TCO, SaaS is a smart, cost-effective option.

SaaS differs from “cloud” in that SaaS applications can be hosted inside a company’s firewall, as well as remotely. More and more businesses are using SaaS for mission-critical applications like e-mail, financial management, ERP, backup and disaster recovery, HR management, collaboration and CRM. But, by definition, SaaS solutions are accessed over a network – and therefore run into performance challenges, threatening service degradation and more often failure.

Most SaaS deployments are significantly more sensitive to network performance and availability than traditional, on-premise software or even transaction-based network applications like e-mail. This is equally true for a wide range of network-dependent services not generally considered “SaaS,” such as VoIP, video conferencing and virtual desktop infrastructure.

These mission-critical services depend on high-bandwidth, low-latency networks to deliver an acceptable user experience. Issues such as packet loss, latency and jitter can make today’s performance-dependent networked services fail – abruptly! When calls and video sessions are dropped, backups don’t happen and business software disappears into the “cloud,”  and business stops.

The quality of users’ experience is a defining factor in the success of a SaaS deployment. But how do you measure service quality or adherence to SLAs from a remote user’s viewpoint? How do you know when service is degraded or what to do about it? This lack of visibility into the remote user’s experience of hosted services is a major stumbling block preventing organizations, from SMBs to large enterprises, from enjoying the benefits of SaaS.

Apparent Networks’ “State of Cloud Services” survey of network managers released in March 2010, found that:

  • 50% of cloud consumers have no performance measurement SLAs.
  • 75% of cloud users are unable to measure network performance between their users and the cloud provider.

Remote Performance Management enables remote, real-time monitoring of whatever network(s) your SaaS applications or other IP-based services are running on, whether hosted remotely, in-house, or a combination of both.

With Remote Performance Management you can measure end-to-end service quality, troubleshoot performance degradation and pinpoint network problems. Available as a cloud-based service, it takes minutes to install, is highly scalable and cost-effective for organizations of any size.

Visit for more information.

According to Gartner, 95 percent of surveyed organizations plan to increase or maintain SaaS deployments, stating that cost savings are the biggest benefit for the appeal SaaS products. Unlike traditional applications that require a lump-sum investment and time to deploy into the business environment, SaaS offerings are broken into a subscription basis, favouring use by smaller businesses who may be without enough capital for a large organization wide purchase.  Pricing also tends to scale with the size of the subscription purchased, or the size of the organization itself, resulting in cost savings from a ‘pay for what you need’ sales model. There are benefits for the organization hosting the SaaS offering as well.  The recurring subscription fee allows for a predictable revenue stream, month to month.

SaaS products are not synonymous with Cloud products, many SaaS applications are offered in packages that can be deployed and hosted on a company’s internal network.  The PathView Cloud and PathView Premise options at Apparent Networks are one example of this.  However, with either option the SaaS Company will manage the product and provide centralized updates and support for the application.

Apparent Networks uses a SaaS model in order to provide ongoing updates to the entire customer base, provide on going sales and technical training, as well as provide continual customer support.  The bottom line is that a SaaS business involves a significant customer vendor relationship that a traditional lump sum purchase business does not. For software vendors and their resellers, as well as for resellers and their end user customers, this relationship is extremely beneficial for continual quality of service and business practices.

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