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Posts by Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering

Visualizing the Digital Eclipse

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | Aug 22, 2017
NetFlow Analysis

With much of the country looking skyward during the solar eclipse, you might wonder how much of an effect there was on network traffic. Was there a drastic drop as millions of watchers were briefly uncoupled from their screens? Or was that offset by a massive jump in live streaming and photo uploads? In this post we report on what we found using forensic analytics in Kentik Detect to slice traffic based on how and where usage patterns changed during the event.

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Accuracy in Low-Volume NetFlow Sampling

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | Jun 19, 2017
Network Management

NetFlow data has a lot to tell you about the traffic across your network, but it may require significant resources to collect. That’s why many network managers choose to collect flow data on a sampled subset of total traffic. In this post we look at some testing we did here at Kentik to determine if sampling prevents us from seeing low-volume traffic flows in the context of high overall traffic volume.

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SDN and Self-Driving Networks

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | May 15, 2017
Network Management

SDN holds lots of promise, but it’s practical applications have so far been limited to discrete use cases like customer provisioning or service scaling. The long-term goal is true dynamic control, but that requires comprehensive traffic intelligence in real time at full scale. As our customers are discovering, Kentik Detect’s traffic visibility, anomaly detection, and extensive APIs make it an ideal source for actionable traffic data that can drive network automation.

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Package Tracking for the Internet

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | May 9, 2017
Network Management, Peering Analytics

Without package tracking, FedEx wouldn’t know how directly a package got to its destination or how to improve service and efficiency. 25 years into the commercial Internet, most service providers find themselves in just that situation, with no easy way to tell where an individual customer’s traffic exited the network. With Kentik Detect’s new Ultimate Exit feature, those days are over. Learn how Kentik’s per-customer traffic breakdown gives providers a competitive edge.

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Kentik Troubleshoots Network Performance

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | Dec 5, 2016
How-To, Network Management, Performance Monitoring

How does Kentik NPM help you track down network performance issues? In this post by Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering, we look at how we recently used our own NPM solution to determine if a spike in retransmits was due to network issues or a software update we’d made on our application servers. You’ll see how we ruled out the software update, and were then able to narrow the source of the issue to a specific route using BGP AS Path.

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Peering for the Win

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | May 23, 2016
Network Management, Peering Analytics

Traffic can get from anywhere to anywhere on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean all networks are directly connected. Instead, each network operator chooses the networks with which to connect. Both business and technical considerations are involved, and the ability to identify prime candidates for peering or transit offers significant competitive advantages. In this post we look at the benefits of intelligent interconnects and how networks can find the best peers to connect with.

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Inside the Kentik Data Engine, Part 2

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | May 2, 2016
How-To, Product, Technology

In part 2 of our tour of Kentik Data Engine, the distributed backend that powers Kentik Detect, we continue our look at some of the key features that enable extraordinarily fast response to ad hoc queries even over huge volumes of data. Querying KDE directly in SQL, we use actual query results to quantify the speed of KDE’s results while also showing the depth of the insights that Kentik Detect can provide.

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Inside the Kentik Data Engine, Part 1

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | Apr 25, 2016
How-To, Network Management

Kentik Detect’s backend is Kentik Data Engine (KDE), a distributed datastore that’s architected to ingest IP flow records and related network data at backbone scale and to execute exceedingly fast ad-hoc queries over very large datasets, making it optimal for both real-time and historical analysis of network traffic. In this series, we take a tour of KDE, using standard Postgres CLI query syntax to explore and quantify a variety of performance and scale characteristics.

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Beyond Hadoop

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | Apr 11, 2016
Network Management, Technology

As the first widely accessible distributed-computing platform for large datasets, Hadoop is great for batch processing data. But when you need real-time answers to questions that can’t be fully defined in advance, the MapReduce architecture doesn’t scale. In this post we look at where Hadoop falls short, and we explore newer approaches to distributed computing that can deliver the scale and speed required for network analytics.

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Maximizing Network Metadata Value

By Jim Meehan, Director of Solutions Engineering | Mar 21, 2016
NetFlow Analysis, Network Management, Technology

The plummeting cost of storage and CPU allows us to apply distributed computing technology to network visibility, enabling long-term retention and fast ad hoc querying of metadata. In this post we look at what network metadata actually is and how its applications for everyday network operations — and its benefits for business — are distinct from the national security uses that make the news.

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