Drill Baby, Drill! (into NetFlow with Kentik)

Analyzing traffic flows can be painful, tedious, and finding the data that you need can be downright difficult at times. Over the years, there have emerged products that help you to dig through the wonderful world of NetFlow to figure out how traffic is flowing in and out of your network. At Network Field Day 12, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation from a new entry into this arena that is doing some really awesome things, Kentik.

What Kentik allows you to do is to dig through your NetFlow data in ways that I had not seen before. I will admit, before the presentation I hadn’t had much experience with this, but since I’ve taken on a new role at my current employer, I have been able to look into this product in a hands on capacity as we have been evaluating it for a few months. Full disclosure, we were in discussions to demo it before I took this position, and I had no role in deciding to evaluate it before or after I met with them at NFD12.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to play around with the product, and I must say, I’m impressed. Working for a service provider, it is critical for us to see how data is flowing into our network so that I can make the best decisions on how we want to set up different peerings, CDN’s, and other services in order to deliver data in the fastest and most cost means possible. Kentik makes this relatively simple.

The main feature that I’ve had a chance to look at so far is their Data Explorer. With it, I can create queries on our NetFlow data that is sent to the server. Want to know how much traffic from Netflix has gone to a certain interface on an edge router over the past week? Simple. Want to dig deeper and analyze the different AS Paths that were taken, so you can find out if you aren’t advertising a prefix somewhere that you should be? Kentik makes it simple to pull this information from your NetFlow data.

Kentik is still relatively new to this market, but I’ve been impressed by the people that I’ve been able to work with there. They have been very helpful, and while I don’t want to present this as a sales piece, I think they definitely have something that we’re going to continue to look into. I highly recommend watching the videos from Networking Field Day 12 if you want to get a good feel of all of the aspects that their company is all about, as I haven’t had a chance to look into every aspect of their product yet.

Kentik presents at Networking Field Day 12 (#NFD12) Videos


Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this article or my attendance at Networking Field Day 12 by Kentik or any other vendor. I did get to listen to some really great companies talk about some amazing products and technologies, had some meals, and probably got a few shirts and bags, but that was the extent of things.


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