Cisco is more tightly integrating its network- and application-intelligence tools in an effort to help customers quickly diagnose and remediate performance problems.
An upgrade to Cisco's Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) platform melds the vendor’s AppDynamics application observability capabilities and ThousandEyes network intelligence with a bi-directional, OpenTelemetry-based integration package. (Read more about how to shop for network observability tools)
The goal with DEM is to get business, infrastructure, networking, security operations, and DevSecOps teams working together more effectively to find the root cause of a problem and quickly address the issue, said Carlos Pereira, Cisco Fellow and chief architect in its Strategy, Incubation & Applications group.
“The networking side of the house only typically sees networking as a packet, and the apps team only sees a TCP flow from an application. But with DEM, ThousandEyes and AppDynamics, we have enabled that information to be shared with both those teams, and customers can now see how the network impacts that application and vice-versa,” Pereira said.
Network and application teams have integrated visibility that they never had before, he said. “Now, for example, the application team can look at their own tools and contextualise application metrics with ThousandEyes network data to map exactly how everything impacts a particular app they may be monitoring in real-time.”
DEM does this by using OpenTelemetry, a standards-based framework of tools, APIs, and SDKs used to instrument, generate, collect, and export telemetry data to analyse software performance and behavior. OpenTelemetry is being developed under the Cloud Native Foundation by contributors from AWS, Azure, Cisco, F5, Google Cloud, and VMware among others.
Telemetry use is critical for greater observability, and it is the basis for Cisco’s Full-Stack Observability (FSO) architecture, which the vendor is expected to detail at its upcoming Cisco Live! customer event in June.
Cisco’s Full-Stack Observability will feature a broad portfolio of Cisco technologies as well as an ecosystem of partners and open-source tools. The Full-Stack Observability Platform will also take advantage of Cisco’ security portfolio to provide telemetry that can be included in new applications to control security across multiple domains, Periera said.
“One of the things that we are going to have with FSO is AIOps support that will let us develop a single alert that will combine a number of these telemetry feeds into a single alert that everyone can utilise. A combined experience alert, if you will, that could be fed wherever the customer wants – apps, networking, security – with the goal of spotting and fixing problems quickly,” Pereira said.
Research firm Gartner notes that, by using observability tools, a business “is able to determine the state of its applications with a high degree of certainty and understand how their services impact business key performance indicators and customers’ digital experience. Observability enables quick interrogation of a digital service to identify the underlying cause of a performance degradation, even when it has never occurred before.”