The artist Giotto lived and worked in Italy in the early 14th century. He is considered by many to be the first in a line of great Renaissance painters.
Legend has it that when the Pope heard of his painting skills he sent a messenger requesting a sample of his work. Giotto famously responded with a perfectly drawn circle in red paint.
Giotto had found a way to communicate his skill and craftsmanship with a very simple form, perfectly executed. It is reported that Pope Boniface recognised that Giotto "surpassed all other painters of his time".
The technology of business communications has progressed since Giotto’s time but the need to extract meaning in concise, simple form remains. Operational intelligence is supposed to be a concise understanding of what is occuring within your business and business infrastructure. In contrast with Giotto’s day there is now a vast mesh of applications sending messages across networks at close to light-speed. If we want to understand how well this infrastructure is performing we need a network monitoring system that is both light-weight and comprehensive.
At Corvil, we believe application performance across the network can best be seen using wire data. The essential task of this type of network monitoring is to decode the application flows while extracting unique identifiers from points along the data path, and then to join them up. So far so good, but messages have a habit of changing format and swapping identifiers as they traverse the application infrastructure.
Add to this, that high speed networks are capable of handling millions of messages per second and the challenge for real-time analysis becomes greater. In most network monitoring systems, the messages that bounce between different application systems will adopt the timing information of their hosts. These timestamps from different clock domains will have various levels of precision and stability. This timing information, clock synchronization, has to be reconciled if we are to accurately understand the behaviour and latency of our enterprise applications. Now, to build a real-time network monitoring system that passively analyzes huge data volumes, tracking message signatures across multiple clock domains, is a very complex challenge.
But solve this challenge, and you will be rewarded.
If you have ownership for any part of your business operations it is fair to ask: what operational intelligence or useful insight could I get from all this complex network monitoring and analysis?
These are the types of simple, actionable insights from operational intelligence that Corvil users have every day.
Every Corvil runs a flexible correlation engine that extracts the essential characteristics of each application message into a concise unique signature. It can process hundred of thousands of signatures per second across distributed locations. It uses light-weight and comprehensive mechanisms to correlate message flows and still maintains precise clock synchronization.
Corvil solution engineers call it PNQM - passive network quality monitoring.
Corvil users just plug it in and press the round button.
We think Giotto would be pleased.