With data signals coming from every direction, it’s getting harder to monitor how well your digital infrastructure is (or isn’t) working.

In my 17 years at Cisco, I’ve learned a few things. For example:

  • Life comes at you fast, data comes even faster
  • The ability to respond to new information quickly and effectively is crucial
  • Success in any enterprise ultimately comes down to your ability to ensure the best possible customer experience, and to do it consistently, time after time

At Cisco AppDynamics, we believe every customer interaction should be delightful. And not just for our own customers, but also for the people they do business with. Every application, connection, transaction, download, and service experience should work exactly as designed.

Of course, that’s not possible. Some days it feels like technology has a mind of its own. Mistakes happen. Connections get dropped. Bugs are unfortunate but inevitable. It’s how quickly you can identify and resolve these problems that makes the difference between industry leaders and everyone else. That’s why Full-Stack Observability (FSO) plays such a crucial role in ensuring the best possible customer experience, as well as more efficient business operations.

In an increasingly sophisticated digital environment, observability is really the ability to absorb and manage everything, everywhere, all at once, across the entire technology stack. That includes telemetry coming from network and edge devices, on-premises and cloud applications, ERP logs, API calls, website activity, threat intelligence reports, and more.

Full-Stack Observability allows organizations to analyze tens of millions of data signals pouring in each day and use them to minimize downtime, reduce business risk by making applications more secure, and optimize IT operations by intelligently allocating workloads.

It’s a maddeningly complex problem to solve, but the result is well worth the effort: smoother operations, lower costs, happier customers. It really is that simple.

Why Cisco?

A lot of people ask me what Cisco brings to the observability problem. ‘Don’t you guys make networking gear?’ is something I’ve heard more than once. I have two answers to that question. One is that we have a strong legacy of solving knotty technology challenges. And two, our robust set of FSO tools is second to none.

Allow me to start with a bit of history. Many people don’t realize that the Internet started out as a heap of disparate communications protocols like TCP/IP, BGP, Telnet, and others that couldn’t communicate with each other. More than 30 years ago Cisco built a router that handled all these languages fluently, helping to create the modern Internet. Just as you probably don’t think about your plumbing until the toilet backs up, most people don’t think about what it took to make all these things work together seamlessly, 99.9% of the time.

Many people look at us as a hardware company, and with good reason. Cisco servers are an irreplaceable element of the global Internet, handling more than 200 billion DNS requests each day. But software is core to our DNA. In fact, Cisco has thousands of engineers are dedicated to software development.

Just as we solved the problem of how to get different Internet protocols to speak the same language three decades ago, we’re doing something similar for the billions of data signals pouring into operations centers today.

We’ve combined AppDynamics’ segment-defining application monitoring solution with our Cloud Observability Platform, ThousandEyes end-to-end network visibility, and support for the Open Telemetry standard (OTel), allowing us to see deeper and further into digital infrastructure than any other entity.

Our acquisition of Splunk  —  the industry leader in collecting and analyzing metrics, events, logs, and traces (MELT) — enables us to help enterprises move from detection and response to prediction and prevention.

I would challenge you to find any other vendor in this space with as complete a suite of observability solutions, or a deeper commitment to making FSO an integral part of IT operations.

Awareness and agility

I’ve spent most of my career at Cisco working in the collaboration space. Since I took over as Managing Director of AppDynamics & Observability for EMEA last year, I’ve been scaling a fairly steep learning curve. (Speaking personally, going deep on FSO is also a bit like absorbing everything, everywhere, all at once.)

But I genuinely feel this is an exciting time for observability. Every enterprise is dealing with increasingly complex digital infrastructure, and the ones who come out ahead will have a rigorous focus on the digital experience. They will need a platform that lets them know what’s happening to their infrastructure 24/7 – on premise, in the cloud, at the edge, and all points in between. These are areas where I believe Cisco can dominate.

I’m a huge believer in Peter Drucker’s mantra, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. That’s the basis for virtually all the management philosophies that came after — Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement Continuous Delivery, James Clear’s Atomic Habits, Steven Covey, take your pick. They all boil down to the same thing: awareness and agility. You need the ability to understand what’s happening in real time and respond appropriately. And that’s what FSO enables.

I’d love to continue this discussion and hear your thoughts about the pain points you and your customers are experiencing, and how observability solutions could help.

You can reach me at fsosales@cisco.com.


Vaughan Klein

Managing Director for Cisco Observability

Cisco AppDynamics