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Synthetic Monitoring in Splunk

2 Steps Team
18/06/2019 12:54:00 PM

Synthetic monitoring through Splunk has grown stale; the process has always had that same old, same old feeling. IT professionals all know the story-- "There's this fantastic open-source suite of tools called Selenium; it's super great for web browsers, all you need to do is write a few scripts..."

2 Steps is moving to change the game. We leveraged our global patents for ingenious automation frameworks and years of experience to create an innovative new technology designed to address Selenium's pitfalls. The way that we look at synthetic monitoring is about to shift.

At 2 Steps, we had the aim to develop a tool that would challenge the status quo. We recognise that Selenium does a great job-- we just sought to start taking care of the jobs that it couldn't. With well over ten years' of experience in synthetic monitoring under our belts, we simply knew that there was a better way to implement synthetic monitoring for Splunk.

Our end goal was to craft a capability that would:

  1. Work with absolutely any application
    In the past, only web browsers have been supported. 2 Steps works with web-based, Windows, Java, and mobile applications. It can also be utilised with applications that require 2-factor authentication.
  2. Run automated workflows without the need for scripting 
    Anybody can leverage the powerful insights that 2 Steps offers. Your entire team can contribute to projects without struggling. This means #NoCode at all.
  3. Provide video replays of application issues
    Video is an effective communication tool, especially for people outside of the industry. It also offers a clearer picture of what went wrong during failures and smaller hiccoughs.
  4. Deliver a valuable dataset
    The end goal was to create something that Splunk could actually leverage for AI Ops use cases.

Below, we'll unpack each of these four components and dive into some of our choices throughout the capability creation process. 

Works With Anything

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Traditional synthetic monitoring products function well with web-based applications. When it comes to branching out from there, though, things get tricky. Utilising these traditional products can prove difficult and frustrating if you're working with anything that's not web-based.

This is definitely not the case with 2 Steps.

2 Steps will work with absolutely anything-- we mean it! Whether you're working with a web-based application or not, 2 Steps will be able to get the job done. Windows applications, Java applications, mobile apps, and even applications that require 2-factor authentication are no match for 2 Steps.

Essentially, it comes down to this: if you can run it on a virtual machine, 2 Steps can monitor it. 

Set Up Test Cases in Mere Minutes! 

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The process of setting up test cases in 2 Steps is a quick, easy, and intuitive process. This is in direct contrast to competing products on the market. Unlike many similar products, there's absolutely no coding involved in setting up a test case in 2 Steps.

Whatever application you're monitoring will be run on a virtual machine on the 2 Steps server. The graphical user interface of the virtual machine in use will be fed into 2 Steps. Using the program's visual interface, all you'll have to do is use your program exactly as your customer would.

That's right. It's really that easy.

With 2 Steps, entire user journeys can be created and deployed in minutes. This is in direct contrast to competing products, which are time-intensive and fail to be user-friendly. You'll also be able to integrate useful checkpoints into the test script. That way, you'll have the freedom to analyse different stages (such as logging in and running a report) separately.

Not only is 2 Steps fast-- it's something that absolutely anybody in your team can do! Specialist developer skills are not required, which means everybody can join in on the project and offer valuable insight. 

Show, Don't Tell

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Here's a question for you: have you ever tried to explain issues with apps to people outside of development, operations, or security? It probably didn't go over too well. When you attempt to communicate about such niche information, you're likely to wind up hearing "In English, please" about a hundred times throughout the course of a conversation.

How do you solve that?

If all of your app issues were in video form, perhaps you'd be able to show those people what you mean rather than struggling to tell them about it. Such a shame...

Well, guess what? 2 steps offers video replays of application issues.

No longer will you have to struggle to communicate with people outside of the industry. Now, you'll be able to show people exactly what you mean without saying a word. This can also be tremendously helpful for dev teams, as well. Did the application fail at log-in? You'll know before long to check the authentication server. Does the video show that the app failed when the synthetic user was in their shopping cart? It'll be clear it's time to check your payment gateways. 

Videos offer you, your team, and the outside world tremendously beneficial and essential insights into app behaviours. You'll have access to crystal-clear failure mappings and be able to show your team exactly where the app fell over.

Splunk and 2 Steps

Presentation12 Steps combines synthetic monitoring with the real-time user monitoring of Splunk. This powerful merge provides your business with a fully-featured IT monitoring system. Splunk's exceptional machine learning capabilities can build on the datasets you create in order to provide your support team with powerful insights. Through hard work and the implementation of 2 Steps, your team will be able to find and resolve issues faster.

So, there you have it. 2 Steps offers industry professionals a true alternative to Selenium. It works with anything, which means wider support; real-time video playback of issues also translates to richer and more useful data; implementation is a breeze thanks to the #NoCode setup of automated workflows; and deeper integration can be achieved in order to get closer to a Splunk AI Ops business.

2 Steps

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