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Catchpoint IPM, Internet Traffic and Application Availability | DevOps Dialogues: Insights & Innovations

Catchpoint IPM, Internet Traffic and Application Availability | DevOps Dialogues: Insights & Innovations

On this episode of DevOps Dialogues: Insights & Innovations, I am joined by Catchpoint’s Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and Brandon DeLap, Senior Solutions Engineer for a discussion on Catchpoint IPM, Internet traffic and application availability.

Our conversation covers:

  • What is Catchpoint and the impacts to Internet performance monitoring
  • What is resilience and the ability to know that you’re going to have a problem and that you can recover from that problem
  • Modernization of applications. Moving away from control the server, to control the code

These topics reflect ongoing discussions, challenges, and innovations within the DevOps community.

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Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this webcast. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this webcast.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Transcript:

Paul Nashawaty: Hello and welcome to this episode of DevOps Dialogues. My name is Paul Nashawaty. I’m the Practice Lead of the App Dev Practice at The Futurum Group. Today I’m with Catchpoint and we’re here to talk about IPM and Internet traffic and application availability and all sorts of goodness. So I’m joined by Mehdi and Brandon. Mehdi, would you like to introduce yourself?

Mehdi Daoudi: Yeah, thank you so much for having us. So my name is Mehdi, I’m the co-founder and CEO of Catchpoint. We started Catchpoint about 15 years ago. Prior to that, I was 11 years at this company called DoubleClick that was acquired by Google doing all kinds of stuff, from breaking the biggest ad serving network system in the world to fixing it, and I guess I’m inhaled for the rest of my life in monitoring.

Paul Nashawaty: Excellent. Well, thank you for being here. Brandon?

Brandon DeLap: I’m Brandon DeLap senior solutions engineer at Catchpoint. I’ve been at Catchpoint for over 10 years now, helping our clients and prospects find the value of Catchpoint and how we can ensure resilience for their platforms.

Paul Nashawaty: Excellent. Thanks for being here today. Listening to your story and listening to everything that you’re talking about in our briefings that we had conversations, it amazes me that Catchpoint isn’t front and center as a priority for organizations versus an afterthought to some organizations. Why don’t we start by, let’s talk about what Catchpoint is.

Mehdi Daoudi: Sure. So Catchpoint mission is to help customers run their businesses better through the Internet. So to make it as simple, if when I tell my mom what I do besides play with computers is I make the Internet better and I help companies we work with deliver on their promise to their users over the Internet, and so that’s what we do. How do we do it? Well by providing telemetry and signals so they can know that there is a problem and they can fix it before too many users get impacted. That’s the gist and high level.

Paul Nashawaty: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. Do you want to add anything to that?

Brandon DeLap: Yeah, I think at the core of Catchpoint, we are a Internet performance monitoring solution. It’s a lot different than what your typical monitoring solutions do and provide for you, and obviously we can go a little deeper into that how it compares to APM, but at the core it’s an Internet performance monitoring company, ensuring Internet resilience for any digital service that you may touch on your day-to-day basis.

Mehdi Daoudi: I’m going to add something here. So Brandon talked about internet resilience. So what is resilience? Resilience is the ability to know that you’re going to have a problem and that you can recover from that problem. That’s what resilience is. Being resilient is I am going to make an omelet and I’m going to eat my omelet. So how do we help? Well, by allowing you to see where you have weaknesses and where you have problems, when you know something, when you know where the problem is, then you can take corrective action. If you’re completely blind to where there is a problem, like head in the sand, it’s like, “Everything is fine.” And then you have people on Twitter say, “Hey, I can’t buy this thing,” or, “Hey, I can’t check in here,” or whatever. That’s really what Internet resilience is the ability to understand that something will happen because…

Paul Nashawaty: Inevitably it will.

Mehdi Daoudi: Exactly. And if you don’t know where it’s coming from, there is no way in hell you can fix it in time.

Paul Nashawaty: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I was wondering if we were going to change this into a cooking show talking about omelets, but that’s okay. But I think-

Mehdi Daoudi: I make a mean omelet.

Paul Nashawaty: Well, that sounds good.

Brandon DeLap: I’ll have to get the recipe.

Paul Nashawaty: So when I think about the applications and I think about the Internet and we talked about how the Internet is the new application infrastructure. Makes a lot of sense, but I don’t think people really fully understand what that means. When we talk about it from a Catchpoint’s perspective, what does that mean?

