Question: Active or Passive Monitoring?

Active Vs Passive

Well it is winter here in Sydney and in winter we get out the chestnuts for roasting.

Today’s old chestnut was a question from a prospect asking should they implement active or passive monitoring of end-user tech-experience.

Wow – I would almost prefer to be asked which of two pairs of shoes my missus should wear? Some questions have no right answer!

Let us assume that passive and active monitoring can both provide useful measures for your chosen application mix (certainly not always true) and that you can passively monitor real traffic (See other monitoring article) : then the thought process here needs to start with a consideration of the traffic profile that your user-base generates.

Passive monitoring does rather depend on there being some transactions (or traffic) to passively monitor.

A great example of this would be a 9-5 business wanting to monitor voice quality or web applications at their branch offices or retail stores.

Once the doors are locked and the day-staff go home the passive monitoring solution is largely blind to any end-user experience on account of there being no end users to generate any traffic or transactions to passively monitor.

Often the value of a monitoring solution is to get an early warning of issues likely to strike a location when the doors open for trade. This benefit vaporises in the 9-5 scenario above and the first chance a passive solution has to alert you to an issue is when someone gets to their desk next morning and fires up a browser or picks up a phone – all a bit late by this time and your monitoring dollar may have been wasted.

On the other hand, a 24×7 call centre fielding incoming, or making outgoing calls constantly would be a great place to implement a passive solution as we know here are plenty of transactions (calls) and traffic to passively analyse and the resultant measures will be a great window into the end-user experience of those calls.

Often a given environment will fall between the two so either a blended solution needs to be considered or, the implementation of one that will address the major risks for the business.

Contact us to bounce around your scenario – always happy to chat over a coffee.