ThousandEyes Network Monitoring Tool: Overview & Features

eWEEK NEW-PRODUCT ANALYSIS: Newcomer ThousandEyes features simplifies Internet troubleshooting.


The internet is easily the most pervasive network on the planet, but there have always been questions regarding its ability to be a business resource. The primary issue is that there really is no “internet” or single owner. Rather it’s a collection of interconnected networks that make up the massive super network we know today. This makes it impossible to monitor and understand its performance implications, right?

Does ThousandEyes make the unmonitorable monitorable? Well, not exactly. But the 9-year-old, Bay Area-based company has built a service that delivers great visibility into the internet. A decade ago, no one would have cared, because the internet was used primarily for best-effort services and non-mission-critical applications. Today, the internet is used for cloud connectivity (including UC services), is a core element of SD-WAN strategies, and is often part of IoT deployments. More than ever before, internet performance matters.

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During the past month, the company announced a couple of significant updates that improve Internet performance monitoring.

ThousandEyes Synthetics proactively monitors modernized applications

The first is something called ThousandEyes Synthetics. As the name suggests, the feature uses synthetic monitoring to proactively detect performance issues of modernized applications. Application architectures have changed and are now heavily dependent on internet-based APIs, rendering legacy tools somewhat useless. ThousandEyes Synthetics visually correlates application performance to the underlying infrastructure and internet, delivering performance in its shareable single pane of glass. This can help quickly identify the root cause of performance problems of internet-centric applications, something that hasn’t been possible before. The increased visibility should help companies reduce the mean time to resolution of cloud-based apps by lowering the amount of time it takes to find the source of the outage.

As time goes on, the improved knowledge of the network will give IT more data and confidence to understand the performance of cloud and SaaS apps, which should lead to faster application rollouts. In the digital era, it’s said that “speed is the new currency of business,” and ThousandEyes’ service can act almost as a digital accelerator. The visibility also plays a key role in customer-facing applications. Given the big focus on customer experience today, ThousandEyes Synthetics can help businesses who are driving customers to a competitor because of a poor-performing cloud application.

Synthetics is a combination of a new Javascript-based approach and deep active monitoring that correlates application insights gathered through synthetic tests with web data, network metrics, network paths, internet routing and visibility into outages.

ThousandEyes expands cloud coverage to include Alibaba

Prior to that, ThousandEyes had announced an expansion of its cloud-monitoring coverage, which includes now being able to understand the performance of Alibaba Cloud. This expands the breadth of cloud agents, which already includes all of the major cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure as well as a number of global data centers and ISP locations. This gives enterprise network professional a view into Internet performance that had never been available before.

The expansion of ThousandEyes’ reach, including adding 19 Alibaba Cloud regions across the globe as well as 13 new Cloud Agent locations across the Asia-Pacific region, which numbers four new locations in India. ThousandEyes now has a vantage point in 53 Asia-Pacific cities and more than 180 globally.

IT teams can use pre-provisioned vantage points to measure inter-region, hybrid and multi-cloud performance across multiple network paths. Companies can use this data to help better plan a multi-cloud strategy because they will understand how different clouds perform in the various regions.

The Internet has been an enigma for many companies, but it doesn’t have to be. The increased visibility from ThousandEyes enables companies to use the global network as a core part of their SaaS and cloud strategy.

Zeus Kerravala is an eWEEK regular contributor and the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. He spent 10 years at Yankee Group and prior to that held a number of corporate IT positions.