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Kentik is #7 ranked solution in top Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Protection tools and #20 ranked solution in best Network Monitoring Tools. IT Central Station users give Kentik an average rating of 10 out of 10. Kentik is most commonly compared to ThousandEyes:Kentik vs ThousandEyes. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is Kentik?

Kentik's AIOps Network Traffic Intelligence platform unifies network operations, performance, security, and business intelligence. 

With a purpose-built big data engine delivered as public or private SaaS, Kentik captures a high-resolution view of actual network traffic data and enriches it with critical application and business data, so every network event or analysis can be tied to revenue & costs, customer & user experience, performance & risk.

Kentik Buyer's Guide

Download the Kentik Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Kentik Customers

Pandora, Yelp, Neustar, Box, University of Washington, Zoom, Tata, and Cogent. 

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PeterCarlsten
Interconnection Manager at a music company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Drill-down functionality and easy-to-use interface help us to quickly get all the data we need

Pros and Cons

  • "We're pretty happy with the API functionality. It's web, and it's very simple to set up queries. It has served us well and you don't need to be an expert on the API or the product to set these things up."
  • "We asked for a way, regarding the potential networks that exist, to hook Kentik up with external tools like peering DBs to correlate things together and see what we can do... This is all in the [next] beta now."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for traffic management. And when we want to set up new locations or a new market with our own CDN, we use it to scope what kind of internet traffic there is and what kinds of connections we should prepare. 

We also use it for some alerting and reporting, like if traffic shifts very much on the link or toward a certain ISP. That could potentially tell us that there are problems or something that we should check out. 

We're not super-advanced users, but we also use the API in the product. We have some tooling that we've written around these use cases that pulls data from the Kentik database.

We send the dataflow to Kentik, in their cloud. We don't have any software installed on-prem here or in our data centers. As a company, we've always tended toward not having to manage more hardware and software than necessary. We're extremely happy with having it in the cloud and we're not afraid of sending this data to them in the cloud. We pretty much trust them.

How has it helped my organization?

Using the drill-down into detailed views of network activity, we can see where we might have bad performance. Maybe it's in the US and is from a specific ISP. Seeing that we have general bad performance from them doesn't help us that much when troubleshooting with them. When we drill down, we can see that the users we have the most problems with are from this city or that state.

Also, some of these tools can be pretty complex, but what I really like is that when we get new team members we can easily onboard them into the tool. They can be up and running and doing fairly advanced queries very quickly. That's been a positive for us.

Kentik's API has really helped us as well. We have tooling where we can look at a certain POP and then pull the data out of Kentik and make decisions on that in another application. We also use it for cost calculations, since we have the real-time traffic data and we have a pretty good understanding of what the different links cost, and what the data costs on those links. The tooling pulls real-time data or weekly averages and we do calculations on how we're doing per gigabyte in cost.

I can only guess at how much the solution decreases our mean time to remediation, compared to if we had written our own tools. We have had Kentik from day one. I can only imagine a world where we had tried to develop this ourselves and how that would have looked. Compared to what we would have had, I would say it has decreased our MTTR by three times. It all comes down to the drill-down functionality and how easy it is to use the interface; all of the data that you can get out of it very quickly, with all the different graphing options. I would guess if we had developed our own tool, it wouldn't be nearly that advanced where we could add multiple datasets and do graphing. We probably would have had to do a lot of SQL queries ourselves to get to whatever we wanted, especially if we had trickier things to try and remediate. But it's hard for me to say since we've used it for so long.

It also helps with our total network uptime. The anomaly detector is pretty good at detecting weird things, like when traffic drops. But we also have a lot of our own tooling for this. Kentik is not a monitoring solution for us in that sense. It's more on top of what we have. But we have seen weird things where traffic has moved, situations which we probably wouldn't have caught with our own systems. So it gives additional benefits on top of the more rudimentary or standard tooling that we have.

What is most valuable?

For us, it's valuable to get a general understanding of how we serve different networks on the internet from our CDN. We're extremely happy with the different classifications you can make and also the ease of drilling down. It's a very easy tool to use. You only need 10 minutes and you pretty much have the hang of it, and that's really good.

