Network monitoring isn’t just about security: it’s also key to building and maintaining a successful user experience. The relationship between security and UX is layered. On the surface, greater network security means a more seamless experience for the user; they have less to worry about and fewer network interruptions to contend with. On a deeper level, however, security and UX are about trust. Good security and a reliable network mean the user has faith in the network’s performance and ability to safeguard their information, and is more inclined to use the organisation’s applications or services.
UX combines experience and expectation. It’s the user’s perception of both what they can do on a network, and how easy and safe it is to do it.
The power – and threat – of edge computing for the UX
As networks grow increasingly complex and distributed, incorporating edge computing to facilitate localised connectivity and optimised performance, network monitoring is essential in ensuring and maintaining consistent user experiences. Edge computing is utilised by industries to push application and service access and access of data to the fringes of the network, closer to their users. In the healthcare industry, for example, this has significant implications for diagnostic tools and methods of recording, storing and retrieving information.
But this is where the greatest security vulnerabilities also exist. As access is pushed to the edges of the network, the ability of traditional monitoring is weakened. Convenience is, at least at first, coupled with new risk. Distribution of access and capability has to be met by equally comprehensive monitoring if the user experience is to be maintained – and part of that user experience is the ability for medical staff and patients to trust that information is secure. One unmonitored incident can have dire consequences. Trust is difficult to earn but easy to lose.
Monitoring traffic as a means of maintaining a great UX
In the next few years, many organisations will look to expanding their network capabilities, incorporating more applications and services and reaching a wider, geographically diverse set of users. In some cases, this will involve a complete infrastructure overhaul. Network monitoring and security aren’t usually the first thing thought about when optimising user experiences, but they’re the foundation that supports the structure. Without network monitoring and complete network visibility, it is the user that will ultimately suffer – and whilst they may be able to forgive drops in performance, they seldom forgive breaches of data.
Ixia network taps allow organisations to cost-effectively maintain complete network visibility, even over edge computing. These taps can be introduced without introducing additional load to the network. Complete visibility is provided at line-rate speed without packet loss and, once deployed, Ixia’s network taps support real-time monitoring without degrading or disrupting traffic flow. In a time of network performance maximisation and budget reduction, Ixia offers a way to comprehensively monitor traffic from across a network and gain a more detailed understanding of traffic – including the specific applications and services that generate it – at specific points in a network, cost-effectively and with minimal additional human resource implication.