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New Features Roundup – November 2022

By Jonathan Zarkower & Brian Tobia
| | 14 min read

Summary

We have new features for ThousandEyes customers that can make configuring our product, integrating apps, and troubleshooting issues more straightforward.


Welcome back to the New Features Roundup, a blog series where we highlight the most recent and noteworthy enhancements to our products. As always, we at ThousandEyes (part of Cisco) are committed to improving our digital experience solution so that you have the most comprehensive and effective way to monitor your enterprise’s increasingly distributed network and application environments. And a vital part of that vision entails delivering customers a consistent stream of usability enhancements, robust integrations, added intelligence, and other capabilities designed to empower your teams with greater visibility and control over your networks and applications.

To offer further clarity and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions or provide feedback on our products and solutions, we also host a quarterly webinar as a companion to this blog. On it, we demo some of the latest features and offer visibility to the extent we’re able into others that may be in progress. We will post details on the New Features Roundup webinar to our homepage as soon as they become available. 

In the meantime, please take a look below are our updates for the last three months, ending October 2022. You’ll notice they follow four key themes:

    • Simplification and Automation of Ops Workflows
    • Reduced MTTI/MTTR Through Faster Insights
    • Elevated Hybrid Workforce Productivity
    • Data Privacy and Protection for EMEA Customers

Simplify and Automate Ops Workflows

In today’s fast-paced environments, operational efficiency has become both a tenet and a measured objective for most IT organizations. With that in mind, ThousandEyes is introducing two new capabilities designed to make it easier for our customers to automate ThousandEyes and instantiate our vantage points within Microsoft Azure environments.

API Support - Modifying Interface Groups

ThousandEyes has added API support for modifying interface groups so that hostname to IP mapping can be automated.

Interface groups allow you to more easily identify nodes within a path visualization view by associating internal IP addresses with more recognizable host names. This capability provides immediate context as to which devices are receiving and forwarding traffic and can help identify where a problem may be occurring on a local device.

In cases where dynamic lists of IPs are being used and re-associated to different hosts, you can now leverage the API to update the interface groups automatically as these IPs are re-assigned. This update also allows you to quickly build out new interface groups in bulk for large amounts of devices.

Please review our Developer Guide for more information on our API.

Azure ARM Templates

An Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template for the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent has been released, which streamlines configuration and allows for an agent to be deployed and up and running in as little as 5 minutes within Azure environments.

ARM templates allow you to pre-define configurations and software for quick deployment within Azure. The ARM template for ThousandEyes supports the automatic configuration of agent settings and automated deployment through cloud automation tools. Additionally, the template allows for customizable VM sizing within Azure environments, which offers cost and performance flexibility based on different needs.

The example in Figure 1 displays deployment options for the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent with templates for deployment within cloud service providers.  

Figure-1-endpoint-agent-deployment-options.png
Figure 1. ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent deployment options  


Reduce MTTI / MTTR With Faster Insights

With the average cost of an unplanned application outage estimated at over $400,000 per hour (per IBM Global Services; IDC: DevOps and the Cost of Downtime), we understand the business criticality of not only quickly assessing and resolving issues but doing so across the full scope of your applications and services. Each of the following three enhancements intends to accomplish that by consolidating and streamlining your ability to assess and collaborate on issue resolution more quickly.

Reports/Dashboard Merge and Dashboard Labels

Previously, viewing dashboards and reports required you to navigate between two screens within the ThousandEyes UI. To streamline operations and make the data easier to navigate and view, we’ve merged the two screens into one unified dashboard. Customers can now download dashboards as PDFs, CSV, or saved snapshot images and move between relative and historical timeframes. They can also create and use dashboards for both real-time monitoring and historical reporting.

Moreover, we’ve added the ability to assign labels to the different dashboards customers create for better organization and filtering. When viewing the dashboard search box, you can now search for, or filter on, specific labels to view only certain dashboards that match.

Please see Figure 2 and Figure 3 below for graphic displays of these new features.

Figure-2-unified-dashboard.png
Figure 2. A newly unified dashboard for dashboards and reports

Figure-3-dashboard-filtering-custom-labels.png
Figure 3. Dashboard filtering and custom labels

Multi-service Snapshot Views

Multi-service views allow ThousandEyes users to build a more comprehensive view of their environment by combining multiple test views into one multi-service view. These views allow users to look at a service from multiple angles, or multiple services from the same angle, in order to simplify/streamline the root cause analysis process and assist in identifying issues quickly. Multi-service views are available for HTTP server and Agent-to-Server tests. You can also combine other tests such as DNS server, page load, and transaction tests for correlation across HTTP server and network views.

