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Digital experience monitoring overview

Splunk Synthetic Monitoring is a synthetic web performance monitoring system that helps technical teams and business teams see the speed and reliability of websites, web apps, and resources over time. It helps teams accomplish two main tasks related to the digital experience:

  • Alert teams if a site or user flow becomes slow or unavailable
  • Report on the performance of a site or user flow over time

These tasks are essential components of driving value to your business. 

The guides in the next section use a fictitious company called CSCorp that has a web app called Online Boutique, which offers highly sought after vintage goods. Online Boutique is a business critical service for CSCorp because it drives the majority of the company’s revenue. To compete in today’s digital world, CSCorp needs to ensure this key service is available to their customers while delivering an exceptional digital experience. Faster is better in today’s digital world, which means that any service degradation could lead to a loss of customers and ultimately a loss of revenue. 

The following diagram points to the areas the outcome guides focus on. The pink arrows in the solution flow diagram below point to the areas these guides focus on. Also, note the pink dotted lines, which represent an AIOps operational flow that harvests the insights from the Observe stage (metrics, traces, logs, alerts), correlates and notifies (the Engage stage) the insight, and acts (the Act stage) upon the insight in the context of a service or application.

Digital experience prescriptive outcome guides 

Now, let’s look at common situations that companies such as CSCorp address with Splunk Synthetic Monitoring, using the Online Boutique service as our reference.

Service availability 

Online Boutique is the lifeblood of CSCorp. If the Online Boutique website becomes unavailable, CSCorp’s customers could look to other vendors to provide them with the goods they want to purchase. This could cause CSCorp to lose revenue to their competitors. They need to know:

  • How do we quickly identify (MTTD) when the Online Boutique is unavailable?
  • How do we remediate (MTTR) the issue and get Online Boutique back up as quickly as possible?

Guide: Monitoring the availability of online storefronts

Service performance 

Competing and maintaining a competitive edge requires frequent code updates to the Online Boutique application’s underlying microservices. Service degradation from new releases could cause customers to become frustrated, leading them to explore competitors' web sites for a better experience. This could also cause CSCorp to lose revenue. They need to know:

  • How do we ensure service degradation issues introduced from code changes are discovered before it affects our customers?
  • How do we emulate what a customer experiences while going through the end to end process of selecting and ordering one of our products? 

Guide: Monitoring the user experience with web page performance

Other use cases to consider

Use cases are specific to each organization, so also consider these thought starters as a way to help with your ideation of new use cases. 

  • Measure and report on service agreements (SLA, SLI, SLO). Your organization might have service levels that you commit to your customers or you might just want to understand the level of service you deliver to your users for critical and even non-critical applications. Use Splunk Synthetic Monitoring to measure the availability and response time of your applications over a period of time, such as monthly.
  • Compare your customer experience against your competition. You might want to understand how the level of service (availability and response time) you provide to the market compares to your competitors. 
  • Use Splunk Synthetic Monitoring in the development cycle. Splunk Synthetic Monitoring is popular in production environments for understanding experiences from locations across the globe. It can be just as valuable in the development cycle pre-release in order to test the end-to-end response time.
  • Monitoring the real user experience. Measuring availability and response time performance from a synthetic perspective is proactive and does a great job of understanding the larger user population. However, there are times when you want or need to know the experience specific users are having - especially in mobile environments. Use Splunk Real User Monitoring (RUM) to accomplish this.  

What to do if you get stuck 

Still having trouble? Splunk has many resources available to help get you back on track.

Next steps  

Now you're doing more with your data, get even more value through implementing additional use cases.