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Kentik Earns Forrester Nod as Breakout Vendor

Alex Henthorn-Iwane
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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.

Kentik Detect Recognized for Virtual Network Infrastructure


Kentik is honored to have been named by Forrester Research as a breakout vendor in the Virtual Network Infrastructure (VNI) space. In fact, Kentik was the sole network monitoring vendor included in the report “Breakout Vendors: Virtual Network Infrastructure — Four Vendors That Can Help Build a VNI.” Published December 6, 2016, the report is authored by Forrester analyst Andre Kindness with Glenn O’Donnell, William McKeon-White, and Diane Lynch.

Cloud networking solutions demonstrably improve customer experience.

The report starts from the premise that new and innovative networking solutions from hyperscale cloud providers have already been demonstrated to dramatically improve customer experiences. That leads to an imperative for Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) leaders who want to win in digital business: work with brand-new product lines instead of falling back on the typical networking incumbents. As an introduction to innovative technologies that are ready now to help virtualize the network, Kindness and his team profiled four vendors, both startup and established, that “should be on your radar as you begin developing virtual network infrastructure.” Along with Kentik, the report includes Arista Networks, Nuage Networks, and VeloCloud.

What’s VNI?

What does Forrester mean by VNI? Fundamentally, the term refers to a network built based on Forrester’s five VNI tenets, which can be paraphrased as follows:

  • Powered by both software and hardware components
  • Provides a business-wide fabric
  • Interweaves layers from L2 through L7
  • Leverages a programmable automation and orchestration system
  • Empowers users and customers of network services

What’s a Breakout Vendor?

Breakout Vendors ease the shift to virtual infrastructure while minimizing the risks.

The Breakout Vendor designation is meant to identify “groundbreaking vendors that have moved away from business as usual and are helping teams virtualize the network.” Also factored in is the extent to which products “help teams make the shift with the least amount of risk.”

Why Was Kentik Included?

Forrester’s inclusion of Kentik was based on an assessment of how Kentik Detect — Kentik’s big data SaaS for network visibility, DDoS protection, performance monitoring, and peering analytics — addresses the following key pain points for I&O professionals:

Kentik addresses key I&O pain points such as monitoring gaps and siloed tools.

  • Virtual network monitoring gap: “A lack of monitoring has inhibited I&O professionals from virtualizing the network.”
  • Fractured, siloed, inefficient monitoring solutions:
    - Fractured & siloed: “Most monitoring implementations are limited and confined to certain networking segments.”
    - Inefficient: “Forrester clients indicate that the complexity and costs hinder organizations from investing in monitoring tools.”

The report assesses each vendor, including Kentik, on five criteria:

  • Product offering and functionality
  • Use case scenarios supported
  • Maturity of the company and solution
  • Challenges and mitigating factors to those challenges
  • Road map

The Kentik Take

The networking industry has been slowly coming to grips with the fact that a lack of cloud-friendly network monitoring is hampering efforts to deliver an optimal customer experience. In this context, being cloud-friendly involves two things:

  • The ability to monitor cloud-based infrastructure and the distribution application components and services that are running in virtual machines and containers across hybrid clouds.
  • The use of cloud-scale resources to unify previously siloed, appliance-based monitoring solutions.

Traditional network monitoring tools were built for the age of relatively monolithic applications run in centralized, internally owned and managed datacenters. While changes in information technology are typically more like a gradual slope than an abrupt cliff, the shift to cloud application and infrastructure models is having an unusually disruptive effect on networking and therefore on network monitoring. So much so that we’re now in the midst of a struggle for influence between cloud and traditional networking approaches, a topic that our guest analyst Jim Metzler wrote about in his recent blog post “Culture War: Network vs. Cloud.“

Kentik Detect is built from the ground up as a VNI-friendly network monitoring solution.

We built Kentik Detect from the ground up as a cloud-friendly — or in Forrester terms, VNI-friendly — approach to network monitoring. Based on real-time capture and long-term retention of unsummarized NetFlow enriched with BGP, GeoIP, and SNMP, we’ve been busy delivering a cloud-scale platform that unifies a variety of functional areas that so far includes:

  • Network traffic analysis
  • Network performance monitoring
  • Advanced detection of DDoS and network anomalies
  • Sophisticated automation of attack mitigation
  • BGP-based routing/peering analytics

Needless to say, we’re pleased to have earned Forrester’s recognition, and we’re eager to spread the news. So we’ve arranged to make the report available for you to read for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about our purpose-built big data SaaS for network operations (available via public cloud or private deployment), start by checking our product page on Kentik Detect. If you’re ready to dive right in with cloud-friendly network monitoring and DDoS protection, sign up for a free trial or request a demo.

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