Industry News from Cloud IT

Kentik: The Cloud World Calls for Cloud-Scale NPM

November 17, 2016

The writing’s on the wall – it’s time for appliance-based network performance solutions to go bye-bye.

At least that’s how Alex Henthorn-Iwane of Kentik sees it.


Kentik’s vice president of marketing says the appliance approach is from the pre-cloud era and assumes these network elements can sit next to a network device, and that one server or server set will be enough to do the job. But that, he says, simply isn’t the case anymore.

There’s no longer a switch with a port to which these appliances can connect. There’s no longer a LAN to WAN chokepoint. And network operators need the ability to scale much more quickly than they have in the past. So, what’s needed, according to Henthorn-Iwane, is a cloud-scale infrastructure performance visibility solution.

That’s what Kentik has brought to market. This SaaS-based solution assesses traffic data, routing data, and network performance data, and uses it to provide analytics and super fast and accurate DDoS prevention capabilities.

Gartner seems to agree with Kentik’s assessment of the network performance monitoring space. In a May 2016 paper the research and consulting firm made the following comment: “Migration to the cloud, in its various forms, creates a fundamental shift in network traffic that traditional network performance monitoring tools fail to cover. I&O leaders must consider cloud-centric monitoring technologies to fill visibility gaps.”

Henthorn-Iwane says the Kentik solution is appropriate for use in both enterprise and service provider networks. “If you are doing digital business in the cloud, then you should really be looking at a cloud-friendly way of doing NPM and of really protecting your overall network experience.”

The user interface, the application, and network performance are the three things that affect the customer experience, he notes. Kentik helps with the network performance part.

The company also offers an assist in terms of applications. Henthorn-Iwane says organizations with DevOps initiatives tend to like to have a feedback loop for their developers. Kentik offers APIs through which anyone in the organization can see what’s happening on the network in terms of latency, traffic spikes, and the like, he explains. That way DevOps teams can see what their applications will be up against and tune their applications to work better within the network environments in which they will exist.

“Application developers have evolved [from throwing apps over the fence to operations],” he says, “but they need the data.”




Edited by Alicia Young

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