Mehdi Daoudi: So the biggest thing is from an end user perspective, so you’re sitting behind your laptop, you load apple.com or Microsoft or your favorite whatever website that might be. If you have a good wifi connectivity, if you have a good Internet connectivity, et cetera, et cetera, that user experience is going to be flawless. The page is going to show up on your browser, you’re going to be delighted and you’re going to have a good user experience with that brand. You’re going to keep building that trust between you and that brand because they’re respecting the most important thing that you have, which is time.

That’s one thing that doesn’t grow anywhere. So I think brands need to respect the customer that they work with, that they’re serving. So that’s the most important thing. Behind the scenes, that loading of that webpage took hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of requests behind the scene to happen. There is a DNS hookup, there is a connection to a server. There is fetching an image from here. There is fetching a JavaScript from here. And that JavaScript needs to be optimized so it doesn’t blow up your computer, all that kind of stuff.

So when we talk about what we talk about is that can we help companies understand what it really takes to deliver that flawless, delightful user experience to Paul 24/7, not between 2:00 and 4:00 PM not at 6:00 AM when there is nobody online but 24/7. So our job is really to shine that and be able to show them the path that is the most congested or the things that are breaking that user experience, but it’s really about respecting the user. At the end of the day, if I have to again explain this to my mom, it’s really about we help companies make sure they respect you, mom as a human being.

Paul Nashawaty: Yeah, I like where you’re going there. As you’re respecting the people’s time, especially when it comes to looking for information and such, it’s critical that the response time is there. I think when we were talking earlier, Brandon, I was hearing you talk about the fact that the new downtime is delay. It’s not about actual downtime. So it’s not about things not actually loading because something’s maybe broken in the backend, but it’s delay and you lose clients. So what does that mean to the customer experience?

Brandon DeLap: Yeah, I think what that means, obviously it came with just the overall modernization of applications. Moving away from okay, “I control the server, I control the code, I control that data center,” to, “I am now leveraging someone else to do all that for me. And unfortunately that means I no longer have the insight that I used to have.” So when we talk about the Internet being your new application infrastructure is essentially that you have new cloud environments that you need to keep an eye on. You have multiple DNS providers, multiple CDN providers, and they’re doing their monitoring on their own. But in today’s world of ensuring customers and our moms having a great experience, it’s important to do that monitoring on your own as well.

Mehdi Daoudi: Just to follow up on that, when we talk about slow is the new down is because overall the past 15 years, 20 years, a lot of improvements have been made to ensure infrastructure resilience. The cloud didn’t exist. Data centers have become so much better. There are so many things that have been done to ensure better reliability, but with the complexity explosion with now moving to, as Brandon said, to third party cloud compute companies, et cetera, et cetera, now the new down is slow.

It’s that slowness. Because before it was monolithic. You had everything running in one building, it was fine. Today, if you go and load CNN or your favorite news website, you will see it’s hundreds of requests going in so many directions. Sometimes we catch requests going to China from the US. Why is the US user going to China? Well, because there is a third party ad tracking company or something like that. And that can have an impact on you.

Paul Nashawaty: Absolutely. So when I think about the DevOps community, and I think about a lot of the requests come in, especially on the weekends when things are slow and maybe at 2:00 in the morning. That’s not what people want when they think about the tool sets. A lot of what you’ve been talking about on both of you’ve been talking about is the monitoring solutions and looking at how the applications are being monitored, how they’re running. There’s also some confusion here in the market I think from listening to different organizations around what an APM is versus an IPM. Maybe we should just spend a couple of minutes talking about that.

Mehdi Daoudi: Yeah. I’d like to give you an analogy that the customer gave me, true story and customer in New York. So the analogy is based on New York. He said, “With you guys,” meaning he was talking about Catchpoint, “is before Catchpoint, somebody would tell me there is a fire in Manhattan. Good luck. It’s a big city. With Catchpoint. I’m told that there is a fire in 36 and Lexington on the third floor door to the left. And oh, by the way, don’t forget, there are three cats.” That’s literally analogy from a customer.

Paul Nashawaty: Very granular.

Mehdi Daoudi: Very granular. So I think again, it’s not one versus the other. I hate when people put things into black or white. This is about you need APM because APM gives you all the capabilities and all the infrastructure level monitoring, all the depth that you need to understand the relationship between code to CPU CPU to whatever. And so that is still a requirement.

