Introduction to Cisco ThousandEyes: Internet & Cloud Intelligence

The Evolution of networks is happening at a very rapid pace in the era of cloud computing. Gone are the days of traditional ways to manage networks in enterprises where network monitoring was done using varied tools such as syslog, NetFlow, SNMP, Packet/Flow capture tools. At that time these tools provided required visibility into the networks but these tools were not scaled down to the level of managing cloud or the Internet which created a Blind spot. The challenge becomes more complex as no single ISP owns or provides end to end infrastructure (cloud) or application stack (SaaS). 

Today we look more in detail about how Cisco ThousandEyes new era digital monitoring solution helps organizations to get a real time view of user experiences, endpoint visibility etc., its architecture, features, and benefits, use cases. 

Modern Network & Its Challenges 

Fast changing digital world has brought with itself a different set of challenges such as can people connect to my business, is my network able to keep my business running, are my employees able to get their job done and so on but one common factor here is that the Internet is the common denominator. The organizations are losing visibility and control and without having insight and power to manage problems outside the network how IT can deliver business critical, flawless user experiences?

Key challenges which organizations facing due to applications and services moving OUT of the traditional data centers, SaaS applications and infrastructure playing critical roles in customer experience and aiding to run successful businesses, networks are becoming dynamic, and traditional monitoring tools are no longer effective since business is running on cloud and Internet and physical boundaries are quickly diminishing.

Quick fact! 

CLOUD – New Data Center

INTERNET – New Network

SaaS – New App Stack 

What is Cisco ThousandEyes?

Cisco ThousandEyes was acquired by Cisco in August 2010. Cisco ThousandEyes deploys intelligence in network platforms to bring visibility into each and every component such as routers, firewalls, switches, load balancers into the network in addition to network traffic movement from its starting point or source to its end point.

It detects performance changes caused by device faults, congestion, DDoS attacks, hijacks, route leaks, DNS failures and service provider outages. It provides visibility across network segments in depth to accurately diagnose issues with embedded alerting mechanisms to automate monitoring. 

How does it work?

It works by relying on smart agents deployed across the Internet and within the enterprises. The agents are of three types: cloud agents, enterprise agents and endpoint agents. 

Cloud agents – deployed all around the world and managed with ThousandEyes are an out of box solution to monitor target servers and applications from 100+ agent distribution across 40 + countries.

Enterprise agents installed in corporate offices to generate traffic directly inside the network. Running a virtual appliance on any hypervisor or installed on a Linux server used to generate synthetic traffic probing target server, and collecting information on network and applications. ThousandEyes can pinpoint problems hop by hop across enterprise and service provider networks. It monitors layer 3 to layer 7 of the network and offers a variety of test types for BGP, networks, DNS server, DNC trace, DNC SEC, HTTP server, Page load, web transactions and voice. 

Cisco ThousandEyes agents for Endpoint offer monitoring till the last mile and bring visibility into network and services that are uncertain to user location. 

Features of Cisco ThousandEyes  

In Customer Digital experience it offers:

  • Customer facing critical applications availability monitoring from external interfaces 
  • Simulating customer experiences from external vantage point
  • Mapping user journeys via synthetic tests
  • Alerting on internet hijacking to website hijacks 
  • Hybrid workforce domain it ensures employees are productive working remotely or in office 
  • Ensure that organizations SaaS infrastructure, critical business applications and cloud-based services across networks are available and reachable. 
  • Historical trends and data to detect and fix last mile connectivity issues
  • Open, native REST APIs supported
  • Full automation of configuration, operation, and data consumption 
  • Integration with 3rd party automation tools such as ITSM and data platforms

Cisco ThousandEyes Use cases

Cisco ThousandEyes Use cases across three domains are:

Employee Digital experience 

  • IaaS providers
  • SaaS providers
  • UCaaS / Collaboration 
  • VOIP 

Modern WAN

  • SD-WAN
  • Cloud security
  • Network devices
  • Endpoints/ LAN

Customer Digital experience

  • Websites and applications
  • DNS services
  • CDN providers
  • DDoS security
  • BGP routing
  • ISPs

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