A mobile service provider had unresolved, long-running latency issues in their SMS application, but had never been able to pin down the root cause. This was resulting in significant customer complaints. The intermittent problems appeared to be coming from one specific text-message relay, but the IT team was unable to instrument the network because it was under the control of another service provider.
When an issue arises outside of your controlled infrastructure that affects your applications and especially your users, you typically have two options: fight the battle with your service provider to investigate the issue on their end, or get a different service provider. ExtraHop helped the mobile service provider identify the root cause of the problem even though it resided on their leased network.
The IT team for the mobile service provider was trying to use simple PINGs and traceroutes, but because the issue was intermittent, capturing the issue was like finding a needle in a haystack. Additionally, both PING and traceroute test the application using synthetic activity that may not reflect actual users' activity or experience.
None of the monitoring tools the service provider was using at the time was able to continuously monitor transactions and extract the L2-L7 wire data that was needed to troubleshoot the problem.
After the service provider deployed an ExtraHop appliance with the SMPP module, which analyzes SMPP application details at L7, they were able to determine the root cause of the intermittent issue.
The service provider's IT Operations team used ExtraHop to compare the performance of two carrier circuits on the leased network that were supposed to be identical, but actually were performing very differently. One of the circuits had a high number of aborted connections and round-trip times (RTTs) and took eight times longer to process SMPP requests than the other. Armed with this information, the IT team at the service provider was able to negotiate a swift resolution with the owner of the leased network.
Service-wide outages make headlines, but intermittent problems that affect a segment of your customer base can be equally damaging over the long term. Not only do these issues affect customer satisfaction, they drain the resources of your IT teams and keep them from working on revenue-driving projects.
ExtraHop equips IT Operations teams with the ability to mine a wealth of previously untapped wire data. Armed with this operational intelligence, they can solve issues faster whether the problem resides in their own datacenter or on leased infrastructure.