According to the App Attention Index
, 66% of people say they avoid brands known for delivering a poor digital experience. And 83% of customers who have an issue with digital services don’t
notify the brand for a chance to put things right. The challenge for many businesses—and the IT solution providers who serve them—is getting visibility to IT assets outside their local networks, so they can mitigate poor digital experiences for customers and employees alike.
The explosion in business-critical SaaS applications makes the need for cloud-based app monitoring even greater. “Even though cloud-based monitoring solutions have been around for a while, they’ve traditionally been consumed by Fortune 100 companies, ISPs, banks and other transaction-heavy organizations,” says Dan Stewart, Business Transformation Center engineer at Ingram Micro. “Investments into this type of technology could easily run $50,000 or more. And that’s what makes Cisco’s acquisition of ThousandEyes so significant for partners and their customers.”
Cisco DNA Center and ThousandEyes
Since April 5, 2021, Cisco Catalyst 9300 and 9400 customers with a DNA Advantage or Premier subscription receive the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent natively supported on the switch IOS XE in flash. Each Catalyst 9300 or 9400 Cisco DNA Advantage or Premier subscription entitles the customer to run the equivalent of one ThousandEyes network or web test every 5 minutes from a ThousandEyes enterprise agent (22 units per month). This translates to a maximum of 110,000 units per month of ThousandEyes test capacity per customer.
Cisco ThousandEyes is a digital experience monitoring platform to see, understand and improve digital experiences over any network. ThousandEyes offers global vantage points from which users can run a variety of tests to gain more insights and to monitor the performance of their business-critical applications or the network. ThousandEyes has three types of agents:
ThousandEyes, AppDynamics and Meraki Insight
- Enterprise Agent: A lightweight software-based agent, deployed within the enterprise network, that provides visibility within the enterprise campus, data centers, virtual private clouds/virtual networks and branches. It also supports active monitoring, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)-based monitoring and topological mapping of internal network devices. “This agent is best used for measuring and tracking employee experience in SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce and Cisco Webex,” says Stewart. “It can be used to ensure the reachability and availability of campus-critical SaaS, internally hosted apps and cloud-based services over any network.”
- Cloud Agent: A globally distributed agent installed and managed by ThousandEyes in 200+ cities to give users access to performance data from local transit providers and last-mile ISPs to simulate end-user performance. “ThousandEyes Cloud Agent access is not included in the Cisco DNA license entitlement; but it’s available as a paid add-on subscription,” says Stewart. “This agent is best suited for users who need to monitor application availability and usability correlated with network connectivity from the perspective of their customers. It gives customers an outside-in view of performance by monitoring their DNS servers and key third-party service providers such as content delivery networks (CDNs) and ISPs.”
- Endpoint Agent: A lightweight service installed on end-user laptops and desktops that provides inside-out proactive and real-time monitoring of whitelisted domains. Generally, on an enterprise campus, the network operator must deploy ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents across the network, including campus and branch locations, to measure network and application performance between the campus and branches, SaaS and cloud infrastructure.
ThousandEyes isn’t the only application and network monitoring solution in Cisco’s arsenal. Cisco AppDynamics can monitor many of these components, including the latest cloud technologies like serverless and containers (e.g., Kubernetes). AppDynamics also can monitor more traditional technologies that continue to play an essential role in many architectures, such as mainframes and SAP to get complete visibility into all the components that make up your application ecosystem and see how they depend on one another. “ThousandEyes is vendor-agnostic, which means it can be used to monitor networks and apps outside the Cisco ecosystem,” says Stewart. “There’s an image on the ThousandEyes website
that illustrates how ThousandEyes and AppDynamics work together to give partners more comprehensive, end-to-end visibility into their cloud networks and app performance.”
Likewise, Meraki Insight gives Meraki customers an easy way to monitor the performance of web applications and WAN links on their Meraki networks and identify if any issues are likely caused by the network or application. “ThousandEyes is a complementary solution to Cisco’s other monitoring products, even Meraki,” says Stewart.
“What’s nice about this new offering is that it’s easy to use, and there’s nothing to download. Plus, many partners may be surprised to discover that it’s already included with their DNA Advantage or Premier subscription, so they can activate it in their Smart Accounts, install it on Catalyst 9300 or 9400 switches manually or via the DNA dashboard for free and start realizing the benefits of having greater visibility into their cloud apps and services today.”