We try to understand a different part of the equation, which is why are things not working besides outside of your firewall and outside of the things that you have a lot of control over? Because there is no way in hell if, let’s say that you’re running a website, there is no way in hell you can knock at somebody else’s vendor and say, “Hey, can you put my APM agent?” They’re not going to let you do that. So how are you going to have a view on things that you can’t control? And nobody’s going to let you run some vendor agent so you can have a better visibility.

Paul Nashawaty: Sure. So what you’re touching on though is this holistic view of the application, understanding down to the device, down to the specifics, having full logging and tracing that goes through and understanding. I use those words logging and tracing. And one of the things I want to bring up here, and maybe we can address it, is real quick, is the difference between where a Catchpoint fits within the observability space. Because observability is a big market and it says a lot of different pieces. What does it mean from that perspective?

Brandon DeLap: Yeah, I think where we fit in is obviously as Mehdi already alluded to, it’s a complimentary solution, complimentary set of tools, and again, focusing on the customer first. And when it comes to overall observability, that’s obviously a shift that a lot of companies are making now and understanding that yes, the customer, if the customer is not having a great experience, it’s directly tied to our bottom line, our revenue, and potentially our own paychecks at the end of the day. So I think in the overall pie of observability, IPM is required and especially focusing from the outside in from that customer perspective.

Mehdi Daoudi: I had a meeting with the customer a few weeks ago in Atlanta, and this span more than $20 million on observability and with one particular vendor alone. So it’s a lot. It’s a big, big check. And the question he asked me is like, “Why are you the first one to catch problems?” Then he’s like, “Because you’re not spending money the right way, the right direction.” So the most important thing, and forget, I’m wearing my Catchpoint hat for a second. I know it’s a little bit hard, but at the end of the day I keep telling this to people is you need to monitor from where it matters the most. Your users are not living inside your app, they’re not.

So you can monitor all you want inside the applications, inside the infrastructure, et cetera. At the end of the day, the required, one of the most important thing is you need to understand the voice of the customer, and if you don’t have that, I don’t know what you’re doing. You’re just reactive. You’re just waiting for… At that point, my recommendation is actually shut down all monitoring systems, shut everything down because you’re wasting a lot of money. Just put something on your call centers and see if the phone is rigging up or smoke signals. Let’s go back to that.

Paul Nashawaty: Well, it sounds like there’s an opportunity to have a discussion around AI, and I know we’re about 14 minutes into this conversation. I had to bring up AI, but as we’re wrapping up here, I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’m really excited about what you’re bringing to the table here. Really, it has a lot to do with the market and the market’s maturing and wherever the audience is on their maturity curve, and you can meet them where they are in their journey.

Mehdi Daoudi: Absolutely.

Paul Nashawaty: But I encourage the audience too that thinking about this approach proactively versus reactively is important. And with that, I do want to thank you for your time and your perspectives.

Mehdi Daoudi: Thank you.

Brandon DeLap: Thank you.

Paul Nashawaty: This has been really great and I want to thank the audience for attending. If the audience wants to get started, where would they get started?

Mehdi Daoudi: I would highly encourage people to go to our website. There you can view demos, you can also interact with our blogs. We have some amazing content, but on LinkedIn, Twitter, X, but I think our blog is fantastic. There’s some amazing content that can get you started in your journey and that you said it very nicely, it’s a maturity. We start with availability, then suddenly people start thinking about performance and then reliability, which is the ability to consistently deliver on both availability and performance.

Paul Nashawaty: Excellent, excellent. A lot to unpack here. Well thank you for your time and have a great day.

Mehdi Daoudi: Thank you.

Brandon DeLap: Thank you, everyone.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Catchpoint’s Internet Stack Map Impacts IPM and Aims to Map the Future

Application Development and Modernization – The Futurum Group

Author Information

Paul Nashawaty

At The Futurum Group, Paul Nashawaty, Practice Leader and Lead Principal Analyst, specializes in application modernization across build, release and operations. With a wealth of expertise in digital transformation initiatives spanning front-end and back-end systems, he also possesses comprehensive knowledge of the underlying infrastructure ecosystem crucial for supporting modernization endeavors. With over 25 years of experience, Paul has a proven track record in implementing effective go-to-market strategies, including the identification of new market channels, the growth and cultivation of partner ecosystems, and the successful execution of strategic plans resulting in positive business outcomes for his clients.

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