Kentik - Network Flow Analytics

Kentik Blog: Network Management

Most Recent
by Avi Freedman
by Avi Freedman
by Avi Freedman
by Avi Freedman
by Avi Freedman
by Avi Freedman
by Aaron Kagawa, Crystal Li
by Ken Osowski
by Crystal Li, Jim Meehan
by Ken Osowski
by Jim Meehan, Greg Villain
by Crystal Li

The New Normals of Network Operations in the Year Ahead

January 29, 2021

Last week I had the honor to participate in the PTC 2021 conference. Held in Hawaii every January, PTC’s annual conference is the Pacific Rim’s premier telecommunications event. Although this year’s conference was all virtual (no boondoggles to Honolulu!), it was no less important as the theme this year was New Realities. In the following blog post, I summarize what I presented in my PTC panel entitled Strategies to Meet Network Needs.

Read More

The State of Network Automation: Don't Worry... You Aren't Behind

September 23, 2019

Kentik CTO Jonah Kowall highlights challenges and opportunites in network automation and describes how Kentik is leading the way in providing next-generation solutions for automation, notification, advanced API integrations with telemetry, and more. “Every organization has an automation goal, and it’s no doubt that network automation is not only essential to avoid costly outages, but also helps organizations scale without putting people in the work path… The problem is that every organization has a storied history of automation tools, meaning we already have at least a dozen of them in our organizations across various silos and stacks, some of which are commercial and some are open source.”

Read More

Data Enrichment Will Be the New Correlation

July 25, 2019

At one point, data was called “the new oil.” While that’s certainly an apt description for the insights we can extract from data, most organizations today are finding that new data repositories and “data lakes” often don’t provide the expected benefits due to the analytics challenge. CTO Jonah Kowall explains how advanced data enrichment techniques, leveraging AIOps technologies, can make the promise of data analysis a reality.

Read More

Kubernetes Networking 101

March 6, 2019

If you are at the beginning of the journey to modernize your application and infrastructure architecture with Kubernetes, it’s important to understand how service-to-service communication works in this new world. In this blog post, we provide a starting point for understanding the networking model behind Kubernetes and how to make things simpler and more efficient.

Read More

Machine Learning and AI: The Superhero Solution for IT Operations

May 15, 2018

At that ONUG Spring 2018 event, ACG analyst Stephen Collins moderated a panel discussion on re-tooling IT operations with machine learning and AI. The panelists provided a view “from the trenches.” In this post, Collins shares insights into how panelists’ organizations are applying ML and AI today, each in different operational domains, but with a common theme of overcoming the challenge of managing operations at scale.

Read More

Internet Underlay Visibility is Critical for SD-WAN Overlays

March 27, 2018

Fixing a persistent Internet underlay problem might be as simple as using a higher bandwidth connection or as complex as choosing the right peering and transit networks for specific applications and destination cloud services. In this blog, ACG analyst Stephen Collins advices that to make the best-informed decision about how to proceed, IT managers need to be equipped with tools that enable them to fully diagnose the nature of Internet underlay connectivity problems.

Read More

SaaS Applications: No-Brainer or Headache?

March 21, 2018

Traditional monitoring tools for managing application performance in private networks are not well-suited to ensuring the performance, reliability and security of SaaS applications. In this post, ACG analyst Stephen Collins makes the case for why enterprise IT managers need to employ a new generation of network visibility and big data analytics tools designed for the vast scale of the Internet.

Read More

Finding Bots with Kentik Detect

March 6, 2018

Kentik Detect now incorporates IP reputation data from Spamhaus, enabling users to identify infected or compromised hosts. In this post we look at the types of threat feed information we use from Spamhaus, and then dive into how to use that information to reveal problem hosts on an ad hoc basis, to generate scheduled reports about infections, and to set up alerting when your network is found to have carried compromised traffic.

Read More

Digital Transformation Starts With Managing Digital Disruption

February 28, 2018

While defining digital transformation strategies is a valuable exercise for C-level executives, CIOs and IT managers also need to adopt a pragmatic and more tactical approach to “going digital.” That starts with acquiring tools and building the new skills needed to ensure business success and profitability in the face of digital disruption. In this post, ACG Principal Analyst Stephen Collins looks at how to manage it all.

