Cisco's AppDynamics and ThousandEyes blend app monitoring with network visibility

Blending Cisco's AppDynamics with its freshly acquired ThousandEyes is giving customers increased visibility from mobile devices all the way to the cloud and beyond.

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the need for better visibility across the cloud, devices and networks, which means the pairing of AppDynamics and ThousandEyes was timely.

RELATED: Cisco snatches up network monitoring company ThousandEyes

Cisco announced in May that it was buying network-monitoring company ThousandEyes and then closed the deal in August. While Cisco didn't disclose the financial terms, Bloomberg reported that Cisco would pay close to $1 billion to buy ThousandEyes.

ThousandEyes' cloud agents are external vantage points that are distributed globally across its points of presence, while its enterprise agents are software-based and can be installed on networks, data centers and branch offices.

Increased network visibility is especially important as customers migrate toward multi-cloud environments. Multi-cloud usage is being driven by infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service use cases. In addition, the dynamic nature of the cloud makes it even harder to proactively monitor networks.

Three-years ago, Cisco bought AppDynamics for $3.7 billion to provide application visibility to help Cisco's customers find and fix application performance issues.

Steve Long, corporate CTO, technology strategy of AppDynamics, said AppDynamics and ThousandEyes have been working on native integration, and that here would be several announcements over the coming months. Cisco has been a customer of ThousandEyes since  2013.

Long said AppDynamics takes a snapshot of applications to find issues and anomalies. The AppDynamics information is combined with the network data that ThousandEyes collects. Using the combined data, Cisco can track a network or application issue down to end devices.

"We can actually look at something like an application crash or the sales systems freezing," Long said. "We can use our algorithms, our UI and our AI to show visually both on the network side and the app side what's happening. The result of that is our IT teams can look at these issues where they (customers) can't find problems, and if they can't find them they can't fix them."

Long said the value of combing AppDynamics with ThousandEyes creates a "1 plus 1 = 3" effect for customers.

"If there's a problem, everyone blames the network," Long said. "Our ability to work together to look at that problem becomes a greater than two kind of solution. It's one plus one equals three because we can actually use the network data to your advantage and show all of the dependencies in the application."

With AppDynamics and ThousandEyes, a customer can get an "outside in" view for the user experience across cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, which Long said drives customer loyalty. On the flip side, AppDynamics did a survey last year that found that 55% of the consumers that had an issue with an application won't return or will delete that app from their devices.

Having improved visibility and monitoring capabilities have been key during Covid-19 as IT teams have needed to adjust to employees leaving the confines of their office spaces to work from their homes. Being able to break down cloud and network components enables IT teams to troubleshoot issues proactively.

"Most of my discussions include being able to see that network that is outside your data center or your cloud provider—or even if it isn't a cloud provider— as we've got everybody shifting to work from home," Long said. "And then as these holiday seasons are coming up, you're going to want to be able to understand what the global trends are on your applications."

In general, the pandemic has also accelerated businesses' digital transformations. Network agility is key for most digital transformation efforts.

"We're seeing companies really coming through that digital transformation journey, and they're investing more and moving everything online," Long said. "But they're also looking at the need to have increased visibility through their customer journeys. That's what AppDynamics has been heavily focused on and that's what ThousandEyes has been heavily focused on.

"If you have a digital performance issue in the digital journey, that can that can impact buying decisions and the dependency of those buying decisions now is on the internet."

Long said AppDynamics was offering a free trial of its software and time with its consultants until the end of this month.