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Can Managed Service Providers Help the Enterprise Meet their Application Performance Goals?

The success of today’s enterprise relies on the performance of applications over the WAN. The use of bandwidth-intensive, web-based applications (such as videoconferencing and collaborative applications) that are utilized over the WAN creates a challenge for network managers who need to ensure application performance while dealing with limited resources. Application Performance Management (APM) requires monitoring tools and the expertise to use them. The question is how you ensure that you are properly optimizing your applications without having to invest in additional resources.

The answer to this situation could be to rely on your Managed Service Provider (MSP) to deliver an application performance management service. Outsourcing the management of the enterprise WAN could ease both your management burden and reduce IT costs while providing a way to ensure application performance. Many MSPs are meeting their customer’s needs to increase services while holding down costs by providing managed network, data center, and application services. However, to capitalize on these opportunities, managed service providers must overcome a number of challenges themselves. 

MSPs are looking for ways to increase the value that they deliver to enterprise customers as traditional services become commonplace. Enterprise customers want more than a simple WAN pipe. They are looking for service level agreements for their critical applications and they want application performance assurance regardless of the connection type or the geographic location. At the same time both the Enterprise and the Managed Service Provider need to achieve a reasonable ROI on their IT investments. 

MSPs are looking for a solution that will let them provide application performance monitoring along with their application acceleration service, based on Cisco WAAS, so that they can offer customers user-experience and application-focused capabilities. Visibility into application performance helps identify bandwidth-intensive applications, aids in rapid troubleshooting and proactive resolution of application-based network performance problems, and enables detection of rogue activity occurring on the network. With an understanding of application performance, an Enterprise, working with their MSP, accurately plan their deployment of Cisco WAAS and fine tune the performance of their applications over the WAN. 

Application performance assurance can be provided by a multitenant and scalable product such as the InfoVista 5View™ Application Performance Management suite. InfoVista 5View works with Cisco WAAS to provide application response time measurement, which is critical to application performance tuning. The 5View APM solution makes it possible to detect applications that are good candidates for optimization and provides the information required to make informed decisions on Cisco WAAS deployment. See this white paper for a detailed look at how the Cisco and InfoVista solution works: Cisco WAAS and InfoVista Enhance Optimization Services.

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