We're pretty happy with the API functionality. It's web, and it's very simple to set up queries. It has served us well and you don't need to be an expert on the API or the product to set these things up.

It also detects anomalies proactively, but the same is not so true when it comes to real network problems, since they tend to just happen. Sometimes we can see performance degrading over time or we can see traffic drops where we're not expecting them and that could be a problem, but it's not very proactive in that case. But it's pretty good. In fairly real-time we get alerts and can act on them.

What needs improvement?

They've added a lot of features in the beta product that is coming out, things we told them about before. We asked for a way, regarding the potential networks that exist, to hook Kentik up with external tools like peering DBs to correlate things together and see what we can do.

They've been working on a cost calculator, which would be great for us, so we don't have to do it ourselves. 

This is all in the beta now. Those have been my main issues so far, and since we're not a super-large, global internet service provider, we probably use 20 percent of all the features, or even less. So there aren't any major issues that annoy me on a day-to-day basis. We're extremely happy and it seems like they're listening to whatever feedback we have given in the past.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Kentik for about five years. We were one of the early customers.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Today, we only have 12 devices. We're probably not even close to reaching any limits. I would guess if we had thousands of them it might be a different story.

In terms of expanding our usage, we should probably look at the cloud part of the product. The DDoS part might be interesting as well. It's something that we haven't had time to really dig into. It's there and it's free, so why not? But then, our network setup is fairly simple. We don't operate any global backbones or the like. That's why we don't use some of its features. And we're not an internet service provider, so we don't need to understand a million things about what our users are doing.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have never used their tech support, so that's probably a very good thing. We have never had any weird problems with the product where we had to file support tickets or anything like that. It's just been smooth sailing for us. I don't know if we've been lucky or if the product is just super-stable.

I run into Kentik people at different conferences around the world, so we usually sit down and talk. We don't spend that much time with our account manager. Since we've been a customer for so long we have met everyone in the company from the early days. So we have pretty good contacts.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We made the decision to go with Kentik instead of building something ourselves, and that was mainly due to the graphing features of the product, which are really excellent; the drill-down features. For us to develop something like that ourselves would have taken a lot of time.

It was in their very early days. We met Kentik at some conference and we thought, "Hey, this looks like a cool product and something that we probably need." So we started a trial and were very happy with the product and we continued using it. We really like that they understood our use case. The people who worked at Kentik back then were people who came from the same background as ours, with CDNs and content delivery.

We were extremely happy with the features; they were exactly what we were after. Back then, one big plus for us was not having to operate our own hardware, like appliances, in data centers. Since we're an internet company, we're not afraid of sending data to the cloud, a process which might concern a bank, for example. It was pretty much a no-brainer to continue using the product.

How was the initial setup?

Back then, the setup was really straightforward. There was not much configuration to be done on our side and then data just magically appeared in the portal.

Our deployment took about a day. We only had a few routers and a few POPs back then. We did the setup in three or four locations, so it was fairly small. Today, everything is completely automated on our side. When we set up new locations, we make sure that all the configuration is done automatically. The only thing we need to do is to go in and add the site in Kentik. Pretty much everything else happens automatically on our end. So there really isn't anyone involved in deploying it, per se.

We didn't really have an implementation strategy.

Given that it's a SaaS solution, it also doesn't really require anybody to work to maintain it or administrate it. We push data in and it goes away after 30 days. On an ad hoc basis, where we need a dashboard or something specific, someone may spend an hour creating that in the tool. That's not really maintenance, it's more our using the product.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on our investment. We need to have a tool like this and I could just imagine, if we were to look at the engineering team's hours that would need to be spent on writing something — if we wanted to do it ourselves in-house — that the return on investment is from not having to deal with that and maintain that system. And, of course, if we can spot errors fairly quickly... because if you mess up big, it costs a lot of money and fast. It's pretty good to be able to see those kinds of things in almost in real-time. It's been good for us.

