From Vision to Reality: NETSCOUT’s Transformative Journey

One Platform that Employs Smart Data Across Hybrid Cloud Environments
the road behind

On a long trip, sometimes it’s hard to visualize how far you’ve traveled until you reached a point where you can actually see the road unwinding behind you. I reached such a viewpoint recently when we learned that NETSCOUT ranked seventh in Forbes’ annual Fast Tech 25 list of the year’s fastest growing public tech companies[1].  

Since the company’s founding three decades ago, we’ve worked hard to address service assurance requirements of customers around the globe. As we added capabilities through organic development and acquisition, our mission has expanded.  For the past two years following the Danaher Communications acquisition, we’ve been focused on fulfilling CEO Anil Singhal’s vision of giving the Guardians of the Connected World the confidence to operate, innovate and excel by integrating service and security assurance and using smart data to drive superior intelligence across both. For me, this ranking is a public recognition of how far we’ve come in recent years.

This integrated approach is a cornerstone of Anil’s vision and applies to both enterprise and service provider customers. He wanted to create next-generation levels of service availability, reliability, and responsiveness by combining service assurance, which protects against system, network, and application failures, with security assurance, which shields companies from cyberthreats. The result is something we refer to as business assurance—a powerful combination of service assurance and security that derives extended value by using internet and intranet traffic and cloud application flows as the same data source for both service and security assurance.

The key to success lies in taking a data-driven approach. We convert internet traffic into smart data with ATLAS Global Threat Intelligence based on analysis of one-third of the global Internet traffic. Through our patented Adaptive Service Intelligence (ASI) technology, we transform intranet traffic and cloud application flows into high value, multi-dimensional meta data—smart data—in real time at the collection point. These primary smart data are then complemented with data from a variety of systems and sources, such as XFlow, active testing, management information base (MIB) queried with Network Management Protocol (SNMP), and log files.   

Anil saw huge potential for fulfilling that vision by combining NETSCOUT’s existing talent and technologies with those of the companies within Danaher Communications Business. Instead of seeing a group of separate companies, Anil identified significant synergies that, when integrated, would produce value far beyond the sum of the whole. By effectively integrating those abilities to solve business assurance problems for customers, our value proposition is amplified so that the whole of NETSCOUT + Danaher Communications is greater far beyond the sum and becomes the equivalent of 1+1 = 11. Another analogy is that based on the traffic we collect, we can analyze and monetize it multiple times over for service assurance, security assurance, and business intelligence. 

Ultimately, we want our customers, who are the true Guardians of the Connected World, to be able to use one platform that employs smart data and software-centric solutions to extend visibility across hybrid cloud environments, from service assurance and security to using handheld tools that troubleshoot out to the network’s perimeter. 

Our recent announcements reflect this. On the platform side, ISNG and Arbor Networks Spectrum have come together to provide integrated service assurance and security assurance capabilities based on smart data derived from intranet and internet traffic processing with ASI and ATLAS, respectively. nGeniusPULSE now integrates active testing capabilities into service assurance and extends it to the last mile of the service delivery infrastructure, while new software instrumentation such as vScout and vStream use ASI to help companies build pervasive visibility into applications and infrastructure across today’s hybrid and multi-cloud environments.  

That’s a big vision, and as our solutions come together, we’re starting to see it unfold.   The Fast Tech 25 recognition reflects how we’ve brought these assets together – the enthusiastic reactions of customers to our newest capabilities at our recent Engage user and technology conference and various tradeshows are an indication that these efforts are resonating with our customers. For example, I recently spent a lot of hours talking to Cisco Live attendees in Las Vegas, and the message came through loud and clear: They liked our integrated approach, and they could clearly see the value of how our solutions came together.  

I think that one of the reason it’s working so well is that the company’s approach for integrating products and technologies was extended to the people and culture.  Anil recognized that the value of the Danaher Communications companies came from the workforce that created the solutions as much as the solutions themselves. We’ve retained the key talent needed to properly implement this vision over the longer term rather than potentially compromising our ability to quickly integrate these products and support them, along with NETSCOUT classic products, by significantly slashing costs, including headcount.  At the same time, we’ve reallocated resources to drive the development of complementary capabilities and next-generation features versus simply maintaining silos, duplicating effort and creating products that may have overlapping functionality.  By integrating a workforce containing the highest level of expertise in both service and security assurance, NETSCOUT is now well-equipped to fulfill the grand vision by synergy through integration.

As NETSCOUT continues to effect significant change in its effort to fulfill this long-term vision, we will continue to value the journey itself. After all, discoveries made along the way could well change the path that leads to the final destination. And in the end, our ability to retain the best talent in the industry and embrace that transformative journey will ultimately help our customers succeed in their own DX efforts.

 

[1] The companies of the Fast Tech 25 stand out for  trailing three years of strong sales growth combined with industry-leading projected earnings growth for the next three to five years.