Digital experience monitoring is not just about observing the end-to-end user experience while your employees are using their apps and desktops. Ensuring that your apps, desktops and network resources are available when your employees need them is just as critical. Proactive availability monitoring should be part of any monitoring strategy, which is why we released our Scoutbees proactive EUC monitoring solution last year.
To make it easier for customers to start monitoring any stage of the user’s digital journey, we are excited to announce that Scoutbees is now part of Controlup’s Digital Experience Monitoring & Optimization platform, available through our ControlUp Ultimate offering.
But that’s not all! Though Scoutbees is rooted in end-user computing (EUC), helping admins proactively test the availability of Citrix- and VMware Horizon-delivered apps and desktops, we are expanding Scoutbees’ capabilities to also proactively test the availability of internal and external web apps and network services, such as DNS, file shares, print services, and any other network resources you want to test through our new Network Scouts functionality.
To set up a proactive test, you have to create something we call a Scout. The first choice you have to make is from where the Scout, after configuration, will initiate: the ControlUp Cloud (zero setup required, just pick a location) or from an on-premises location (setup in less than 5 minutes on any Windows machine under your control). Once the setup of the Scout is completed, tests are initiated at a regular, configurable interval to perform actions mimicking a human user (in the case of an EUC Scout):
- Go to the corporate gateway
- Launch the published resource
- Connect to the published resource
- Validate the synthetic logon
But the Scouts will do more than just mimicking a user through a synthetic test. They also collect assorted bits of information along the way, validating the health of different components of the connection flow. And most importantly, Scoutbees alerts you when there is an issue with any stage of the test, so you immediately know, can proactively remediate or—depending on the issue—at a minimum notify your users and help desk, so they can handle incoming calls effectively.
A good example of how this benefited Scoutbees customers was with the Azure AD outage last September: ControlUp customers that use Azure AD for their Gateway authentication, already knew of the issues, even before Microsoft sent out their notification.
Introducing Network Scouts
Due to customer demand, we expanded our proactive testing capabilities to conduct various types of network tests. Available right away are the following tests:
- Ping Test: the most simple test to measure the availability and the packet round-trip time from the Scout’s origination point to the resource in question. You can use a simple ICMP test, or the more advanced options that allow you to choose the relevant port to test with (TCP and UDP protocols) and measure the jitter during the test.
- Traceroute Test: checking the available routes taken by packets across an IP network to reach the destination, finding all various hops (routers) that the packets went through and checking the latency of each hop in the way.
- DNS Test: testing both the availability and health of DNS servers and whether the response of a query for a domain in question brings back the desired result.
- HTTP/S Test: a test that allows you to check multiple parameters related to website and web services’ connectivity. Configurable options include checking the responsiveness of a web site (with various phases of the connection), SSL Certificate validation (expiration duration, certificate chain), test web services APIs (with GET/POST and custom headers and body), and for all of these tests, your proxies health by sending the traffic through a custom proxy server.
How to set up a simple HTTP/S Scout
In an upcoming blog post we’ll go into more detail on how to set up each type of Network Scout, but let’s have a quick look on how to configure a HTTP/S test. In this video we are using the HTTP/S Scout type to test the Citrix Cloud API
Oh, there’s one more bit of exciting news!