We would probably have to spend a couple of hours per week to maintain an in-house tool. It really depends on how big or how complex the solution we would have built would be. But to be on par with Kentik, that would have been a pretty huge task for us to do and maintain.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't look into any of their competitors at the time. It was very early days. We were in the build-up phase. I know some of their competitors and they're more clumsy when it comes to the graphing part. And we didn't want appliances. For us, a company that doesn't operate that many routers, pricing is not a huge deal, which it could be for other companies with thousands and thousands of devices to monitor. For us, it was a very good tradeoff to not have to deal with the on-prem hardware.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would depend on the network and what your use case is, but I would not underestimate the importance of how easy it is to use. If I were to sell this product to someone else, that's exactly what I would tell them: how easy it is to use. Easy tools get used. If you have a beast of a system where it takes 20 minutes to get the query out, then you're probably not going to use it as much.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using Kentik is that when it's easy to drill down into data, you tend to do it more. We have spotted so many things that we would have never had spotted if this had been a less "real-time-ish" product.

Collecting data is usually very simple, but presenting it in a good way such that people can actually access it and model it as they want, that's the tricky part. Having a tool that is as easy as Kentik is to work with, gives the team motivation to add more stuff to look at.

We don't use its months of historical data for forensic work. We're using it as a real-time snapshot. You can buy the ability to go back further in time. With our license we only have the 30-day period but we rarely even look at 30 days. We usually look at a week to get the cycle of the traffic peaks that we have when people use our service on the weekends. That usually gives us a pretty good average for a month. Of course, we have other tools that we have built ourselves to do more long-term analysis, if we want to see how our traffic has grown.

We also don't make use of Kentik's ability to overlay multiple datasets, at least today. We probably should look at more of these things. We only use it for traffic management or to get an understanding of our traffic flows from the private CDN. We don't look at any trap detection. We do have a very large Google Cloud installed base where we could potentially use that, but we haven't gotten around to doing it.

We have eight people who look at Kentik. They're all working in content delivery. We don't expose it to managers or senior managers. Our structure is a bit different than some companies; we try to solve a problem very close to the problem. So it's basically my team that looks at it and they make the decisions. It's not like we have dashboards for managers and things like that. We do have the cost calculations, but we abstract that away by writing our own tooling to get the data out. It's just network engineers and the product managers for the content delivery network who look at it.

I would rate Kentik a strong nine out of 10. There is always room for improvement here and there, but overall, for our use case, it's been working really well. We haven't had any real issues. I could imagine that if you have a bigger, more complex network, you could run into some issues, but we haven't. 

I like the fact that they come from the same background as we do and that they understand, at least from my perspective, the content part and what it's all about. They've been very easy to work with and very keen to listen to feedback. I am super-happy with the product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
AdamDavenport
Director, Interconnection Strategy at GTT
Vendor
Top 5
Enables us to gauge and better monetize our customer traffic

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features have been anything around traffic engineering: being able to determine the source or destination of a surge of traffic, whether it's DDoS-related, or a customer just happened to have a sudden uptick in traffic. Being able to tell where that's coming from or where it's going to enables us to do things based on that."
  • "They're moving more in a direction where they are saying, "Hey, here's information that you may be interested in or may a need," before the question has to explicitly be asked. Continuing to move in that direction would be a good thing."

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use it for visibility into our traffic but we use it for DDoS detection as well.

How has it helped my organization?

We're the third-largest tier-one in the world but, prior to deploying Kentik, we were flying largely blind regarding our IP traffic. We didn't have any kind of visibility into where we should be upgrading capacities. Gaining visibility into the traffic with a network at our scale has been huge.

We've been able to do traffic analysis when we're looking at bringing on a customer or, more specifically, when renewing and re-terming a customer. We can take a look at their traffic profiles and put dollars and cents around it. What does it cost us to haul this customer's traffic? Are we making money on this customer's traffic? How much are we making? That allows us to gauge where we can do things, re-term-wise, and still make money. 

We can also do customer prospecting. We can look at our traffic and say, "Hey, here's traffic, either to or from networks, that aren't on net. If we were to bring them on net we would be monetizing traffic that we're currently handling either for free or in some other way. If we were to bring it on, we'd be making money from it.

It has also helped our organization to save money in backbone planning. Previously, if a specific path was full, we would have to throw more bandwidth at it. I think that's what a lot of networks still do. Kentik allows us to see where traffic is really going and coming from. So we've been able to be much smarter about where we choose to upgrade paths. Throwing bandwidth at it costs adding however many more waves. If the traffic goes between A and C instead of A and B and that path happens to be $1,000 a month cheaper, we can make those kinds of changes. We've definitely been able to save money that way.