Read More

Seeing CDN Traffic with Kentik Detect

February 8, 2018

CDNs have been around for years, but they’ve gained new importance with the rise of video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. As traffic from those sites soars, CDNs introduce new challenges for network operations teams at both service providers and enterprises. Kentik Detect’s new CDN Attribution makes identifying and tracking CDN traffic a whole lot easier. In this blog, we provide examples of how companies can implement this functionality.

Read More

Fascinating Facts from Kentik

December 18, 2017

What brands of network devices are Kentik customers using? Where does their international traffic come from and go to? What’s the current norm for packet sizes and internet traffic protocols? Drawing on Kentik Detect’s ability to see and analyze network traffic, this post shares some intriguing factoids, and it sheds light on some of the insights about your own network traffic that await you as a Kentik customer.

Read More

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Traffic Insights from Kentik

November 30, 2017

Media reports tell us that Cyber Monday marked a single-day record for revenue from online shopping. We can assume that those sales correlated with a general spike in network utilization, but from a management and planning perspective we might want to go deeper, exploring the when and where of traffic patterns to specific sites. In this post we use Kentik Detect to see what can be learned from a deeper dive into holiday traffic.

Read More

Level 3 Route Leak: What Kentik Saw

November 15, 2017

As last week’s misconfigured BGP routes from backbone provider Level 3 caused Internet outages across the nation, the monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities of Kentik Detect enabled us to identify the most-affected providers and assess the performance impact on our own customers. In this post we show how we did it and how our new ability to alert on performance metrics will make it even easier for Kentik customers to respond rapidly to similar incidents in the future.

Read More

Kentik for Site Reliability

October 30, 2017

At Kentik, we built Kentik Detect, our production SaaS platform, on a microservices architecture. We also use Kentik for monitoring our own infrastructure. Drawing on a variety of real-life incidents as examples, this post looks at how the alerts we get — and the details that we’re able to see when we drill down deep into the data — enable us to rapidly troubleshoot and resolve network-related issues.

Read More

Configuring Kentik for SSO

October 23, 2017

As security threats grow more ominous, security procedures grow more onerous, which can be a drag on productivity. In this post we look at how Kentik’s single sign-on (SSO) implementation enables users to maintain security without constantly entering authentication credentials. Check out this walk-through of the SSO setup and login process to enable your users to access Kentik Detect with the same SSO services they use for other applications.

Read More

Kentik APIs Enable Multi-Solution Integration

October 2, 2017

In today’s world of heterogeneous environments and distributed systems, APIs drive synergistic innovation, creating a whole that’s more powerful than the parts. Even in networking, where the CLI rules, APIs are now indispensable. At Kentik, APIs have been integral to our platform from the outset. In this post we look at how partners and customers are expanding the capabilities of their systems by combining Kentik with external tools.

Read More

Using Interface Classification in Kentik Detect

September 5, 2017

In our latest post on Interface Classification, we look beyond what it is and how it works to why it’s useful, illustrated with a few use cases that demonstrate its practical value. By segmenting traffic based on interface characteristics (Connectivity Type and Network Boundary), you’ll be able to easily see and export valuable intelligence related to the cost and ROI of carrying a given customer’s traffic.

Read More

Visualizing the Digital Eclipse

August 22, 2017

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.

Read More

Monitoring DNS with Kentik

August 21, 2017

Domain Name Server (DNS) is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most critical pieces of Internet infrastructure. As driven home by last October’s crippling DDoS attack against Dyn, the web can’t function unless DNS resolves hostnames to their underlying IP addresses. In this post we look at how combining Kentik’s software host agent with Dashboards in Kentik gives you the tools you need to ensure DNS availability and performance.

Read More

The Why and How of Interface Classification

August 14, 2017

Kentik addresses the day-to-day challenges of network operations, but our unique big network data platform also generates valuable business insights. A great example of this duality is our new Interface Classification feature, which streamlines an otherwise-tedious technical task while also giving sales teams a real competitive advantage. In this post we look at what it can do, how we’ve implemented it, and how to get started.

Read More

HBO Attack: Can Alerting Help Protect Data?

