What is our primary use case?
For our purposes, where we're at today, and even in the past, to analyze flows and to pull specific data and understand where our traffic is going to — which AS path — that's primarily the value that I extrapolate from Kentik.
It's mostly on-prem. We do some stuff with GCP and AWS, but it was all primarily licensed-based, based on the number of pieces of equipment we have on-prem that we actually attach it to. We have over 55 edge nodes and about 10 compute nodes.
How has it helped my organization?
We can actually see what we're doing now. When it comes to making an educated decision on a number of things, if you have no visibility into what you're doing, you really can't make that decision. Collecting that data and having those metrics first-hand, in real-time, allows us to make an educated decision, versus an uneducated guess.
Kentik has proactively detected network performance degradation, availability issues, and anomalies. When we had no visibility. When we had congestion, things would actually happen and it was hard to troubleshoot as to where they were coming from. That was one of the first things we were able to do.
A specific example is where we had a number of tenants that were created that were getting DDoS'ed. We couldn't understand how or why we were getting DDoS'ed because we had no visibility. We were guessing. Kentik opened up and showed us where the traffic was coming from and how we could go about mitigating.
It lets us understand what those attacks are, versus not actually knowing where they're coming from or how they're affecting us. It cuts down the time it takes for us to troubleshoot and actually mitigate by about 50 percent, guaranteed, if not more. But we're running a bunch of GRE IP sectionals. It's not like we have huge amounts of capacity. But for some of our large customers, it really has helped us detect what the problem is, instead of guessing.
At my previous company, it improved our total network uptime by about 20 percent. I wouldn't correlate that back to Kentik in my current company.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is being able to pull traffic patterns; to and from destinations. We're able to understand where our traffic is going, our top talkers from an AS set, as well as where our traffic's coming from.
What needs improvement?
The only downside to Kentik, something that I don't like, is that it's great that it shows you where these anomalies lie, but it's not actionable. Kentik is valuable, don't get me wrong, but if it had an actionable piece to it... I keep telling them, "Man, you need to find a way to make it actionable because if you could actually mitigate, it'd be huge what you guys could do."
The way things are, we have to have some sort of DDoS mitigation, like Arbor or something of that nature. Once the anomaly is detected, that's great, but then you have to mitigate. If Kentik had mitigation, or if they could acquire a solution and throw it onto their platform and have that portion available, that would be huge.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Kentik at this company for about a year and, prior to that, I used it a previous job for about another year.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Coming into this company, I felt they were flying blind, meaning they didn't really have anything from a monitoring standpoint. They didn't understand how decisions were made. And to make educated decisions, you actually have to have the proper tools in place. Kentik was a tool that I know works really well.
What other advice do I have?
Kentik has pretty good intuition, as a company, as to where the market sits and what they're into. They don't delude themselves. They really focus. They've been pretty good. I know the leadership over there and it seems like between Justin and Avi, they're good at what they do and that's why I'll continue to use them.
Anywhere I go, I'm going to use Kentik if I have the chance.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?