In addition, the drill-down into detailed views of network activity very much helps to quickly pinpoint locations and causes. We have a handful of saved queries, especially for some of our guys in the NOC who may not be senior-network-engineering-level types, that can be run. It lets them see things at a high level and say, "Okay, there's a spike here." They can drill in from there and get what they're actually after. It's generally DDoS-related in that specific scenario.

We have also used Kentik's months of historical data for forensic work. It tells us what the heck happened. When you're in it, you're just trying to do what you can to get things working again. That historical view allows us to go back and say, "Okay, we had this major outage last week. We know that it was partially due to this, but what actually happened and what was impacted by what was going on?"

Kentik has also decreased our mean time to remediation, with DDoS especially, but also with peering-related issues. We're able to identify and do stuff there as well, more quickly than we were previously. Shooting from the hip, I would say it has decreased our MTTR by 20 percent.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features have been anything around traffic engineering: being able to determine the source or destination of a surge of traffic, whether it's DDoS-related, or a customer just happened to have a sudden uptick in traffic. Being able to tell where that's coming from or where it's going to enables us to do things based on that. Prior to having Kentik we were totally blind to that level of detail.

We haven't seen anything else that comes even close to Kentik's real-time visibility across our network infrastructure, and we've demo'ed everything under the sun. We're fans.

We also use it to ingest metrics, log data at scale and business context information, for network analytics, primarily around traffic profitability analysis. For that purpose, it works pretty well. We're able to get traffic statistics, in an adjustable way, out of Kentik and then we marry them with our financials. Bing, bang, boom, we know what our traffic actually costs us.

What needs improvement?

Version 4 of the platform is good and going in the right direction. It's starting to answer questions before they're asked. The mindset to date has been, "Hey I've got a question. Let me go Kentik to get the answer." They're moving more in a direction where they are saying, "Hey, here's information that you may be interested in or may need," before the question has to explicitly be asked. Continuing to move in that direction would be a good thing.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Kentik for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been great.

We get emails every now and again that say, "We're going to be doing something," or "We've got maintenance," or, "There was a five-minute outage." We've never been impacted by it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Using it as a service, it scales indefinitely for our use purposes. That's why we did the as-a-service solution. Scaling is their problem. We didn't want to worry about it. From our vantage point, it scales to infinity.

All in, there are between 30 to 40 people who use it on a regular basis. We certainly have more users in the system than that, but there are 30 to 40 at a given time. They are mainly our engineering which includes the peering guys, myself and my team, and our core backbone guys who handle mostly long-haul stuff. Within our NOC for troubleshooting, there are a number of people who use it. And we've created some custom dashboards for our sales and sales engineering folks. Those dashboards make data easy for them to digest. They can go in via a nice, pretty portal. They type in a network they might be interested in and then all the data that they could possibly want, in an easily digestible format, is right in their faces.

We definitely have plans to increase usage. We'd like to get it into the hands of more of our salespeople. Only a small fraction of them are currently using it, mainly the guys in the carrier space. I'd love to get it into the hands of our enterprise people as well. But there are limitations on our side, including available cycles to get our guys up to speed on that kind of thing. The other thing we've also looked at doing is potentially opening it up to our customers and giving them a view into their traffic. We haven't gotten there yet, but those are things we've looked into and are looking into.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our interactions with their tech support are very good. Response times are generally measured in minutes, which is nice to see. You don't see that very often. They take ownership when we have issues. But it's usually more questions from our side than anything else. They're on it. They actually care, which you don't see very often in customer support areas.

When there is something missing, we are generally able to go to them and work with them on it. Within a reasonable amount of time, it's generally added. At the moment, we've got what we're looking for.

The last issue they helped us with was due to the fact that we do a lot of traffic engineering, especially as it relates to peering. Once we got Kentik we'd say, "Hey this peer is congested. Let's go take a look at what the source addresses are or the destination addresses are so that we can do some traffic engineering around that." They added in a mechanism that allows you to do that whole exercise with the click of one button, which made life for that specific path a whole lot easier.

