Kentik - Network Observability
Product Updates
More Product Updates

February 2022

In February the Kentik team delivered another batch of features that you’ve been asking for. Here are the details.

Kentik Synthetics

Private app agent

Kentik continues to expand the agent fleet for synthetics, giving users more flexibility and locations from which to originate tests.

App agents, which until now were only available as global agents, can now be deployed as a private agent. App agents differ from network agents in that they support both network and web layer tests.

With private app agent support, customers can run network and web layer tests from within their environment. For example, customers can run Page Load tests to measure the performance of key websites from their branch or data center locations or any location they can install a private agent. In addition to web performance metrics, they can also collect network performance metrics — loss, latency, jitter, etc., to these destinations, with an app agent.

The app agents are initially targeted towards supporting new web layer test types (Page Load and transaction tests) but they are able to run all test types so users that want to install a single agent for all test types can use the app agent. The app agent can be deployed using Debian/Ubuntu, RPM or Docker packaging.

The agent will be marked beta as we continue to collect usage data/feedback from users. We recommend the existing network agent for non-web layer testing.

The Private Agent Setup now allows the selection of app agents (beta)

BGP monitoring updates

Building on our existing BGP monitoring capabilities – Event Tracking, Hijack Detection, Route Leak Detection and RPKI Status Check – we will be enhancing our BGP monitoring suite with new visualizations that track BGP Reachability and the BGP AS Path.

See the related blog posts, Introducing BGP Monitoring from Kentik and Why You Need to Monitor BGP, and the webinar Why you should monitor BGP and where to start for useful overview information.

Reachability tracking
We help you track changes in the reachability of your prefixes from hundreds of vantage points all over the internet and will alert you when any of them become unreachable. You need to be sure that traffic from your ASes can make its way to your customers and the service providers you depend on.

Kentik Synthetics BGP Monitor test showing Reachability tracking.

AS path change tracking
Frequent changes in the path that BGP route announcements take between ASes can be a sign of instability. Monitoring for these changes and getting alerted as soon as they occur is a key part of ensuring service reliability.

AS path visualization
Fast troubleshooting of issues requires being able to visualize data to find trouble spots quickly. We give you a 10,000-foot view of changes in BGP routes over time — an indispensable tool!

Path Visualization is a part of the BGP Monitor test results. You can see the AS paths currently and at any point in time. AS path changes are also tracked over time.

Kentik Cloud

Kentik Map Health Digest

An indicator in the toolbar gives a count of issues we’ve discovered on your network and opens a popover that provides a high-level rundown. Click the View Problems button to see a list detailing the issues, then drill down to the map to see an impacted component in the context of its surrounding infrastructure.

Mousing over the new health indicator in Kentik Map will provides a high-level rundown. Clicking View Problems will provide a list and details for each issue.
The health problems list and details can be viewed by clicking View Problems.

Kentik Map Layer Selector

A new layer selector for the Kentik Map lets you choose which categories of overlays to display, including link traffic types, traffic layer types, cloud regions and backbones, traffic utilization, health, and clustering.

The new Layer Selector in Kentik Map and Weather Map lets you choose which categories of overlays to display and the popups for each allow control over the option specifics.

Kentik Map legends

The legends that identify the value ranges represented by link colors are now persistent, so it’s always easy to see what the colors mean.

The color code legend on Kentik Map is persistent.

Kentik Map AWS Regions and Backbones

A layer for AWS regions and backbones has been added to the Kentik Map.

Kentik Map now includes an overlay for AWS Cloud Regions and backbone traffic as are displayed here with AWS US West (N. California).

Google Kubernetes Engine dimensions

Kentik Data Explorer now supports Google’s extended flow logs for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) environments. Google extended their VPC Flow Logs to include annotations that describe network traffic inside the Google Kubernetes Engine environment – i.e, the pods, services, nodes, etc. After hearing from a customer who needed this capability inside Kentik, our engineering team added support for these new dimensions.

Edit Dimensions in Kentik Data Explorer will now include choices to include new annotations from network traffic inside the Google Kubernetes Engine environment.

AWS Agentless Ingest

Kentik Cloud users can now choose how they want to send their cloud data (VPC flow logs and AWS metadata) to Kentik. This helps solve a problem for some who couldn’t allow Kentik to reach into their AWS accounts via an IAM role assumption. We have exposed a REST API to which you can manually post AWS metadata and we can provide a Kentik-hosted S3 bucket to which VPC flow logs can be written or replicated.

