Cisco's ThousandEyes predicts SD-WAN problems

Cisco's ThousandEyes predicts SD-WAN problems

Cisco's ThousandEyes WAN Insights service provides forecasts and SD-WAN policy recommendations for optimising enterprise network sites.

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Cisco is set to offer the first fruits of its technology that promises to let enterprises proactively avoid network problems and increase application performance.

At Cisco Live, the vendor took the wraps off ThousandEyes WAN Insights service that will let Cisco SD-WAN customers get network forecasts and SD-WAN policy recommendations for elevating application performance and user experience across enterprise sites.

“Today’s hybrid work environments are incredibly complex, made up of highly sophisticated applications that are distributed across heterogeneous networks and accessed by end users from a variety of locations that may have vastly different underlying network conditions,” Mike Hicks, principal solutions analyst with Cisco ThousandEyes, wrote in a blog

"ThousandEyes WAN Insights helps IT operations teams anticipate changes to these environments using data-driven analysis that gives them actionable network recommendations to reduce issues and optimise performance across Internet, cloud, and SaaS."

Once enabled, ThousandEyes WAN Insights applies statistical models to the Cisco SD-WAN package’s vAnalytics path metrics to provide network forecasts and SD-WAN policy recommendations for optimising user experience across enterprise sites, according to Hicks.

“It does this by continuously observing the behaviour of each network path," Hicks said.

"As soon as historical data is available (approx. 24 hours at a minimum), ThousandEyes WAN Insights starts to analyse performance across all SD-WAN network sites to identify quality issues for multiple application categories, such as Office 365 and collaboration voice-enabled services, such as Webex by Cisco.

“ThousandEyes WAN Insights follows the SD-WAN configuration for sites, edge routers, and interfaces, continuously measuring and assessing the quality at a path level. If an issue exists at a particular site, and it is likely to continue in the near future, WAN Insights recommends an alternate path, at a circuit level, to route that site’s outgoing traffic.

"These recommendations are given for each site and application category, using quality estimates that reflect the requirements of each application category."

ThousandEyes WAN Insights is built in part with technology in its recently previewed predictive analytics engine that Cisco says it will offer via software-as-a-service (SaaS) to help network operators quickly and accurately predict network problems before they happen.

According to Cisco, its AI/ML-based predictive engine works by gathering telemetry data across an organisation from routers, switches, servers, and more. Once integrated, the engine aggregates data, learns patterns using a variety of models and predicts user experience issues and provides concrete remediation options.

The engine looks at connectivity and quality of service when predicting and planning alternative routes. Customers can decide how widely they want to connect the engine in the network, giving them flexible expansion options, Cisco stated.

The company said it has been building and testing predictive software engines over the past two years and ultimately will offer it across its range of products.

ThousandEyes WAN Insights is in preview.

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