Applications are no longer just in the data center, connected to campuses and branches by dedicated connections with guaranteed SLAs. Today’s workforce needs to access cloud, SaaS, and data center applications from anywhere, at any time. The surging use of cloud computing, branch and microsite offices, and work from home means that the public internet is the WAN for many use cases.

One of Enterprise IT’s highest priorities is the need to deliver high-quality experiences for business-critical applications to a very distributed base of employees, partners, and customers. However, if NetOps can’t see and manage problems both inside and outside the enterprise network, application experience is out of their total control. From Enterprise IT’s point of view, there is a lack of observability for cloud and SaaS applications. Up until now, there has been no single internet and cloud intelligence platform to obtain insights for remediation for applications distributed from data center to multicloud to edge.

ThousandEyes end to end visibility
ThousandEyes End-to-End Visibility

Keeping a ThousandEyes on Network Performance

ThousandEyes is an innovative provider of intelligent agents for monitoring enterprise and internet connectivity that joined Cisco in 2020. ThousandEyes provides cloud-ready monitoring for enterprise networks and applications that depend on distributed architectures, multi-cloud platforms, and a complex web of APIs and third-party services. The correlated visibility across network, application, routing and device layers gives IT unprecedented observability into how the performance of Internet and WAN connectivity impacts application experience. ThousandEyes also provides network assurance by analyzing and recording connectivity, hop by hop path monitoring, BGP monitoring, DNS tests, and VOIP tests, for example. ThousandEyes provides heightened network visibility with path visualization throughout the campus all the way to service providers to public clouds to branches.

ThousandEyes on Catalyst 9000

ThousandEyes Agents in the Campus and Branch

Visibility into performance of applications and network components at the campus and branches is important not only to keep operations running smoothly but also to reduce the need for truck rolls to send technicians to investigate glitches in intertwined services.

To obtain maximum visibility, ThousandEyes agents need to permeate the network infrastructure. While they are lightweight containerized components, the agents need a “room with a view” to do their job. However, organizations that rely on lean branches to support their distributed workforce don’t typically have the space or local expertise to install and manage extra computing resources that are required to run containerized applications—which is exactly why cloud and SaaS applications have become so critical to distributed business operations.

Catalyst 9000 Runs Containerized ThousandEyes Agents

To provide ThousandEyes agents with a view into the enterprise network, the Cisco Application Framework enables containerized applications to run directly on Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches, no extra hardware, such as SSDs, are required. Since Catalyst switches are the most widely installed enterprise switches, it’s a simple step to increase observability by activating the ThousandEyes agents. Because ThousandEyes agents are now integrated and preinstalled directly into the Catalyst 9300 and 9400 IOS-XE software image, there is no need for additional hardware or separate software licenses to take advantage of an instant increase in observability.

ThousandEyes on Catalyst 9000

Cisco DNA Subscriptions Provide Access to Continuous Innovation

Cisco is committed to delivering ongoing innovation and value to our customers by continuously enhancing our switching solutions with new capabilities through Cisco DNA subscriptions. Embedding ThousandEyes as an agent running natively on a Catalyst switch is just a first step in bringing application hosting benefits to customers with existing and future Catalyst switches.

To make it even more convenient for existing Catalyst networks, a ThousandEyes subscription is included in Cisco DNA Advantage and Premier licenses for Cisco Catalyst 9300 and 9400 Series Switches. Already have 9300/9400 switches installed? You can use ThousandEyes for the remainder of your existing Cisco DNA subscription—just upgrade the switch image in the locations you want to monitor. New Catalyst 9300 and 9400 switches will have the ThousandEyes agent pre-installed, ready to run with the appropriate DNA subscription.

From campus networks to internet-as-WAN to branches across the world, end-to-end visibility is needed to properly administer SaaS and cloud-based services that are critical to business but lie outside IT’s direct visibility. By combining ThousandEyes deep and far-seeing observability with the widely deployed Catalyst campus and branch office switches, organizations gain immediate insights into service delivery—from switch to cloud to SaaS, and everything in between. Simply turn it on with Cisco DNA Advantage or Premier for extended insights into your entire network and beyond.


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Anoop Vetteth

VP, Product Management, Enterprise Switching and Software Solutions