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Key Criteria for Evaluating Network Observability Solutions v1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Summary

Network Observability is a category of platforms and tools that go beyond device-centric network monitoring to provide truly relevant, end-to-end visibility into and intelligence about all traffic traveling across your network. They provide comprehensive visibility, whether your infrastructure is on-premises, in the cloud, or anywhere else.

Network Observability is a next-generation technology that stems from traditional monitoring and management. Instead of revolutionizing traditional network monitoring, Network Observability focuses on incremental developments and maturity. Network Observability tools aim to fill the gaps and resolve the shortfalls of conventional Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) solutions, such as interoperability issues, limited visualization, manual reporting, limited troubleshooting tools, and lack of actionable insights.

Network Observability brings additional value over NPM from two perspectives:

Better use of IT resources: When the network can answer questions about itself, IT professionals no longer have to hunt for the right information, generate reports, or perform manual troubleshooting. They can instead leverage their skills and talents in proactive decision-making and other higher-value activities.

Business-oriented IT results: Efficient monitoring and management can improve network optimization and ensure consistent network performance by enabling capacity planning, reducing mean time to recovery (MTTR), enabling root cause analysis, and even automating troubleshooting. Truly comprehensive observability can tie all of these results back to business drivers and provide insight directly to all stakeholders, not just technical staff.

Network Observability is specifically aimed at managing complex networks. These are typically found in:

  • Large national and multinational enterprises whose networks cover wide geographic areas often rely on heterogeneous equipment and must deal with the complexities of XaaS and hybrid clouds.
  • Communications Service Providers such as carriers, Internet, and Cloud Service Providers who manage their network performance as well as their customers’ network performance.

Network Observability tools are becoming mandatory for critical infrastructure, which require uptime levels greater than 99%.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Vendor Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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