Improved Metadata-only onboarding/settings

It’s now easier to configure an AWS cloud export to collect only metadata from a given account/region. Now that we’ve made this simpler, anyone should be able to understand how to configure such environments.

The manual setup menu for AWS Cloud now includes a configuration option to collect metadata only.

Enhanced kappa agent for Kubernetes

Kentik has released version 1.0 of the eBPF-based kappa agent for Kubernetes network performance and telemetry. Improvements in this version include easier deployment, critical performance telemetry (% Retransmit and % Out of Order Packets), and host metadata reporting.

Alerting / Insights

Refactored flow/SNMP insight

The Flow and SNMP Difference Detection insight has been updated to provide an independent analysis of the ingress and egress directions on a per-interface basis and to respond to abnormal differences with a context-dependent message that offers both a diagnosis and specific remedies.

Core

Kentik Market Intelligence

KMI is a new service provider workflow that uses the global routing table to classify the peering and transit relationships between ASes and to identify the providers, peers, and customers for any AS in any geography. KMI estimates the volume of IP space transited by ASes in different geographies and produces rankings based on that volume, thereby enabling users to compare ASes in various markets.

This new workflow is available to all Kentik users with Premier Edition or with the service provider add-on available for the Kentik Pro Edition. This new workflow does not require any configuration and is immediately usable, as it relies on public routing data from a large number of BGP vantage points all around the world.

As routing data gets crunched on a daily basis, it can now be consumed via a simple interface allowing our users to decrypt how networks are connected to each other, what any network’s customer base looks like or what their providers and peers are.

KMI uses the global routing table to classify the peering and transit relationships between ASes and to identify the providers, peers, and customers for any AS in any geography.

Additionally, KMI scores and ranks any network against the size of their customer base in any subdivision of markets, as well as per customer base type such as retail, wholesale or backbone. KMI can now serve as a public, neutral and objective benchmark to score and rank all networks.

Here are a few pointers to get you started with KMI:

  • Product page: Kentik Market Intelligence
  • Blog post: Launching a labor of love, Kentik Market Intelligence
  • Press release: Kentik Market Intelligence launches to benchmark the internet
  • Knowledge Base article: Details about how the neutral, objective scoring and ranking algorithm works

Public Link Sharing

Publicly accessible Public Share pages can now be created from Data Explorer visualizations and Synthetics test results and shared as links with people who aren’t registered Kentik users.

As of Friday, February 25, users can use Public Link Shares. This feature allows users to share Data Explorer visualizations and synthetic monitoring tests with unauthenticated users. This feature has many useful applications, such as helping:

  • Efficiently instrument troubleshooting sessions internally and externally
  • Show evidence of outages and performance issues to vendors
  • Augment support responses to customers with actual, interactive evidence
  • Build brand confidence by transparently communicating on outages and their impact
  • Empower your product and marketing teams with tools to showcase the performance of your infrastructure

Each public share created comes with a public URL in the form of: https://portal.kentik.com/share/<view-type>/<entropy_hash>/<title>

The Share option at the top of Data Explorer allows Data Explorer visualizations and Synthetics test results to be shared via links with people who aren't registered Kentik users.

You will then be presented with a list of options including the ability to send an email to notify public users and get them to navigate to the share.

The Share Visualization menu will help you compose a perfect message to send to your public visualization recipients.

A public share notification email will look like the one below:

Share Visualization emails will appear as above to your recipients.

Alternatively, Kentik Portal will copy the public URL for the new public share upon creation. Users accessing this URL will not be required to authenticate and will be able to visualize the same chart on a public interface.

Users will be able to modify, delete and audit existing shares via this new navigation menu entry:

A new navigation entry allows users to modify, delete and audit existing shares.

For more information on using Public Link Sharing documentation is available in the Kentik Knowledge Base.

Also see our blog post, Network observability, now publicly shareable that describes some use cases for the new Public Link Sharing feature.

Tenant landing page in My Kentik Portal

Landlords can now set a different My Kentik Portal landing page to replace its default landing screen. Each tenant can have a different landing page, and it is configured in the “Views” section of a tenant’s configuration screen:

Landing page selection option per tenant, now in My Kentik Portal
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