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The incredible system that every IT department needs

By Sean Mitchell
Sat 24 Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Enterprise networks have become incredibly complex beasts. We don’t just care about a flashing light on a switch anymore; we care about the quality of service to our users.

This week I discovered a relatively unknown company with an incredible story. Like any great engineering company, the business units explained their products well but more needs to be done to get it's overall strategy explained to the market.

I’m talking about a Boston-based technology vendor called Netscout.

At the heart of their offering is a core product called InfiniStream. It started its evolution as a network probe. In 2007 Netscout acquired Network General, this helped push the product forward. It’s now a powerhouse repository device that collects, hosts and organises data. In particular network and security data from your enterprise.

As the network became more sophisticated, the device has extended from just checking connectivity and protocols to the point where hundreds of different services or application traffic can be individually identified and monitored.

For example, it actually breaks down the packets flowing around your network and can identify voice over internet protocol (VoIP) call quality for monitoring.

In late 2014 the company acquired a number of technology brands from a Danaher Corporation.

At the time it looked like a strange acquisition of seemingly unrelated enterprise technology businesses.

Over the last eighteen months, these acquired brands have been moved to a common platform and plans started to cloud enable a number of them.

Now looking back, it’s really starting to make sense. As these acquisitions have turned out to be amazing data collection devices & services that feed this network, wireless, application and security monitoring data back into the InfiniStream product.

I think of InfiniStream as this amazing big data device, sucking in huge amounts of monitoring data from sources all over an enterprises technology infrastructure.

Some might see it as an Octopus with tentacles throughout the network infrastructure.

Then it comes time to analyse this mass of data. That’s when Netscout’s nGenius product comes in. It’s sold with InfiniStream, and its job is to mine, analyse and present the data collected.

This could result in notifications, reports, visual dashboards or even initiate remedial actions.

The dashboards are incredible; they allow you to marry multiple services together into a tile focused on a whole technology area, business unit or campus.

Data from outside of the network infrastructure can also feed into nGenius.

For example CRM system status, network activity and VoIP call quality data could all come together under a ‘Contact Center’ tile on the a dashboard.

“It’s part of a rare group of IT department tools that are organised the way the business operates,” says Jim McNiel, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Netscout.

It’s highly user customisable, but numerous prebuilt dashboard tiles for common services like SAP ERP, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Oracle databases and more are available. 

Custom ERP systems, IOT devices, web tools and social media are just a few of the numerous examples of things that could be monitored.

The meshing of these data sources into tiles on a dashboard, then notifications and actions are the brilliance of Netscout’s solution.

InfiniStream & nGenius represent $800 million out of Netscout $1.2 billion in turnover.

My advice is that the company should sell its unrelated divisions and focus their energy on these two brilliant products and the array of sensors that feed them. They also need to quadruple their marketing spend and let the world know.

PS – We have not been paid in any way for this glowing endorsement. It’s real and unbiased.

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