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It's Time for NPM Appliances to Go Bye-Bye

Alex Henthorn-Iwane
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cloudit.png I recently had the chance to talk with some editors at TMCNet, specifically for Cloud IT Week, and we had a good conversation about the need for NPM to move beyond aging appliances and into cloud models.  It was one of those rapid, speed-dating type conversations and you never know how it will work out, but I just the article and they really captured things well.  The opener of the article is:

“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.”

As the article mentions and we’ve referenced before, Gartner in its May, 2016 research note agrees that a real sea change is needed for NPM:

“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.”

Kentik offers a cloud-friendly NPM solution that includes the mature and proven nProbe NPM agent from ntop that can be installed on application and load balancing servers.  It performs packet capture on sampled traffic flows of actual application traffic.  The agents send this data, plus traffic flow statistics to our cloud-based, big data platform Kentik Detect.  Kentik Detect also takes in flow, BGP, SNMP and other data at scale from routers, switches, probes.  All that data is stored raw for 90 days and you can drill, baby drill into billion row datasets in seconds.  It’s a big data analytics portal for network data, and you’ve never seen anything like it. Why is this cloud friendly?  Because cloud infrastructure doesn’t have traditional switches with tap ports for you attach traditional probes.  Application components are more distributed in cloud environments and environments may spin up on demand.  With nProbe, you can include the agent for instrumentation in your container orchestration scheme so that wherever servers are hosting application components, you can have NPM metrics capture as well. If you’re an organization practicing DevOps, then you want to measure everything and feed that information back to the dev team.  Traditional appliance-based NPM API’s are at best second class citizens, so they’re not functionally useful for actually sharing data.  Kentik’s NPM SaaS back-end offers a powerful portal, but also REST and SQL APIs.  The vast majority of our customers utilize our APIs to get rich network data from our platform into other portals, tools, and databases.  We also don’t restrict users so developers can have full access to the portal to understand latency, retransmits, and traffic flow dynamics. The beauty of the Kentik Detect back-end is that it’s not just for NPM, but it is also the world’s most powerful NetFlow traffic analysis platform, plus the most accurate DDoS detection platform that can automatically trigger attack mitigation using multiple methods.  No matter the cause of performance issues, you need a platform that can help on multiple fronts rather than swivel chairing between different tools.  As I said to Cloud IT Week:

“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.”

If you want to get cloud-friendly NPM, then read more about Kentik Detect and our NPM solution. Want to get your hands on big data, cloud-friendly NPM power now?  Start a free trial, and we’ll be in touch to walk you through a demo and help you see how to move your NPM practice into the modern, cloud era.

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