NetScout Systems: Scouting Networks to Provide Vantage Points

Anil Singhal, Founder & CEO When Henrik Balmer became the CIO of a startup, balancing the act of ‘managing risk and driving innovation’ was the first objective in his mind. However in a company with multiple business lines, the main challenge that awaited him was the lack of ‘a single vision of truth’ of what transpires over the company’s network and the overall service delivery infrastructure, which is necessary to manage the changing sands of technology. This fact hindered him—like many of his peers—from efficiently delivering new applications and services.

Balmer’s case is not unusual; it’s indeed widespread in the industry. As more and more business and activity is conducted over the network, CIOs are stuck without a way to understand how their new initiatives will impact the enterprise. Though the technology to overcome this constraint was virtually non-existent a few years ago, Anil Singhal, a futurist and a technocrat changed this reality. Through NetScout, Singhal introduced into the market the patented technology— Adaptive Service Intelligence (ASI)—which is prevalently used today by multi-million dollar enterprises, and delivers the ‘constant vision’ required by the CIOs to make impactful decisions. NetScout’s ASI technology not only delivers the CIOs with operational insight necessary to drive competitive differentiation, but also helps them in their transition into the virtual world, the cloud and beyond.

ASI Technology-The Core of Network Intelligence
Established on the belief that the ‘networks will be at the heart of businesses in the future’, NetScout, today has made ASI at the core of all its offerings. ASI technology allows CIOs to have a singular view of service delivery regardless of platform, architecture, OS or application. “ASI derives its power from the traffic data—the truth behind every network,” says Singhal, founder, president and CEO, NetScout Systems. “If you really want to get down to the root cause of any issue, you need to be analyzing the direct transactional traffic traversing the network; and ASI makes this possible,” he explains. ASI converts traffic data into the ‘intelligent’ metadata in real-time, which can then be used for service assurance, cyber security, Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data analytics.

"By understanding what normal behavior is, we can detect anomalous behaviour and get in behaviour and get in front of problems before they become problems."

The company’s patented technology provides trusted and comprehensive real-time insight into performance of the network, applications and user communities. All these capabilities enable CIOs and other IT staff members to predict, preempt, and resolve network and service delivery problems while facilitating the optimization and capacity planning of the network infrastructure. “By viewing the overall traffic patterns and analyzing transactional data, CIOs can better understand what the network and the other service delivery infrastructure components can handle and where they need to expand or contract in computing or bandwidth,” notes Singhal.

The most tangible ROI delivered by NetScout’s products is the time savings to IT staff—a by-product of fast problem resolution. Superior reporting and planning capabilities along with improved business productivity and reduced
operational expenses are some of the other perks that customers experience after deploying NetScout’s solutions.

Helping Companies Re-define Service Delivery

“Years of transformation have taken us to a position where our solutions are widely used to collect, correlate, contextually analyze and organize traffic data associated with key services within an enterprise, from key vantage points on the network,” says James P. McNiel, vice president, worldwide marketing, NetScout Systems. Enterprise IT can now monitor the performance of all their business services and gain a meaningful and contextual view of all interrelationships and dependencies across service delivery components. “This can go a long way in detecting anomalous behavior and get in front of problems before they become real problems,” McNiel adds.

With a unique and sustaining dual-market strategy, NetScout is effectively leveraging its strong expertise in understanding the delivery of IP-based applications and services to address the increasing level of challenges of today’s complex service delivery environments. Network and application analysis capabilities offered by NetScout provide deployment-proven valuable insight into the dynamic nature of data, voice and video services running across modern IP networks. They also protect the clients against service outages and assure a high quality user experience.

NetScout’s nGeniusONE platform enables IT organizations to dramatically improve service quality and evolve their service management model from a reactive approach—that responds to complaints—to a more proactive model—that enables IT to get in front of problems before they become problems. Consequently, IT organizations can assure the delivery of services from data center to the desktop while freeing up scarce resources to spend time on more strategic initiatives.

A Service-Centric Approach

The traditional bottom-up triage methodology based on multi-vendor silo-specific Network Performance Management (NPM), Application Performance Management (APM), and log data analytics tools is ineffective and does not offer service-centric triage capabilities to IT organizations. This approach relies on data, which is spread across multiple, disparate tools, and therefore, conceals the holistic real-time end-to-end view of the multi-tier service delivery infrastructure and the interrelationships and dependencies across its components.

Our patented ASI technology converts traffic data into structured metadata, in real-time

NetScout’s Service Delivery Management solutions address these limitations and bring rapid return on investment to IT organizations with proactive service triage methodology. This top-down methodology is based on one cohesive, consistent set of metadata for enterprise-wide services generated by the patented ASI technology, and offers a meaningful and contextual view of all interrelationships and dependencies across all service delivery components in physical, virtual, and hybrid environments. It allows IT to detect service
degradations in real-time and before large number of users is impacted.

Consequently, IT organizations can become more agile, effectively manage their health, better leverage their existing investments, and roll out new services with confidence. It also helps them to simplify managing operations, while reducing performance issues and costs.

Partnering For a Difference

NetScout’s success and leadership philosophy is proven by the number of customers and employees that have been with them for many years. According to research by Sevcik and Wetzel, NetScout is the vendor most frequently used by top-performing organizations. Leveraging a global direct sales force and a strong network of partners around the world, NetScout provides a comprehensive, sophisticated and widely-deployed service-delivery management portfolio toolset that has been chosen by top-tier Fortune 500 corporations. The target industries include financial services, healthcare, Internet, manufacturing, retail, technology, telecommunications, and utilities. Whereas, in the public sector, NetScout provides professional services for its federal government customers to help them meet the Security Technical Implementation Guides and Trusted Internet Connection specifications.

For an elaborate understanding of the functionalities of NetScout’s solutions, consider the case involving a major cable network operator in the United States. With the nationwide rollout of a new WiFi hotspot service, the client needed to assure the performance and availability of service, as well as provide meaningful data to understand usage patterns across more than 2000 hub sites located across multiple strategic locations. Because all existing users would have access to the WiFi infrastructure as part of their service bundle, maintaining satisfaction levels through this additional service was an essential consideration to, build brand loyalty, and reduce customer churn.

Implementing NetScout’s nGenius solution to monitor their WiFi services, the cable operator gained extensive visibility into the health and performance of their WiFi services. This assured service availability and gave the cable operator visibility into subscriber usages patterns of the WiFi service, which is critical for capacity planning. The solution also helped the client monitor their Video-on-Demand (VoD) service to assure application performance, service levels, and optimized network troubleshooting.

Unlocking Innovation for the Future

NetScout believes in making its products future proof. “The nGenius product line, which was started in 2000, is still viable and many times more powerful in 2015,” affirms McNiel. “This shows that we are very focused on growing our entire product line capabilities to monitor, analyze and protect networks of all sizes,” he explains. The company’s latest acquisition of Danaher’s Communications, is bound to add more technology diversity and help them enter into the Cyber Intelligence arena.

“We realized that taking on the responsibility of supporting service providers and enterprises alike in the new ‘always connected’ paradigm is a daunting task–one that takes substantial resources and global reach,” reveals Singhal. “To that end, we have embarked on a journey to acquire and integrate strategic assets from our partners to help accelerate our vision of a more reliable and predictable connected world,” he concludes.

NetScout Systems

Westford, MA

Anil Singhal, Founder & CEO

A provider of Service Delivery Management solutions enabling comprehensive end-to-end network and application assurance