We communicated that to our customer success rep.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using a homebrew solution previously, which was not NetFlow based; it was BTU-based, which was vendor-specific. We are, obviously, a multi-vendor shop, so it only gave us limited visibility.

We switched to have the ability to see much more than what we were seeing. Kentik was platform-independent. There was also the fact that compared to what they were offering, nothing else on the market had the same feature set. Kentik already had more, and that was three years ago. They have been innovators in the space and have continued to push on the available features since. And most important, for us, was the price point. It was highly competitively priced. It was a no-brainer.

We did look into the on-prem option. Within our group, we're just not set up to do that. We're not server guys. And the pricing on the as-a-service-solution was such that it still made sense to go that route for us.

How was the initial setup?

It took us about a day-and-a-half to fully deploy. It wasn't that big a deal.

We had to roll out the device-level config that would start exporting the data to Kentik, but that was incredibly straightforward. There was no impact to doing so. We automated that and were able to push it out to our entire network in about that day-and-a-half, and we were fully up and going without any kind of hitch.

On our side, it was just me who was involved. It was super-simple. I wrote a script, it deployed, and we were up and going.

And there is no overhead when it comes to maintenance.

What was our ROI?

It's hard to quantify ROI. How do you put the numbers around our use? Anecdotally, we definitely feel we're getting value from it. We are a fiscally conservative organization, and when we've renewed with Kentik it's never even been a question. It's, "Yes, we're renewing."

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Without speaking directly about numbers, it's about the cost of a cross-connect, per device per month. Of course, some people are paying $50 a month for cross-connect and some people paying $500 a month for cross-connect. With volume, etc., it's somewhere in between. But with a network of our size and scale, we've got the volume such that we're able to get pretty aggressive pricing on things that we consume.

There are no other costs in addition to the licensing fee for us. It's one-and-done.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've checked out Arbor, SolarWinds; you name it, we've tried it. We've had some in-house-developed stuff that we tried for about a year. Kentik really blew everything out of the water.

Arbor had a lot of what we were looking for. The problem is that they quit innovating a decade ago, and their price is ridiculous. Arbor is also device-based. You have to stick a big, massive machine in your network and each of those only supports up to about five devices. We're in an environment where we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of core devices. So that obviously wouldn't have scaled.

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. The other solutions out there just don't compare. It has definitely been worth it for us. Anytime anyone asks us, we definitely recommend it.

We were expecting to be able to see and understand more about our traffic. I don't think any of us thought we would rely on it as much as we now do.

We have looked into making use of Kentik's ability to overlay multiple datasets onto our existing data and it's something we are thinking about. We're just not there yet within our organization.

It gives us visibility into stuff going on in our network but I don't think it necessarily helps uptime. Where it could help uptime is for specific customers when it's DDoS-related. It helps us quickly determine what's going on with DDoS, where we couldn't have before. But for our network, as a whole, it just allows us to see what's going on. It doesn't do anything itself.

It doesn't improve on the number of attacks that we need to defend. The internet is a wild place. With a network of our scale, there is something under attack literally every minute of every day, every day of the year. What it does is allow us to see quickly — immediately — is what is actually going on, and then take actions around that.

I rate it a nine out of 10. We're happy with it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Learn what your peers think about Kentik. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MP
Director - Site Reliability Engineering at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Top 20
Gives us critical, real-time visualization of our global backbone

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the valuable features is the intuitive nature of building out reports, and then triggering actions based on specific metrics from those reports. It has a really good UI and the ability to surface data through the reporting functions is pretty good. That's helped a lot in the security space."
  • "I believe they're already working on this, but I would love for them to create better integrations from network flow data to application performance — tracing — so that we could overlay that data more readily. With more companies going hybrid, flow logs and flow data, whether it be VPC or on-prem, matched with application performance and trace data, is pretty important."

What is our primary use case?

We use it almost exclusively for flow data. We use that for a variety of things from network optimization to network capacity to security events, including DDoS protection, etc.

We're using the SaaS version.

How has it helped my organization?

