VMware Horizon Technical Guides

Real-world examples of how ControlUp Scoutbees monitors remote resources

In a recent post, I discussed a product that supports Horizon visibility: Scoutbees from ControlUp, a synthetic monitoring tool that monitors the network availability of remote resources, such as Horizon desktops, and streaming/SaaS applications.

This solution can be set up in less than five minutes and have actionable intelligence within the hour. As it is cloud-based (with an on-premises option), no additional hardware or software needs to be installed.

That’s great, but while talking to the ControlUp team, I asked if they had any actual examples of how Scoutbees has detected issues with remote environments. They were more than helpful and excited to share a few examples.

Just a quick note before we begin: In this article, we discuss outages of products from various vendors. This is not meant to be an indictment, or in any way a means to disparage the companies or websites mentioned below. In fact, cloud-based, remote resources have proven to be remarkably resilient and reliable, and that is why a monitoring product like Scoutbees is so valuable. Because we never expect remote resources to be unavailable, often it is the last place we look at when trying to discover why we’ve had an outage! Scoutbees is a neutral, third-party arbitrator that simply reports on connectivity issues and availability of remote resources.

The examples below just show the results of Scoutbees monitoring. If you would like information on how to set up and use Scoutbees, see the article mentioned above.

Tracking down a sporadic local outage

When Office 365 experienced an outage, Rory from ControlUp was able to detect it before it was widely reported. The worst kind of issue you can have is one that is intermittent or sporadic; either you can’t consistently reproduce it, or you change something and think that it fixed the issue only to see it reappear. The screen capture below shows that this was an intermittent issue.

Even more maddening is when an outage was only seen in a few countries, for instance a support engineer on the West Coast of the US not being able to see the issue that an Office 365 user was having in Europe. Scoutbees’ multi-hive capability allows you to test remote resources from multiple locations.

Tracking a broader outage

One of the first mass outages that Scoutbees detected was with Azure. Trentent, another ControlUp employee, spotted it before it was announced. An email was sent to alert him of this.

When he clicked “See What’s Going On,” he was presented with a graph of the outage.

When he tried to access the resource, he was presented with a 503 message.

Trentent did a great writeup on this outage that you can read here.

Monitoring “consumer” services

Rory had a case when Scoutbees detected an issue with a Facebook outage. This one actually happened the day before I did a presentation for VMware Customer Connect Learning with Tom and Rory from ControlUp on Scoutbees!

It is never a good thing when a remote asset becomes unavailable, but it did give us some timely data to discuss how Scoutbees detected this outage. The screen capture below shows that in a 24-hour period, 234 out of 1,208 attempts to connect to Facebook failed.

As many businesses depend on social media platforms such as Facebook, in a situation like this the help desk would get overwhelmed with calls from users reporting the same connection issue. Tickets would get escalated, and panic would set in as you investigate what was going on with it. With Scoutbees’ synthetic testing, however, you can receive proactive alerts about outages so you can alert your users about the situation before they all pick up the phone to call the help desk.

Summary

Again, I need to reiterate that these three examples are not indicative of the reliability of the cloud-based resources of the companies mentioned above; in fact, it is quite the opposite as ControlUp needed to go back more than a year to gather these examples! These are not everyday occurrences, but we do need to know when they occur.

With ControlUp, you can monitor the complete VDI stack, including the availability of remote resources, by using Scoutbees.

To try out Scoutbees, contact your VMware sales professional for a free 90-day trial license.

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