August 9, 2017

Major cyber-security incidents keep on coming, the latest being the theft from HBO of 1.5 terabytes of private data. We often frame Kentik Detect’s advanced anomaly detection and alerting system in terms of defense against DDoS attacks, but large-scale transfer of data from private servers to unfamiliar destinations also creates anomalous traffic. In this post we look at several ways to configure our alerting system to see breaches like the attack on HBO.

Read More

How Many Routes Do You Really Need?

August 7, 2017

With BGP and NetFlow correlated into a unified datastore, Kentik Detect’s advanced analytics provide valuable insights for both engineering and sales. In this post we look into a fairly recent addition to Kentik Detect, Route Traffic Analytics. Especially useful for capacity planners and peering coordinators, RTA makes it easy to see how many unique routes are represented in a given percent of your traffic, which indicates the route capacity needed in your edge routers.

Read More

Learning From Your BGP Tables

July 31, 2017

Can BGP routing tables provide actionable insights for both engineering and sales? Kentik Detect correlates BGP with flow records like NetFlow to deliver advanced analytics that unlock valuable knowledge hiding in your routes. In this post, we look at our Peering Analytics feature, which lets you see whether your traffic is taking the most cost-effective and performant routes to get where it’s going, including who you should be peering with to reduce transit costs.

Read More

Why Your NetFlow is Safe in the Cloud

July 24, 2017

Among Kentik Detect’s unique features is the fact that it’s a high-performance network visibility solution that’s available as a SaaS. Naturally, data security in the cloud can be an initial concern for many customers, but most end up opting for SaaS deployment. In this post we look at some of the top factors to consider in making that decision, and why most customers conclude that there’s no risk to taking advantage of Kentik Detect as a SaaS.

Read More

Big Data SaaS Saves Network Operations!

July 19, 2017

What do summer blockbusters have to do with network operations? As utilization explodes and legacy tools stagnate, keeping a network secure and performant can feel like a struggle against evil forces. In this post we look at network operations as a hero’s journey, complete with the traditional three acts that shape most gripping tales. Can networks be rescued from the dangers and drudgery of archaic tools? Bring popcorn…

Read More

Kentik Detect Alerting: Configuring Alert Policies

July 11, 2017

Operating a network means staying on top of constant changes in traffic patterns. With legacy network monitoring tools, you often can’t see these changes as they happen. Instead you need a comprehensive visibility solution that includes real-time anomaly detection. Kentik Detect fits the bill with a policy-based alerting system that continuously evaluates incoming flow data. This post provides an overview of system features and configuration.

Read More

Security in an SD-WAN World

July 6, 2017

As one of 2017’s hottest networking technologies, SD-WAN is generating a lot of buzz, including at last week’s Cisco Live. But as enterprises rely on SD-WAN to enable Internet-connected services — thereby bypassing Carrier MPLS charges — they face unfamiliar challenges related to the security and availability of remote sites. In this post we take a look at these new threats and how Kentik Detect helps protect against and respond to attacks.

Read More

Three Little NetFlow Databases in a Big Bad World

June 26, 2017

Obsolete architectures for NetFlow analytics may seem merely quaint and old-fashioned, but the harm they can do to your network is no fairy tale. Without real-time, at-scale access to unsummarized traffic data, you can’t fully protect your network from hazards like attacks, performance issues, and excess transit costs. In this post we compare three database approaches to assess the impact of system architecture on network visibility.

Read More

Accuracy in Low-Volume NetFlow Sampling

June 19, 2017

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.

Read More

Telecoms Take On Network Analytics & Visibility

June 12, 2017

Telecom and mobile operators are clear on both the need and the opportunity to apply big data for advanced operational analytics. But when it comes to being data driven, many telecoms are still a work in progress. In this post we look at the state of this transformation, and how cloud-aware big data solutions enable telecoms to escape the constraints of legacy appliance-based network analytics.

Read More

Network Visibility for Higher Education IT

June 6, 2017

In higher education, embracing the cloud enhances your ability to achieve successful outcomes for students, researchers, and the organization as a whole. But just as in business, this digital transformation can succeed only if it’s anchored by modern network visibility. In this post we look at the network as more than mere plumbing, identifying how big data network intelligence helps realize high-priority educational goals.

Read More

Consolidated Tools Improve Network Management

May 31, 2017

Stuck with piles of siloed tools, today’s network teams struggle to piece together both the big picture and the actionable insights buried in inconsistent UIs and fragmented datasets. The result is subpar performance for both networks and network teams. In this post we look at the true cost of legacy tools, and how Kentik Detect frees you from this obsolete paradigm with a unified, scalable, real-time solution built on the power of big data.