The drill-down into detailed views of network activity helps us to quickly pinpoint locations and causes. Anecdotally, it has decreased our mean time to remediation. On a per-incident basis, it could save anywhere from five minutes to 60 minutes.

We also believe it has improved our total network uptime. We haven't done any direct before-and-after comparison, though.

Again, anecdotally, it has sped up our security team's ability to respond to attacks that did not surface as readily, prior to having the flow log data.

What is most valuable?

One of the valuable features is the intuitive nature of building out reports, and then triggering actions based on specific metrics from those reports. It has a really good UI and the ability to surface data through the reporting functions is pretty good. That's helped a lot in the security space. If you get a massive, 100 GB attack coming through, saturating links, you can surface that really quickly and then act to engage DDoS protection or other mitigations from the IPS.

The real-time visibility across our network infrastructure is really good. One of the things that we love it for is our global backbone visualization. Being able to see that utilization in real-time is pretty critical for us.

It also proactively detects network performance degradation and things like availability issues and anomalies when used in concert with the SevOne network management system. In conjunction with that — with all of our polling and availability data coming from that NMS — the flow data provides that type of insight.

We also use Kentik's months of historical data for forensic work. We do 90 days.

What needs improvement?

I believe they're already working on this, but I would love for them to create better integrations from network flow data to application performance — tracing — so that we could overlay that data more readily. With more companies going hybrid, flow logs and flow data, whether it be VPC or on-prem, matched with application performance and trace data, is pretty important.

The other area would be supplanting companies like SevOne and other companies that are really good in the NMS space, specifically for SNMP data.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've had it since before I took over this space and took over Kentik, so 2017 is when the initial contract started. We're going on three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been very good. There was only one outage or impacting event that I can remember in the past year. It took them a couple of days to fix it, but the impact was remediated through some mitigation they did on their end to prevent it from causing us too much headache. They got it down to where it only affected some long-term reporting, which wasn't super-critical for us. It wasn't too big a deal.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, Kentik has scaled for what we've done with it and we haven't hit any scale issues to date. I don't know if we're a very large user compared to some of their other customers so I don't know if we're a good example to discuss scale, per se. But we haven't encountered any scale issues from our side.

We don't have plans to expand the use of Kentik, other than increasing licenses to gather flow data for more devices. We buy per license and we have 75 or 100 licenses. The size of the teams that use it is 100 people or so. They are security engineers, network engineers, network health analysts, and threat-intelligence folks.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their tech support is phenomenal. They tell us about an issue before we even get to it.

With the incident that I mentioned in the context of the solution's stability, even before we experienced any issues relating to it, they had already reached out to us and let us know what was going on. They gave us some timelines, and the ongoing communication kept us informed throughout the incident and was able to mitigate any kerfuffle from the executive layer. That can be a giant headache when dealing with those types of situations, but they managed it perfectly and were proactive with their communication and we didn't hear a peep from anyone about it.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup, but there is time involved for us to set up the checks for the flow data and to set up the reports. Depending on what someone is setting up, it could take five minutes or it could take a couple of days. It just depends on what they're implementing with it.

What was our ROI?

I'm sure we have data available to show ROI but I don't have it available. Where Kentik is bringing us the most value is in the security realm, in terms of attack prevention, but ROI on that is hard to measure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There have been other folks in our company who have tested a variety of things. Prior to Kentik they went through an evaluation phase, from what I understand, and vetted out a variety of solutions. I believe that what made Kentik stand out was pricing and the intuitive user-experience.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson in using Kentik is that as we continue to use it and learn more, we learn about the use cases that are valuable. Initially, when I came over to the team, we weren't using it to its fullest capabilities. As we started to understand the capabilities and dive in, in specific areas with Kentik engineers themselves for customer success, we learned that we needed to change our thought process a little bit; how we thought about flow logs and what they could provide insight into.

My advice would be to leverage their customer success engineers upfront and don't let them go until you've hit all your use cases. Constantly be in touch with them to understand what some of the forward-thinking ideas are and what some of the cutting-edge use cases are that their other customers might be getting into.

