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    April 16, 2024

    How NetOps by Broadcom Delivers Real-World Benefits at FIS

    When it comes to gauging the success of our solutions, there’s one critical yardstick: the value that customers realize in their implementations. While we can tout all our solution’s leading innovations and features, the reality is that they don’t mean much if they don’t actually help our customers in the real world.

    That’s why it’s always such a treat to share the stories of NetOps by Broadcom customers. As part of our Small Bytes series, we recently held a webcast featuring the success story of FIS, one of our leading customers in the financial services segment. In this post, I’ll provide an introduction to the company and the challenges it was confronting, and I’ll outline how NetOps helped. In addition, I’ll provide links to get more information on the FIS story.

    Business-critical nature of FIS network services

    Employing more than 55,000 people, FIS is a leading player in the financial services segment. The organization offers payment, banking, and investment systems. The company has more than 220,000 clients. FIS works with 1 million merchants and 95% of the world’s leading banks.

    FIS customers around the world rely extensively on data, apps, and services that are hosted in FIS data centers, so network performance and availability. For businesses like FIS, there’s a direct correlation between application performance and customer satisfaction.

    For the most part, FIS customers don’t really care what technologies and networks their transmissions may be traversing. More than anything, they expect those transmissions to happen quickly and reliably. No matter which networks or services may be responsible, if they encounter issues, it reflects poorly on FIS.

    Traditional tools leave blind spots

    FIS and its customers continued to adopt cloud and SaaS based services. Over time, customers’ connections have come to rely on an increasingly complex mix of vendors and technologies. Any given interaction may span various networks of ISPs, cloud providers, and other vendors. Fundamentally, this meant that the customer experience was increasingly being affected by networks and environments that were not being managed by FIS.

    The IT and network operations teams within FIS were using traditional monitoring tools that weren’t designed for these realities. These tools were focused on monitoring environments within traditional data centers. Relying on traditional tools, the team at FIS was encountering significant blind spots in their visibility of the complex, multi-vendor network delivery paths their customers’ connections were traversing.

    Implications: Lengthy mean time to innocence

    When customers complained that they were experiencing issues with FIS services, the monitoring blind spots that teams were struggling with started to present increasingly significant challenges.

    They could spend a lot of time and effort troubleshooting elements in their internal environment, but those internal environments came to represent an increasingly small fraction of the network hops that customers relied upon. Ultimately, it took a lot of time and effort to demonstrate that their environment wasn’t responsible for a given performance issue or outage. Also, they couldn’t be of much assistance in helping the customer determine where the issue was.

    Solution

    To gain the visibility they needed, the team implemented NetOps by Broadcom. The solution features these leading offerings:

    • DX NetOps. DX NetOps is a scalable, on-premises software solution that delivers advanced capabilities in such areas as network analytics, operator dashboards, data correlation, and third-party integration.
    • AppNeta. With AppNeta, teams can establish active monitoring of network delivery paths, including those traversing cloud, SaaS, and other external sites. AppNeta enables network operations teams to fully understand how performance and user experience is affected by common issues like application outages, route changes, connectivity drops, and ISP peering changes.

    How NetOps by Broadcom helped: Key examples

    With NetOps by Broadcom, the team was able to gain the end-to-end visibility they needed. Following are a few examples that illustrate how the solution helped FIS.

    1. MTS buffer issue on switch

    The network operations team received notifications about a network latency issue. With AppNeta, they were able to quickly point to the error domain and instantly identify the root cause.

    The issue turned out to be on a network switch, and it arose due to a message transaction service (MTS) buffer being full, which caused the process to hang. Without AppNeta, it would have been very difficult to spot and troubleshoot the issue. The device wasn’t writing errors to any logs. When the team looked into the device’s command line, they weren’t able to get any insights into which process was hanging or why.

    2. Unicast flooding issue on switch

    A data loss issue arose, and AppNeta was able to help the team quickly identify the cause of the problem. AppNeta pointed administrators to the error domain and where the culprit device resided within the network delivery path. The solution was able to collect information from the device and identify that data loss was happening on a particular switch.

    Ultimately, the data loss signaled that there was a problem on the switch’s OS, which caused a Unicast flooding issue. With this information, the team was able to notify the switch vendor. It was only then that the vendor’s support teams realized that their devices had a significant issue, and they would have to issue a patch to address the problem.

    Without AppNeta, teams in FIS would have had a hard time isolating the domain, device, and issue. Further, the team was able to provide the vendor with insights about an issue they weren’t aware of, and how they could fix it.

    3. User experience degradation

    Over the course of a few months, the team at FIS had been receiving feedback from a customer indicating that the FIS app they were using was responding slowly. While the FIS team was able to verify that their internal environment was performing well, they couldn’t isolate where the issue was occurring.

    They installed AppNeta and pointed it to the customer environment. In this way, they were able to establish a view of every hop that occurred between FIS’ data center and the customer environment. Within hours of implementing the solution, they could see that the issue was due to a problem within the customers’ data center, and see it was specifically due to a misconfigured load balancer, which was causing packets to be dropped and introducing latency.

    Not only did this speed MTTI, it yielded invaluable insight. The FIS team was able to provide these findings to the customer. They could tell them where in their environment the issue arose and provide details to help them fix it.

    Conclusion

    Over the years, NetOps by Broadcom has delivered significant benefits to FIS and its customers. With this solution, the team has established the unified, end-to-end coverage needed to intelligently monitor and manage user experience and network performance.

    To learn more, be sure to watch our Small Bytes session, FIS Extended Visibility Beyond Network Edge & Improved Triage. In addition, you can download an FIS case study that has additional details on the customer’s deployment. 

    Jeremy Rossbach

    As the Chief Technical Evangelist for NetOps by Broadcom, Jeremy is passionate about meeting with customers to identify their IT operational challenges and produce solutions that fit their business and network transformation goals. Prior to joining Broadcom, he spent over 15+ years working in IT, across both public...

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