Read More

Network Traffic Intelligence for ISPs

May 23, 2017

Large or small, all ISPs share the imperative to stay competitive and profitable. To do that in today’s environment, they need traffic visibility they can’t get from legacy network tools. Taking their lead from the world’s most-successful web-scale enterprises, ISPs have much to gain from big data network and business intelligence, so in this post we look at ISP use cases and how Kentik Detect’s SaaS model puts key capabilities within easy reach.

Read More

SDN and Self-Driving Networks

May 15, 2017

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.

Read More

Package Tracking for the Internet

May 9, 2017

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.

Read More

Top Reasons to Leave Legacy NPM Behind

May 1, 2017

NPM appliances and difficult-to-scale enterprise software deployments were appropriate technology for their day. But 15 years later, we’re well into the era of the cloud, and legacy NPM approaches are far from the best available option. In this post we look at why it’s high time to sunset the horse-and-buggy NPM systems of yesteryear and instead take advantage of SaaS network traffic intelligence powered by big data.

Read More

Accurate Visibility with NetFlow, sFlow, and IPFIX

April 24, 2017

Most of the testing and discussion of flow protocols over the years has been based on enterprise use cases and fairly low-bandwidth assumptions. In this post we take a fresh look, focusing instead on the real-world traffic volumes handled by operators of large-scale networks. How do NetFlow and other variants of stateful flow tracking compare with packet sampling approaches like sFlow? Read on…

Read More

From Network Flow Monitoring to CapEx Savings

April 10, 2017

It’s very costly to operate a large-scale Internet edge, making lower-end edge routers a subject of keen interest for service providers and Web enterprises alike. Such routers are comparatively short on FIB capacity, but depending on the routes needed to serve your customers that might not be an issue. How can you find out for sure? In this post, Alex Henthorn-Iwane, VP Product Marketing, explains how a new feature in Kentik Detect can show you the answer.

Read More

Flow Data is Top Source for Network Analysis

April 3, 2017

Not long ago network flow data was a secondary source of data for IT departments trying to better understand their network status, traffic, and utilization. Today it’s become a leading focus of analysis, yielding valuable insights in areas including network security, network optimization, and business processes. In this post, senior analyst Shamus McGillicudy of EMA looks at the value and versatility of flow for network analytics.

Read More

Why Large Enterprises Need Modern DDoS Defense

March 27, 2017

Today’s increased reliance on cloud and distributed application architectures means that denial of just a single critical dependency can shut down Web availability and revenue. In this post we look at what that means for large, complex enterprises. Do legacy tools protect sufficiently against new and different vulnerabilities? If not, what constitutes a modern approach to DDoS protection, and why is it so crucial to business resilience?

Read More

How Important is the Internet to Enterprises Today?

March 20, 2017

After presenting at the recent CIOArena conference in Atlanta, Kentik VP of Strategic Alliances Jim Frey came away with a number of insights about the adoption of digital business operations in the enterprise. In his first in a series of related posts, Jim looks at audience survey responses indicating how reliant enterprises — even those that aren’t digital natives or located in tech industry hotspots — have become on the Internet for core elements of their business.

Read More

Kentik Joins Internet2

March 13, 2017

Kentik is pleased to announce our membership in the Internet2® consortium, which operates a nationwide research and education (R&E) network and establishes best practices for R&E networking. Because Internet2 is a major source of innovation, our participation will enable us to grow our connection to the higher education networking community, to learn from member perspectives, and to support the advancement of applications and services for R&E networks.

Read More

The State of DDoS Attacks and Defense

March 6, 2017

DDoS attacks constitute a very significant and growing portion of the overall cybersecurity threat. In this post we recap highlights of a recent Webinar jointly presented by Kentik’s VP of Product Marketing, Alex Henthorn-Iwane, and Forrester Senior Analyst Joseph Blankenship. The Webinar focused on three areas: attack trends, the state of defense techniques, and key recommendations that organizations can implement to improve their protective posture.

