Thriving in AWS Cloud: The Power of Packet-Level Visibility

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Companies typically choose a cloud path to save money, remain elastic to avoid over- and under-provisioning resources, spin up global capabilities faster, and become more agile in an uncertain world—all great reasons to migrate to the cloud. But thriving in cloud environments such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) requires getting even the smallest details right. 

NETSCOUT’s cloud performance monitoring approach captures all traffic data traversing the hybrid cloud environment and performs simultaneous deep-packet inspection and real-time analysis to generate what NETSCOUT calls Smart Data. End-to-end packet-level visibility into AWS, on-premises and network edges across an entire distributed infrastructure, is the ultimate source of truth and forms the foundation for meaningful context. When intelligent analytics get created from those packets to create Smart Data, it helps make sense of what is going on, where, and why, when problems arise.

Packets: The Ultimate Source of Truth

AWS Senior Partner Solutions Architect Josh Dean, NETSCOUT Chief Solutions Architect Brian Philips, and NETSCOUT Area Vice President of Strategic Marketing Michael Segal led a great discussion on the power of packet-level visibility in AWS environments in “Thriving in AWS Cloud with End-to-End Visibility” as part of our Problem Solvers Series. All three have great first-hand real-world experience with AWS and NETSCOUT. Even though Dean, Philips, and Segal come from different technical vantage points, they all provide great details about the force multiplier effect of leveraging NETSCOUT’s capabilities to enhance the value of AWS, exploit integrations and certifications, and complement powerful AWS tools and capabilities.

Dean, who participated in the testing and certifications of NETSCOUT for AWS and has prior AWS experience working with AWS customers, emphasizes that detailed packet data is the ultimate source of truth that when combined with sophisticated analytics helps narrow the focus of any issue, so you know where to direct your energies. Dean notes that although AWS does a great job of sharing log and flow data, that data often is application-specific, but NETSCOUT’s Smart Data uses universally available data sets to complement infrastructure or application data. He explains that with NETSCOUT, you can see everything in the same place in an end-to-end view, so you know exactly who is communicating to whom, from where, and when. That helps meet your service level agreements (SLAs) and user experience expectations for AWS cloud-enabled applications and services.

Segal, who leads NETSCOUT’s partnership effort with AWS, discusses the impacts and meaning of the deep collaboration and integration between AWS and NETSCOUT to improve efficiency and effectiveness of assuring security and service performance, including Amazon VPC Traffic Mirroring, Amazon VPC Ingress Routing, AWS Gateway Load Balancer, and AWS Security Hub. He also provides examples showing why this detailed deep-packet inspection is so critically relevant in AWS environments. NETSCOUT’s AWS competencies including Networking ISV Competency and Migration and Modernization ISV Competency, coupled with numerous AWS certifications, help extract more value from, and lower the risk in, AWS environments.

Philips, who is very active with large joint NETSCOUT and AWS customers, covers a lot of ground, including the move toward containers; the importance of metrics; the value of seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly at a transactional level; and the impact of packet-level visibility into things such as planning, cost analysis, and troubleshooting. He explains that the significant impact to context—and to translating IT information into human-understandable information for greater context—is one of the most important aspects NETSCOUT technology enables in AWS environments.

Little Details Make Big Things Happen

Thriving in other parts of life and achieving big things also comes down to the smallest of details. For example, Basketball Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden thrived as a coach and teacher, with 88 consecutive wins, 38 straight NCAA tournament wins, 20 PAC-10 Championships, and 10 National Championships. He also was NCAA College Basketball Coach of the Year six times, with four perfect 30 wins/zero losses seasons.

He was before my time, so I never saw him coach, but when you read about him or hear former players talk about him, you understand that he thrived because he was laser focused on the smallest of details. One of his more famous quotes was “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

So, although Coach Wooden probably never imagined cloud technology or foresaw the power of AWS, he was right about the role of the little details. Packet-level visibility provides the essential little details IT professionals need to make big things happen in AWS cloud environments to keep people connected, secure, and thriving.
Learn how to leverage the power of packet-level visibility in AWS environments in “Thriving in AWS Cloud with End-to-End Visibility,” part of our Problem Solvers Series.