There are always questions on what’s better: Synthetic End-User Monitoring (SeUM) or Real End-User Monitoring (ReUM)? Whether you’re using one of the two or both depending on your business scenario, the ultimate goal is to improve end-user experience. You achieve this by monitoring performance and continuous availability of websites and Web applications. Let’s take a closer look at both.

    

Organizations consider synthetic monitoring to be an invaluable tool, as it helps detect issues in websites and applications at an earlier stage, allowing you to address and fix issues prior to deployment. Further, it provides the ability to drill-down into individual Web components and diagnose performance problems affecting websites and Web apps. Synthetic monitoring offers other benefits, such as:

  • Record any number of transactions and test Web app performance for deviations
  • Easily locate front-end issues in your websiteswhether it’s HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.
  • Proactively monitor response time for different locations and compare against baselines
  • Get notified when a transaction fails or when a Web component has issues

   

Another key area where synthetic monitoring is beneficial is when websites host live information. For example, game scores, trading stocks, ads, videos, etc. Continuously monitoring these websites will help to proactively identify issues related to third-party content. With SeUM, information can be interactively shown in the form of waterfall charts, transaction health, steps with issues, and so on. Additionally, this method allows you to easily pinpoint components with performance issues.

          

On the other hand, you have real-time monitoring tools that present a different angle to monitoring end-user experience. When trying see the world through the users’ eyes, you gain insight into their behavior and can assess overall user experience in real-time. Since real-time monitoring doesn’t follow pre-defined steps or measure preset Web transactions, you have access all the data you need. Moreover, you gain visibility into:

  • Application usage & performance and track based on individual users
  • Location specific usage and performance
  • Make changes to your applications and monitor dynamically

     

In addition, you will always be aware of your website’s status. In turn, you ensure it’s up and running from various locations because you’re able to get traffic and monitor user interaction. Without traffic, real-time monitoring is meaningless. Reason being, you will no longer receive visitors, nor will you be able to look at performance metrics to adjust navigation or change the look and feel of Web pages. Here’s where synthetic monitoring has a slight edge since you don’t need real traffic to measure website performance. Synthetic monitoring has the ability to monitor website performance from any location with pre-defined steps and transactions.

       

While SeUM and ReUM each have their own benefits, it really boils down to what your business model is and how your business is aligned with end-users. IT pros can certainly leverage both within the same environment. Unfortunately, since both tools are built for completely different usages, you will have to use them independently to monitor and measure user experience.

        

Tell us your stories. How does your IT organization monitor end-user experience today?