Read More

Modern NPM: Critical for Effective APM

February 27, 2017

As the architecture of digital business applications transitions toward the cloud, network teams are increasingly involved in assuring application performance across distributed infrastructure. Filling this new role effectively requires a deeper toolset than provided by APM alone, with both internal and external network-level visibility. In this post from EMA’s Shamus McGillicudy, we look at how modern NPM solutions empower network managers to tackle these new challenges.

Read More

Cloud-Native Network Management

February 21, 2017

As IT technologies evolve toward greater reliance on the cloud, longstanding networking practitioners are adapting to a new environment. The changes are easier to implement in greenfield companies than in more established brownfield enterprises. In this third post of a three-part series, analyst Jim Metzler talks with Kentik’s Alex Henthorn-Iwane about how network management is impacted by the differences between the two situations.

Read More

Cisco’s Acquisition of AppDynamics

February 6, 2017

Cisco’s late-January acquisition of AppDynamics confirms what was already evident from Kentik’s experience in 2016, which is that effective visibility is now recognized industry-wide as a critical requirement for success. AppDynamics provides APM, the full value of which can’t be realized without the modern NPM offered by Kentik Detect. In this post we look at how Kentik uniquely complements APM to provide a comprehensive visibility solution.

Read More

Culture War: How Network vs. Cloud Impacts Tools

January 23, 2017

As cloud computing continues to gain ground, there’s a natural tension in IT between cloud advocates and those who prefer the status quo of in-house networking. In part two of his three-part series on this “culture war,” analyst Jim Metzler clarifies what is — and is not — involved in the transition to the cloud, and how the adoption of cloud computing impacts the way that network organizations should think about the management tools they use.

Read More

Using NetFlow Analysis to Optimize IP Transit

January 9, 2017

Unless you’re a Tier 1 provider, IP transit is a significant cost of providing Internet service or operating a digital business. To minimize the pain, your network monitoring tools would ideally show you historical route utilization and notify you before the traffic volume on any path triggers added fees. In this post we look at how Kentik Detect is able to do just that, and we show how our Data Explorer is used to drill down on the details of route utilization.

Read More

Kentik Earns Forrester Nod as Breakout Vendor

January 3, 2017

Kentik is honored to be the sole network monitoring provider named by Forrester Research as a “Breakout Vendor” in a December 2016 report on the Virtual Network Infrastructure (VNI) space. The report asserts that I&O leaders can dramatically improve customer experience by choosing cloud networking solutions, and cites Kentik Detect as one of four groundbreaking products that are poised to supercede typical networking incumbents.

Read More

Kentik CEO Avi Freedman with PacketPushers on NPM & DDoS

December 19, 2016

Avi Freedman recently spoke with Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro of PacketPushers about Kentik’s latest updates, which focus primarily on features that enhance network performance monitoring and DDoS protection. This post includes excerpts from that conversation as well as a link to the full podcast. Avi discusses his vision of appliance-free network monitoring, explains how host monitoring expands Kentik’s functionality, and gives an overview of how we detect and respond to anomalies and attacks.

Read More

Kentik Cited as IDC Innovator

December 15, 2016

Kentik’s recent recognition as an IDC Innovator for Cloud-Based Network Monitoring was based not only on our orientation as a cloud-based SaaS but also on the deep capabilities of Kentik Detect. In this post we look at how our purpose-built distributed architecture enables us to keep up with raw network traffic data while providing a unified network intelligence solution, including traffic analysis, performance monitoring, Internet peering, and DDoS protection.

Read More

Culture War: Network vs. Cloud

December 12, 2016

Every so often a fundamental shift in technology sets off a culture war in the world of IT. Two decades ago, with the advent of a commercial Internet, it was a struggle between the Bellheads and the Netheads. Today, Netheads have become the establishment and cloud computing advocates are pushing to upend the status quo. In this first post of a 3-part series, analyst Jim Metzler looks at how this dynamic is playing out in IT organizations.

Read More

The (Net)Flow That Kentik Makes Go: Know Your Traffic Flow Data Protocols

December 8, 2016

“NetFlow” may be the most common short-hand term for network flow data, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only important flow protocol. In fact there are three primary flavors of flow data — NetFlow, sFlow, and IPFIX — as well as a variety of brand-specific names used by various networking vendors. To help clear up any confusion, this post looks at the main flow-data protocols supported by Kentik Detect.

Read More