Q&A about INETCO Insight Transaction-centric Application Performance Monitoring

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INETCO Insight Business FAQ’s

How can INETCO Insight improve my operations?

INETCO Insight provides real-time accessibility to transaction intelligence that used to take days to access. IT Operations teams are dealing with a whole new set of complex performance challenges and operational risks, that makes ease of accessibility to this information more and more important.

The business impact of INETCO Insight can be measured through:

  • Enhanced customer service availability across all applications and service offerings (a reduction in failed transactions by about 25%)
  • Reduced risk and service disruption through faster problem isolation (65-75% faster mean time to repair)
  • Improved productivity and operational efficiency

What is INETCO Insight?

INETCO Insight is a transaction-centric application performance monitoring platform that is designed to give you a holistic, systems-wide view into the performance of all business-critical applications running in your physical, virtual and cloud-based environments.

INETCO Insight is already the preferred solution to manage multi-channel banking applications (ATM, mobile, online banking, POS, self-service kiosks, telephone banking and branch PC's), a wide range of value added services (VAS), high volume payment processing and telco environments.  

This powerful application performance management  technology has now been broadened into a platform for monitoring ANY application architecture from one, collaborative location, including:

  • Electronic transaction processing applications (EFT, ATM, interactive video tellers, self-service kiosks, POS, VAS, Mobile, Online Banking, IVR, Branch PC's)
  • Web applications (HTTP, XML, SOAP, SQL, etc.)
  • Distributed messaging applications (AMQP, MQSeries, TIBCO, etc.)
  • Vertical-specific applications (e.g. trading, electronic health records, retail, etc.)

How is INETCO Insight different than other application performance management or transaction monitoring solutions?

INETCO Insight is different from other monitoring software you may have in three key ways:

  • INETCO Insight monitors the end-to-end transaction flow through your environment, not just the individual components.

    Many transaction monitoring or switch monitoring solutions only support single link transactions (ie: you can only monitor the backend between the switch and 3rd party hosts; not from the ATM to the switch). INETCO Insight displays multiple hop transactions, meaning you can capture, correlate and display even the most complex transaction paths involving a variety of message and protocol types, third party data centers and networks, multiple switches, distributed network infrastructures and cloud-based environments. This seamless client AND back-end view into transaction performance results in faster problem isolation.
  • INETCO Insight provides a real-time database of correlated transaction information. This single data-store correlates transaction requests with the corresponding authorization responses, along with all the network to application level information.

    INETCO Insight is unique in its ability to capture all IT tiers of information: network performance data, application payload intelligence and detailed transaction response and completion times. In addition to application performance issues, you can also spot a variety of TCP issues that can cause transactions to fail or slow down. This data empowers IT operations, applications teams, and first line support to triage issues correctly (network, application, device, 3rd party), and is critical to monitoring transaction performance in traditional IT and cloud environments in a timely, cost-effective manner.
  • INETCO Insight monitors complex transaction flows without the need to deploy intrusive agents or modify the underlying application - driving down deployment and ownership costs. Our customers enjoy an average 3X cost and time-to-value advantage with INETCO Insight

How does INETCO Insight differ from ATM monitoring solutions?

The key performance indicators captured by INETCO Insight are complementary to those provided by ATM monitoring solutions such as NCR Gasper Vantage™ and NCR APTRA™ Vision products. They include application performance, network and transaction level information such as:

  • End-to-end transaction query and response times (includes call timings for both client side and back end authorization processes)
  • Transaction anomalies such as high dollar volume, recurring card swipes, and decline patterns
  • Concurrent transaction rates
  • Rates of approved, declined, reversed, failed and unsupported transactions
  • Terminal IDs of ATM, POS, and other payment application devices

INETCO Insight does not need to deploy agents onto individual ATMs or the switch to gather rich transaction intelligence. It is a network-based monitoring solution that is application agnostic and enables operations teams to move away from fragmented, component based monitoring.

Does INETCO Insight work with existing IT management systems?

INETCO Insight can play the role of an IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) platform and also forward rich performance information into other IT management systems like IBM TivoliNetcool/OMNIbus, HP Operations Manager, NCR APTRA Vision, and Splunk.

What are the key performance indicators (KPI) metrics captured by INETCO Insight?

KPI key performance indicators metrics captured with INETCO Insight include:

  • Transaction volume ratios
  • Transaction anomalies such as high dollar volume, recurring card swipes, decline patterns
  • Stand-in mode detection
  • Concurrent transaction rates
  • Rates of approved, declined, reversed, failed and unsupported transactions
  • User impact and geographic locations
  • Attempted transactions (number of transactions processed vs. number attempted)
  • End-to-end transaction query and call timings (back end and front end links)
  • Transaction response codes
  • Transaction response times
  • Transaction error rates
  • Terminal IDs of the ATM/POS device
  • PAN of the card
  • Rate of good/bad transactions
  • Rate of closes

View the INETCO Insight Features and Benefits for more details.

Is INETCO Insight PCI-DSS certified?

The INETCO Insight transaction-centric application performance monitoring software has been designed to meet PCI-DSS requirements 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, and 4.1 concerning storage and display of sensitive cardholder information. This means that Track 1 and 2 information is either discarded (or masked where appropriate) in the normal operation of the INETCO Insight system.

The INETCO Insight Event Collector component, which monitors network traffic and passes it onto the INETCO Insight Event Processor over an SSL encrypted data link, does not store data. For further security, the INETCO Insight Event Collector and INETCO Insight Event Processor may reside on the same physical machine if so desired.

