New Innovations Unveiled at Cisco Live 2024


Managing Digital Experience at Internet Scale

By Angelique Medina
| | 11 min read


Managing Digital Experience at Internet Scale

A founding notion that led to the creation of ThousandEyes was that organizations would increasingly run their businesses based on digital experiences that rely on the Internet. In the last several years, ThousandEyes has helped the largest enterprises and the fastest growing companies improve the quality of the digital experiences they deliver to their customers and employees by giving them end-to-end visibility into the service delivery paths their applications and services traverse across the Internet.

Yet, one of the fundamental challenges of understanding customer experience across the Internet is the vast and uncontrolled nature of the Internet itself. It's not enough to see your own services or applications when Internet outages outside of your direct view can ripple with devastating impacts to your business. Today, we're proud to share with you a new innovation called Internet Insights™, the industry's only authoritative view of Internet health that enables you to manage digital experience at Internet-scale.

Internet Visibility is in our DNA

ThousandEyes was founded to provide visibility into digital experiences delivered over any network, especially the low observability domain of the Internet and the myriad of cloud providers you rely on today. We offer this visibility primarily by taking active monitoring measurements of targeted applications, services, API and network endpoints from a huge fleet of global vantage points. These active measurements are performed in real-time at multiple layers, including scripted transactions that trace customer journeys through websites, HTTP server monitoring that reveals availability and response time, in-depth network probing to reveal paths and performance metrics, and the incorporation of BGP routing paths from a global monitoring footprint. This multilayer view helps enterprises and cloud providers to rapidly detect digital experience issues, isolate root cause and drive effective provider escalations. These same views are also highly valuable in a cloud environment where change is the only constant, as they enable effective planning and a continuous readiness lifecycle.

Our customers leverage ThousandEyes visibility to ensure that their customers’ digital interactions drive revenue and support brand loyalty, that employee experience of hybrid cloud and SaaS applications is positive and productive, and that hybrid and SD-WANs deliver on their performance and business agility promises.

The Internet is the X-Factor in Digital Experience

But what of the broader Internet and its impacts on customer satisfaction and employee productivity? The Internet is incredibly large, complex, uncontrolled and unpredictable. It's not one network, it's tens of thousands of interconnected networks with no central governance, operating on a chain of trust. Each year, thousands of BGP route leaks and hijacks, millions of DDoS attacks and countless infrastructure outages disrupt customer engagement with online properties and cause costly employee downtime. It’s a massive problem domain, yet it's impossible for any one organization, no matter how large or well-funded, to monitor the entire Internet.

Beyond Social Media and Consumer Sentiment

Up to now, there have been few ways to accurately detect and understand Internet outages. Downdetector, a social media and sentiment collector, is probably the most well known source of information on Internet outages. While far better than no data at all, it leaves much to be desired, namely accuracy and operational relevance. Enterprises can subscribe to Downdetector, but it isn't an operational management solution, since it doesn't have any technical insights to accurately pinpoint outages or drive problem resolution.

A Unique Collective Intelligence Approach

Given the enormity of the Internet and its collective nature, we decided to tackle it in a similarly collective way—by leveraging intelligence gleaned from the huge number of measurements we collect every day. Over the last several years, we've built a huge collective data set using our global service-layer measurements. We've now reached a critical mass of measurements that cross thousands of service provider networks. Today, that’s eight billion service paths each day, including 33 million network path traces per hour. All together, these measurements provide trillions of metrics every day. And the size of this data set is doubling every six months.

Introducing Internet Insights™

Working with this collective intelligence data set, we’ve spent the last few years building and refining algorithms to detect network infrastructure outages happening across the Internet. The result is Internet Insights™, a macro view of the Internet based on the path trace data collected by ThousandEyes Cloud and Enterprise Agents.

Internet Insights™ isolates outages to specific Autonomous Systems and locations and presents them via a NOC-style dashboard, as well as through timeline and topographical incident views. These various visualizations enable Internet Insights™ to assist both operations teams in ad hoc troubleshooting activities, as well as network managers and planners in understanding provider reliability over time.

Internet Insights™ represents a new set of capabilities that are distinct from and yet integrate tightly with the service monitoring views that ThousandEyes customers use to monitor the reachability and performance of their critical apps and services.

Internet Insights monitoring test views
Figure 1: Internet Insights™ correlates aggregated, provider-centric visibility to service-centric monitoring test views.

ThousandEyes monitoring views continue to provide service-specific visibility, including BGP paths, app and network performance, as well DNS, page loading and transactions. Internet Insights™ delivers a wide Internet and provider-centric lens that enables operations teams to see, address and communicate macro issues that could impact its services, as well understand historical provider behavior.

Why You Need Internet Insights™

For our customers who’ve had an opportunity to pilot Internet Insights™, we've heard that it’s enabled them to provide a higher quality service to their customers and manage service providers more effectively. In particular, Internet Insights™ has helped them in the following distinct ways:

  • Seeing far beyond direct monitoring scope. One of the chief benefits that customers report is that they can now see well beyond what they can directly monitor, and diagnose broader issues that impact their business operations. For example, a senior IT manager at a top global investment bank shared that due to Internet Insights, they were able to identify that issues customers were reporting in accessing their services from the New York metro region were due to a large-scale Internet outage that was causing congestion in Verizon's network in that geography. This was despite the fact that they didn't have specific monitoring coverage in that locale.
  • Understanding service issues within a macro Internet context. One of the benefits of Internet Insights™ is that it offers a provider-centric view that correlates with service-centric ThousandEyes test views, as seen in Figure 1. This new view helps escalations by showing providers how they are related to a larger problem, which increases their urgency to act. Internet Insights™ has also enabled our customers to communicate more productively with their customers, as they can now demonstrate when external outages are impacting service availability. This increased transparency increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • More effective provider planning and governance. Particularly for our customers who are beginning their SD-WAN journey and increasingly relying on Internet services and providers, understanding differences between providers, across different regions, is critical. Internet Insights™ provides a neutral, third-party record of reliability patterns in provider networks, enabling enterprises to make more informed investments, manage to service expectations and work more collaboratively with providers to address service issues.

Get Started Today

If you're becoming more aware of the risk that Internet unpredictability is creating for your organization, it's a great time to explore ThousandEyes.

Request a demo today and see how our service level views combined with Internet Insights™ can give you unprecedented visibility that translates into brand and revenue benefits for your business.

Subscribe to the ThousandEyes Blog

Stay connected with blog updates and outage reports delivered while they're still fresh.

Upgrade your browser to view our website properly.

Please download the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

More detail