We don't make use of Kentik's ability to overlay multiple datasets, like orchestration, public cloud infrastructure, network paths, or threat data onto our existing data. That is something we're evaluating. We're currently talking with a couple of teams that are moving to AWS, teams that would like to use Kentik to potentially capture VPC flow logs and overlay that with their application performance data. That is something that is currently on-hold, pending some other priority work. We will probably dive back into that, with that team, around mid-2020.

For maintenance, it requires less than one full-time engineer because it's a SaaS model.

In terms of overall vendor partnership, I'd give Kentik a nine out of 10. They're right up there as one of my best partners to work with, amongst all the contracts that I own. They're very customer-centric. They're always available. There's nothing too small or too big that I can't ask them to help with, and they seem to be willing and able to jump in no matter what. That customer focus — which is a theme across the digital world right now with companies trying to try to do more of that — Kentik does a really good job of embodying that.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
JoshNoll
Sr. Network Manager at Netskope
Real User
Allows us to analyze flows, pull specific data, and understand our traffic

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is being able to pull traffic patterns; to and from destinations. We're able to understand where our traffic is going, our top talkers from an AS set, as well as where our traffic's coming from."
  • "The only downside to Kentik, something that I don't like, is that it's great that it shows you where these anomalies lie, but it's not actionable. Kentik is valuable, don't get me wrong, but if it had an actionable piece to it..."

What is our primary use case?

For our purposes, where we're at today, and even in the past, to analyze flows and to pull specific data and understand where our traffic is going to — which AS path — that's primarily the value that I extrapolate from Kentik.

It's mostly on-prem. We do some stuff with GCP and AWS, but it was all primarily licensed-based, based on the number of pieces of equipment we have on-prem that we actually attach it to. We have over 55 edge nodes and about 10 compute nodes.

How has it helped my organization?

We can actually see what we're doing now. When it comes to making an educated decision on a number of things, if you have no visibility into what you're doing, you really can't make that decision. Collecting that data and having those metrics first-hand, in real-time, allows us to make an educated decision, versus an uneducated guess.

Kentik has proactively detected network performance degradation, availability issues, and anomalies. When we had no visibility. When we had congestion, things would actually happen and it was hard to troubleshoot as to where they were coming from. That was one of the first things we were able to do. 

A specific example is where we had a number of tenants that were created that were getting DDoS'ed. We couldn't understand how or why we were getting DDoS'ed because we had no visibility. We were guessing. Kentik opened up and showed us where the traffic was coming from and how we could go about mitigating.

It lets us understand what those attacks are, versus not actually knowing where they're coming from or how they're affecting us. It cuts down the time it takes for us to troubleshoot and actually mitigate by about 50 percent, guaranteed, if not more. But we're running a bunch of GRE IP sectionals. It's not like we have huge amounts of capacity. But for some of our large customers, it really has helped us detect what the problem is, instead of guessing.

At my previous company, it improved our total network uptime by about 20 percent. I wouldn't correlate that back to Kentik in my current company.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is being able to pull traffic patterns; to and from destinations. We're able to understand where our traffic is going, our top talkers from an AS set, as well as where our traffic's coming from.

What needs improvement?

The only downside to Kentik, something that I don't like, is that it's great that it shows you where these anomalies lie, but it's not actionable. Kentik is valuable, don't get me wrong, but if it had an actionable piece to it... I keep telling them, "Man, you need to find a way to make it actionable because if you could actually mitigate, it'd be huge what you guys could do."

The way things are, we have to have some sort of DDoS mitigation, like Arbor or something of that nature. Once the anomaly is detected, that's great, but then you have to mitigate. If Kentik had mitigation, or if they could acquire a solution and throw it onto their platform and have that portion available, that would be huge.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Kentik at this company for about a year and, prior to that, I used it a previous job for about another year.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Coming into this company, I felt they were flying blind, meaning they didn't really have anything from a monitoring standpoint. They didn't understand how decisions were made. And to make educated decisions, you actually have to have the proper tools in place. Kentik was a tool that I know works really well.

What other advice do I have?

Kentik has pretty good intuition, as a company, as to where the market sits and what they're into. They don't delude themselves. They really focus. They've been pretty good. I know the leadership over there and it seems like between Justin and Avi, they're good at what they do and that's why I'll continue to use them.

Anywhere I go, I'm going to use Kentik if I have the chance.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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