The INETCO Insight Event Processor decodes the data elements and, within the same module, discards or masks security related information such as the PIN and PAN. No logging is done and no display capability is provided until after this deletion and masking is done. Users access the INETCO Insight solution over a web link. This link, like the collectors or processor link, is encrypted via SSL.

The INETCO Insight solution does offer a diagnostics logging mode that allows INETCO support engineers to work with systems administrators to fine-tune transaction decoding capabilities during the early phases of a rollout. This feature is turned off by default. Activating it causes INETCO Insight to generate a log of transactions it did not decode properly which is kept for 7 days before deletion. This log may contain sensitive cardholder information. INETCO recommends administrators only use diagnostics logging when absolutely necessary and take appropriate measures to protect and/or destroy the contents of the log file.

How is the INETCO Insight transaction-centric application performance monitoring solution priced?

INETCO Insight is available through a flexible licensing model that can be based on transaction volumes, number of devices monitored, or number of monitoring points. Contact us to discuss the pricing model that works best for your organization.

What is Transaction-centric Application Performance Monitoring?

Transaction-centric Application Performance Monitoring is the ability for IT Operations teams to capture, correlate and continuously track business transactions and consumer interatctions such as ATM withdrawals, debit and credit card payments and purchases, online banking activity, stock exchange transactions, mobile application exchanges, loyalty or pre-paid card transactions, etc.

Transaction-centric APM solutions evolved from traditional application performance management and network monitoring tools. They are deployed by IT Operations teams who want to gain a holistic, systems-wide view into transaction performance, instead of relying on the fragmented performance data gathered from silo’d infrastructure and application component monitoring solutions. 

What is IT Operations Analytics (ITOA)?

IT Operation Analytics (ITOA) provide IT operations teams with visibility into the performance of applications, automatically identifying and isolating disruptions, inefficiencies, and failures. ITOA solutions monitor applications as opposed to infrastructure, and leverage advanced analytic models to correlate large volumes of highly diverse data collected from application systems to deliver rich operational intelligence.

What is the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP)?

The Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) is a vendor neutral, platform agnostic transaction message protocol that will lower the costs associated with middleware software integrations through interoperable business messaging. It is the ideal protocol for passing real-time data around in cloud environments.

INETCO will be deploying AMQP 1.0 for communications between the different components of the INETCO Insight product. We are also adding AMQP to the extensive list of protocols and proprietary message formats already supported by INETCO Insight.


INETCO Insight Deployment FAQ’s

How easy is it to deploy INETCO Insight?

INETCO Insight is very easy to deploy. The software is follows a network-based deployment model which makes it un-intrusive and easily adaptable within all payment transaction environments. No agents need to be installed and no code needs to be modified in your applications. There is no risk of service disruption and no extra traffic load added to the payment switch.

How does INETCO Insight capture transaction-centric application performance data?

INETCO Insight captures TCP data via the mirrored port (i.e. SPAN port) of a managed Ethernet switch. The INETCO Insight Event Collector is responsible for collecting the raw network data packets and sending them on to an INETCO Insight Event Processor over an encrypted data link. See the deployment architecture diagram.

Does INETCO Insight introduce any performance risk or delay to the transaction network?

No. Unlike many of the other IT monitoring solutions on the market, INETCO Insight poses no risk of service disruption and no extra traffic load added to the payment switch.

Does INETCO Insight require any code changes to the transaction switch?

No. A network-based deployment model means no intrusive agents are required and no code needs to be modified on your applications or switch. This also makes INETCO Insight the ideal transaction monitoring solution for physical, web, mobile, virtual and cloud-based environments.

Can INETCO Insight handle custom message formats?

Yes. INETCO Insight supports a range of financial industry protocols such as ISO 8583, AMQP, Diebold and Visa 2. In addition to its existing transaction protocols and message type decoding library, INETCO Insight also includes a template-based transaction protocol configuration table that enhances scalability and makes it easy to configure the software to monitor customer transaction message types, including those using HTTP and XML-based protocols.

Can I forward INETCO Insight alerts to other monitoring consoles?

Yes. INETCO Insight can forward rich performance information into other IT management systems like IBM TivoliNetcool/OMNIbus, HP Operations Manager, NCR APTRA Vision, and Splunk. If you are interested in an OEM partnership with INETCO, contact us.

What reporting databases are supported by INETCO Insight?

INETCO Insight will support Oracle Server 10 and above databases, as well as PostgreSQL, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server databases. Contact the INETCO professional services team if you have questions regarding standard or customized reports.

What platforms does INETCO Insight run on?

The INETCO Insight Event Processor may be running on any of the following operating systems with the latest service packs:

  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 (32-bit or 64-bit)

How do I get INETCO software updates?

The INETCO Customer Support Center is a password protected area that allows customers to download specific software patches and product updates, as well as technical documentation. Customers will receive email notification on recommended software updates, but you will be required to enter your log-in name and password. Log-in names and passwords can be requested by contacting support.

Who should I contact if I need help?

You can either log into the customer support center for 24 hour support information, or send an email to the support team.

"Transaction profiling is a powerful dimension of application performance monitoring, but it hasn't always been the easiest technology to deploy and configure due to its overhead and complexity when dealing with multi-tiered applications.  A no-touch, network-based transaction profiling approach overcomes some of these barriers, making transaction performance more easily accessible to a broader base of organizations."

Jonah Kowall, Research Director and co-author of the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Magic Quadrant
Gartner Inc.