ThousandEyes has announced a new capability for monitoring network performance. Called Device Layer, the new capability uses SNMP to collect data on routers, switches, APs, firewalls, and other networking gear.
The company integrates this data with the agent-based active testing it performs to give administrators and operators more visibility into the network and more context to measure performance and identify the root cause of problems.
ThousandEyes uses cloud- and premises-based agents (in a data center or branch office, for example) that send simulated traffic from point A to Point B to measure response time, latency, and other metrics. Agents can test protocols such as TCP, ICMP, and UDP and simulate real-time traffic such as voice calls.
The agents also use an augmented version of Traceroute to gather path information to provide topology views and to track how application or service traffic changes over time.
ThousandEyes agents collect all this data and send it to a cloud-based service for analysis. Customers access a portal to get network performance metrics and visibility into the paths that applications take. They can see performance trends, identify and troubleshoot problems, and understand how their traffic is affected by ISP peering.
Take A Poll
Now ThousandEyes is augmenting path and performance information with SNMP polling.
Agents can poll devices to gather metrics such as discards, errors, and throughputs. Polling also provides metadata such as device type and manufacturer. (Note that you can only poll devices to which you have login credentials.)
Agents can also use information from BGP and LLDP to see how one device is related to its neighbors, including the links and interfaces connected to each other.
SNMP has been around for decades, so ThousandEyes isn’t breaking new ground by adopting it.
That said, the point of adding SNMP is to reduce the amount of effort it takes for an engineer or administrator to spot a problem.
“IT shops want to consolidate workflows so you don’t have to jump from Tool A to B to C to D,” said Nick Kephart, Sr. Director of Product Management, in a briefing.
“There will always be some context-jumping, but we want to speed it up. So we link application delivery to the behavior of the underlying network itself.”
Kephart says Device Layer is available now as a software upgrade for existing agents. Device Layer will be licensed as a separate feature.