Customer Story: Claris Networks

Cloud Provider Wins Over Clients with Application Performance Insights


Companies entrust their applications to Claris Networks so that they do not have to worry about performance, availability, and security.

"To keep trust with our clients, we need to know immediately when performance starts to deteriorate and take action," says Tom Chitwood, Advanced Infrastructure Manager at Claris Networks. "We need real-time visibility for every application we are asked to run, whether a web storefront, electronic medical records system, or ERP application."


Claris Networks evaluated several products that claimed to offer visibility into all the applications running in its datacenters, including Fluke Visual Networks and Netscout, but only ExtraHop offered realtime insights for all IT staff, not just network engineers. With an ExtraHop appliance deployed in each of their datacenters, Claris was able to analyze all their wire data, all L2-L7 communications between systems, to answer questions quickly.

Equipping the Service Desk

Service desk personnel at Claris now use ExtraHop to investigate customer-reported issues. They can see end-user experience for the application in question and then move through each tier to identify problems in the web, database, network, or storage tiers, for example. Prior to ExtraHop, the service desk did not have this cross-tier visibility.

"ExtraHop presents Layer 2 through Layer 7 data in a way that everyone can understand, not just those deep technical expertise," explains Chitwood. "Our Tier 2 and Tier 3 support staff use ExtraHop to triage and troubleshoot a majority of performance issues that they would have previously escalated to my team."

Better Conversations with Application Owners

When a performance issue is caused by the application code, it is escalated to the Advanced Infrastructure team who use ExtraHop to find the crucial details needed to make recommendations to the client's application development team or the thirdparty vendor responsible for the software.

"When we first installed ExtraHop, we were able to see a wealth of information that we could not previously," says Chitwood. "ExtraHop reveals application-level details that are crucial when troubleshooting complex problems."

Since deploying ExtraHop, Claris has worked with clients to dramatically improve the performance of several important applications:

  • SaaS application – A SaaS provider using Claris' infrastructure was able to eliminate application slowness due to poorly written SQL queries.
  • Web storefront – A retail company sped the login process for its web storefront by 50 percent by eliminating bad DNS lookups.
  • Citrix logins – Claris improved Citrix login times for several clients by roughly 30 percent.

From Reactive to Proactive Operations

With continuous monitoring for all applications, Claris is able to detect deviations and then take action to prevent slowdowns or outages. This capability has proven especially useful for the Citrix team at Claris that need to monitor Citrix logins and application launch times for each client application.


With real-time insights into the performance of all the applications entrusted to them, Claris Networks can provide better service, help clients to improve performance, and quickly answer client questions when issues arise.

Improved Client Satisfaction

Claris is a better partner to its clients with ExtraHop. "Visibility is paramount for us because it fosters better relationships with our clients. We can never have enough visibility," says Chitwood. "ExtraHop provides us with the higher-level application metrics that we were missing before."

New Customer Wins

Claris uses ExtraHop to win over new customers by proving how responsive their applications are hosted in Claris datacenters. ExtraHop provides detailed response time metrics for every transaction and user session, even breaking down how much time it takes for the server to process the request and for the network to deliver the response.

"We used ExtraHop to help win two new accounts on the basis of not only our performance, but our ability to show the exact performance of applications delivered over Citrix," says Chitwood.

Greater Operational Efficiency

The service desk at Claris can now resolve the majority of issues without escalating to the Advanced Infrastructure team. This means faster remediation of problems for customers and more time for the infrastructure team to spend on other projects.

"The fact that ExtraHop is accessible to people with general IT skills is a huge advantage for us," says Chitwood.

Three Essential Capabilities for Cloud Providers

Cloud computing providers need to robust analytics capabilities in order to build and maintain trust with clients, says Tom Chitwood, Advanced Infrastructure Manager at Claris Networks. He offers three pieces of advice for companies providing software, infrastructure, or platforms as a service:

  1. Be the first to know – "As a service provider, it's essential that we know about issues before someone calls to complain. With baselines and trend-based alerts from ExtraHop, we can proactively fix problems before they impact clients," says Chitwood.
  2. Offer application insights – "Just telling someone that it's an application problem is not enough," says Chitwood. "With ExtraHop, we can point to specific slow SQL queries or DNS misconfigurations. This way, it's not just deflecting blame but offering practical help."
  3. Use metrics to win new business – "ExtraHop enables us to show prospective clients exactly what application latency looks like from our cloud environment. We're not just asking them to take our word for it."
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