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Is Mean Time to Innocence a Metric You Should Care About?

For the past 23 years, I have been a Cisco Network Engineer serving small, medium, and large organizations across all industries. Some utilize several circuits, both internet and private (MPLS, INLAN), while others run their operation with just one. In every company, whenever there were application or service issues, it was always deemed a network problem. “It’s broken” or “It doesn’t work” were the only descriptions hurled at the network team if a webpage wouldn’t load. “My email is moving slow”—or not moving at all.

In every instance, it was on me to prove that the root cause of the problem was or was not the network. It could take hours to resolve with various tests, phone calls, long hold times with the internet service provider (ISP), and being passed back and forth between Tier I and the transport teams who each pointed fingers at each other or, worse, back at our customer premises hardware connecting their devices. Inevitably, the problem would concerningly resolve itself and there would be no good explanation as to where the problem lied or even what solved it. Time and again, I was personally convinced that there had been some sort of internal network issue that the ISP didn’t want to admit to; they hoped it would go unnoticed while they worked to remediate the problem behind the curtain.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to really be able to see into the private MPLS or INLAN network? Or be able to visualize the internet connection from the business edge to the website(s) that employees are trying to connect to? As an IT leader, I want improved mean time to innocence: faster identification of root cause, with fewer fingers pointed my way in the process.

Enter Cisco ThousandEyes, the Digital Cloud Experience Data Collection and Monitoring Platform that delivers insights into the internet and private networks. ThousandEyes delivers a real-time look into the internet routing experience to cloud hosted applications and private network services through the agent data-collecting endpoints. In a hybrid workplace where the internet is the new enterprise network, applications are as-a-service, and data centers are hosted on-premises and off, the ability to monitor and understand performance from an employee’s home internet to their work tools in Office 365, Salesforce, or AWS/Azure-hosted applications is not only key to maintaining the client experience, but also critical to success metrics for modern IT.

Your network relies on numerous pathways, and ThousandEyes offers data monitoring through all of it: BGP, DDoS, Hybrid WAN, IaaS, SaaS, Website, CDN, DNS, Network Devices, ISP, SD-WAN, Local Wi-Fi, and LAN, along with expanded multi-cloud, enterprise, and customer digital experiences for the complete picture of network health. If you want to know how your website is performing for your clients, you can use ThousandEyes-hosted enterprise agents to test from the outside-in. When monitoring the SD-WAN experience, ThousandEyes will install directly on Cisco SD-WAN appliances, including Meraki, to provide insight into private MPLS networks by running agent to agent testing between Cisco ISR/ASR/Catalyst routers. There are multiple options and solutions for installing enterprise agents within the network that won’t require any kind of Cisco hardware: VMs, Raspberry Pi, dockers, and Linux all can run the enterprise agents from within the network to measure experiences on your environment’s most critical applications.

And for hybrid employees, client browser agents can be installed on Chrome and Microsoft Edge to provide performance metrics on the local machine’s Wi-Fi capabilities, ISP, and a visualization of all the hops to the hosted mission-critical apps you run. With Cisco ThousandEyes, internet and network performance issues, which can take hours or even days to troubleshoot and resolve, can now take only minutes to pin down, assign owners in and outside your organization, and remediate with real data for a faster resolution time. With the ability to snapshot the issue in-dashboard and share a link, engineers receive the power of the diagnostics directly in their own hands. No more excuses.

We’ve helped numerous customers fully realize their assurance strategies for the modern IT team, from early adoption to lessons learned, and I would be personally excited to help you try on ThousandEyes to take back control of your network with reduced resolution time and an improved client experience. Contact us to get started today.

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About the author:
Matthew Weber is an experienced Cisco Network Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is skilled in complex enterprise networking design and implementation.