Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Kentik.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
I believe they're already working on this, but I would love for them to create better integrations from network flow data to application performance — tracing — so that we could overlay that data more readily. With more companies going hybrid, flow logs and flow data, whether it be VPC or on-prem, matched with application performance and trace data, is pretty important. The other area would be supplanting companies like SevOne and other companies that are really good in the NMS space, specifically for SNMP data.
Version 4 of the platform is good and going in the right direction. It's starting to answer questions before they're asked. The mindset to date has been, "Hey I've got a question. Let me go Kentik to get the answer." They're moving more in a direction where they are saying, "Hey, here's information that you may be interested in or may need," before the question has to explicitly be asked. Continuing to move in that direction would be a good thing.
They've added a lot of features in the beta product that is coming out, things we told them about before. We asked for a way, regarding the potential networks that exist, to hook Kentik up with external tools like peering DBs to correlate things together and see what we can do. They've been working on a cost calculator, which would be great for us, so we don't have to do it ourselves. This is all in the beta now. Those have been my main issues so far, and since we're not a super-large, global internet service provider, we probably use 20 percent of all the features, or even less. So there aren't any major issues that annoy me on a day-to-day basis. We're extremely happy and it seems like they're listening to whatever feedback we have given in the past.
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.
I would like to see them explore the area of cost analysis.
There is room for improvement around the usability of the API. It's a hugely complex task to call it and you need a lot of backing to be able to do it. I should say, as someone who's not in networking, maybe it's easier for people who are in networking, but for me that one part is not very user-friendly.
I've checked out the V4 version of the interface and it's still a little bit clunky for me to use. I still go back to the old interface. That's definitely one that they still need to work on. It doesn't seem like everything that you get in the V3, the older interface, is there. For instance, I was trying to add a user or do the administrative tasks in V4, and I couldn't figure out where I was supposed to do that. The interface just wasn't working for me so I went back to V3 to do that stuff. Also, with the alerting page, that traffic overview page, sometimes I really want to share it with someone. Usually, you can get a quick URL on most of the other pages to share that particular view, but I can't do that on the traffic overview page that is given to me from an alert. That would be really helpful.