This new functionality allows customers to create Snapshots and Sharelinks when displaying test results in a multi-service view. As shown in Figure 4 below, this visualization greatly simplifies collaboration with key stakeholders and allows you to remediate issues rapidly.

Figure-4-multi-service-view.png
Figure 4. A multi-service view

ThousandEyes Assistant, Concierge, & Helper (TEACH)

ThousandEyes Customer Engineering is excited to announce the rollout of TEACH (ThousandEyes Assistant, Concierge, & Helper), which will replace the existing Support chat window. The new experience leverages AI to provide more accurate and context-sensitive automated responses and information for faster case and issue resolution. TEACH also provides faster routing to ThousandEyes support experts, depending on location and topic.

Figure-5-TEACH-support-window.png
Figure 5. TEACH support window


Elevate Hybrid Workforce Productivity

The shift to hybrid work, coupled with the dynamic and inherently technical complexities of collaborative applications like Webex® by Cisco and Microsoft Teams, has created a challenge felt across end-user communities as well as the teams tasked with supporting them. So to lift some of the burdens, ThousandEyes has implemented capabilities and now introduces the following enhancements to take them a step further.

Automated Session Test Snapshots

You can create Snapshots within ThousandEyes to capture the current set of data you are looking at and share it with others within your organization or externally. Sharelinks can be created from these Snapshots and similarly shared with internal stakeholders and external partners or providers to aid in troubleshooting. 

Automated Session Tests (AST) is a capability unique to ThousandEyes, introduced earlier in 2022 to give IT organizations the ability to more effectively monitor collaboration applications, which are complex by virtue of their multimedia support as well as the dynamic selection of the session endpoints that support those distinct media flows.

This new capability allows you to create Snapshots and Sharelinks within the path visualization display for an Automated Session Test. As such, you can now share and save critical troubleshooting data when looking at endpoints connecting to collaboration services, such as Webex.

Figure-6-network-path-visualization-webex.png
Figure 6. ThousandEyes network path visualization displaying the connection to a Webex meeting

Figure-7-save-share-buttons.png
Figure 7. The save and share buttons for the Snapshots and Sharelinks

Automated Session Test Data in Reports and Dashboards 

Automated Session Tests provide essential data and visibility into the network connections of endpoint devices to critical collaboration services. And customers can now see this data in a path visualization view to help them understand the hop-by-hop path and performance during these sessions. With this new capability, this same data can also be added to and viewed within dashboards and reports, which facilitates power overviews and rollups. Moreover, we’ve added AST data as a new source that customers can use within dashboard widgets. 

Figure-8-AST-data-dashboard-widget.png
Figure 8. AST data used in dashboard widget

Endpoint Agent Reinstallation Key/Process

This next feature addresses specific scenarios that require the reinstallation of Endpoint Agents. You can now leverage the agent reinstallation process to preserve any historical data, alert configurations, labels, tests, and proxies that existed previously. The reinstallation process also ensures that you do not consume additional licenses by generating a reinstallation key, which customers will need for this process. That’s because the reinstallation key prevents users from attempting to perform this process themselves and limits it to only authorized administrators.

The reinstallation key can easily be generated from the Endpoint Agent settings page, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure-9-endpoint-agent-reinstallation-key-generator.png
Figure 9. Endpoint Agent settings page where admins can find the reinstallation key generator


Ensure Data Privacy and Protection

Although the ThousandEyes platform provides rigorous and comprehensive protections globally, the regulatory environment that has emerged amid the world’s expanding threat landscape has placed data residency and sovereignty front and center. Most notably in its importance to heavily regulated industries, such as financial services and the government sector.

European Presence for Agent Locations (EU Region) 

ThousandEyes’ multi-region support allows users to define where their data is stored to ensure compliance with regional data regulations and better manage how ThousandEyes handles their data. We’ve accomplished this, in part, by adding a new Europe (EU) region hosted in an AWS-based data center in Frankfurt, Germany. It will serve our growing base of customers using ThousandEyes’ cloud and Internet intelligence technology in the European Union (EU) and the broader Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. Once provisioned, ThousandEyes will never transfer an organization’s outside of its region.

The security and privacy management framework of the ThousandEyes platform globally provides rigorous and comprehensive protection. And the expansion of the EU Cloud Region will further support European customers that operate in heavily regulated industries, such as the banking sector, financial services, and government sector, where aspects including data residency and data sovereignty are key.

For more information on multi-region support, please look here or view the announcement blog here.

Additional Updates

Updated Cloud Agent Locations: We have added Cloud Agents to multiple geographic locations as well as embedded ISP locations.


Join Us for a Demo 

We look forward to demonstrating even more improvements during our next ThousandEyes New Features Roundup in the near future. In the meantime, if these updates interest you and you’re eager to see a demo, you can request one here.


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