Imagine watching an action movie with only one fixed camera angle. It would be an incredibly frustrating experience. Not only would your understanding of scenes be limited, but you would need to extrapolate the storyline from incomplete data.
The same can be said for some digital experience monitoring (DEM) solutions. The efficacy of any monitoring solution lies in how many different angles the solution uses to instrument and collect data. Most monitoring solutions have single points of instrumentation: an agent installed on a workload or the end user’s device. Some solutions are hardware-based, using appliances in a data center to collect data.
The problem with the “single angle” solutions above is you must place a “camera” at the endpoint or workload to instrument it. And to do that, you need direct ownership of those elements to monitor data from that perspective. In highly distributed environments, where users can be anywhere, and applications are hosted in cloud infrastructure, and there isn’t direct ownership of the infrastructure, this is a significant limitation.
Enter Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX). ZDX is Zscaler’s digital experience monitoring solution that leverages Zscaler’s extensive global footprint of 150 data centers—Zscaler’s Zero Trust Exchange—that form the world’s largest security cloud (these internet-edge data centers process over 160 billion transactions a day). Thus, the ZDX solution is built as a monitoring overlay directly onto the existing Zscaler Internet Access and Zscaler Private Access platforms. It leverages the same Zscaler Client Connector agent that provides cyberthreat protection, data protection, and zero trust remote access. There are approximately 20 million Client Connector agents deployed among Zscaler customers worldwide.
ZDX is unique because it uses these widely deployed agents and the global Zero Trust Exchange as 360-degree instrumentation points (as seen in Figure 1).
Figure 1: Zscaler’s Zero Trust Exchange with points of telemetry
They act as unique telemetry sources, providing visibility into the end-user performance from multiple camera angles—from the end-user’s perspective looking out and from the cloud’s perspective looking in. It’s a little like the 360-degree camera work from The Matrix.
Figure 2: A 360-degree view of the action
This 360-degree telemetry affords two unique advantages:
Ubiquitous performance monitoring at scale. ZDX can regularly probe the performance of your entire employee base by accessing critical internal and external applications (typically every five minutes). While having this visibility and data is incredible, you might wonder about the impact these transactions have on your applications. The good news is that there is minimal impact due to Zscaler’s inline proxy architecture. Web probe traffic is proxied and cached by the Zero Trust Exchange, so there is never a one-to-one ratio of endpoints to web hits but a significantly reduced one-to-many ratio (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Cached web probe traffic
360 Degree CloudPath. CloudPath provides path visualization and telemetry of the user’s traffic path, leveraging Client Connector from the endpoint to its egress to the destination over the Zscaler cloud. This includes the tunnel through a ZIA or ZPA Public Service Edge. So far, so good, but what makes CloudPath special?
The Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange provides ZDX with a unique path analysis from multiple angles. It measures the perspective from the end user’s outbound path, the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange inbound, and Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange to the application (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: CloudPath stitches three separate traces into one
All of these views are stitched together for maximum granularity and accuracy that is proxy-aware. This results in highly detailed end-to-end path analysis to pinpoint where performance issues are coming from (see Figure 5) that other solutions cannot replicate.
Figure 5: A proxy-aware granular view
A Digital Experience Monitoring solution is a must-have in the work-from-anywhere world. Selecting a solution means considering the unique advantages afforded by an inline proxy architecture. When the power of your monitoring solution depends on instrumentation that shows you every angle of the action, having the Zero Trust Exchange footprint at your disposal makes all the difference. Check out Zscaler’s ZDX solution, and reach out for a solution expert to discuss how ZDX can help you monitor all the action from every angle.