Cisco Enhances Full-Stack Observability by Integrating with Splunk

An indication of how impactful the Splunk buy could be for Cisco and its customers can be seen in the companies’ plans to integrate their observability platforms. At this week’s Cisco Live event, execs from Cisco and Splunk detailed plans to create what they called a “unified observability experience” to help customers manage applications across on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.

Cisco closed the Splunk acquisition in May, spending $28 billion to gain the vendor’s wide-reaching technology for searching, monitoring and analyzing system data.

Splunk describes its Observability Cloud as a full-stack, OpenTelemetry-native SaaS platform. Customers use the platform to monitor and troubleshoot their infrastructure, application performance, and end-user experiences. Using AI technology, the platform can spot anomalies and help customers identify the root cause of an error or performance problem, according to Splunk.

Cisco’s Full-Stack Observably Platform is designed to collect and correlate data from application, networking, infrastructure, security, and cloud domains to provide a clear view of what’s going.

Cisco’s enhanced platform now incorporates cutting-edge performance monitoring technology from its previous acquisitions. Notably, its ThousandEyes technology offers insights into Internet routing and cloud connectivity, while AppDynamics focuses on monitoring the performance of applications. The integration of these tools with Splunk is set to greatly improve the platform’s observability features. According to Cisco, future development of AppDynamics technology will now occur under the Splunk framework.

At the Cisco Live event, Cisco president and former Splunk CEO Gary Steele highlighted that the fusion of Splunk, AppDynamics, and ThousandEyes creates a significant edge for both Cisco and Splunk in the observability industry.

Tom Casey, senior vice president of products and technology at Splunk, emphasized the depth and detail provided by Splunk’s capabilities, enhancing the understanding of network activities. He expressed excitement about the potential to augment Splunk’s system with extensive Cisco network data and myriad data points, offering clients a unique view of their operational status and underlying mechanisms.

Experts agree that the effective amalgamation of observability features from both companies will be paramount in determining the success of this strategic alliance.

“There is a ton of accessible enterprise data, analytics and telemetrics available to Cisco and Splunk, and what will be key for them is to integrate everything effectively – because customers don’t need a package full of different products that they need to figure out how to incorporate and use somehow,” said Neal Anderson, vice president of cloud, infrastructure and AI with technology services provider World Wide Technology.

Integration work has already begun. For example, one new development will let customers integrate logs from Splunk Platform with Cisco AppDynamics and Splunk Observability Cloud for faster troubleshooting across on-prem and hybrid environments, Casey stated.

“This integration lets SaaS and on-prem customers centralize logs and analyze them in context. With this integration, ITOps and engineering teams will be able to view multiple telemetry types for their traditional environments in a single interface, to perform in-context troubleshooting for three-tier and microservices-based applications,” Casey stated.

Another new feature will integrate application performance and business transaction metrics as well as alerts from Cisco AppDynamics with Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) to reduce alert noise and correlate IT health with business KPIs. “By integrating Cisco AIOps with Splunk IT Service Intelligence, alerts and events from Cisco networking devices and infrastructure can be correlated alongside the broader IT estate, for more accurate in-context troubleshooting inclusive of network signals,” Casey stated.

In addition, the unified package will feature new single sign-on (SSO) credentials to help streamline shared workflows between Cisco AppDynamics and Splunk.

IT organizations are looking to observability tools to help them spot anomalies, preempt performance problems, and remediate security events more quickly. But Cisco/Splunk and other vendors face challenges delivering on the promise of network observability tools and overcoming obstacles related to data integration and telemetry, for example.

“Network observability solutions must provide detailed intelligence and insights to not only assure network integrity but also contribute to complementary and overarching efforts focused on heightened digital infrastructure resiliency,” IDC stated in its recent report, “Top Trends in Network Observability: Heightening Intelligence, Inspection, Insights, Integration, and Innovation.”

“Success of network observability solutions rests on their ability to offer detailed insights into the cloud, bolster security postures and processes, deliver the best user experience, support integration with other management and observability tools, and serve to bolster staff capabilities, productivity, and impact,” IDC stated.

Significant hurdles persist in the accumulation, examination, and distribution of management data, as noted by a research agency.

“The collection of network intelligence employs various techniques, and the clarity of network insights heavily depends on the procurement of data that is accurate, timely, and comprehensive. To create a unified view of network status and elements, network observability systems need to utilize every tool at their disposal, ranging from logs and polling to telemetry and synthetic examinations,” IDC mentioned.

Additional updates from Cisco Live include:

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