Kentik is the #4 ranked solution in our list of top Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Protection tools. It is most often compared to ThousandEyes: Kentik vs ThousandEyes
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.
Download the Kentik Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021
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- "We have an annual contract with Kentik that we renew each year for a set number of licenses. We also have some burstable licenses which we can spin up and spin down, and those are paid as they are used."
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What is our primary use case?I am in what's called the "data explorers," which is our organization's free-form, "write your own database query with a GUI" to get some numbers out. I do that because I'm usually looking to solve very specific problems or to get very specific questions answered. I'm very familiar with the GUI and it does what I need it to do. For our company, one of the major uses of it is in our sales organization. They run a lot of customer prospecting using it. Using the API stack, we ended up writing our own, internal sales tool webpage which does a lot of queries on the back-end to get info from the… more »
Pros and Cons
- "I am able to do a lot of work on the visualization end to create different visualizations and different ways to get information out of it."
- "The drill-down into detailed views of network activity helps to quickly pinpoint locations and causes. All the information is there."
- "I would like to see them explore the area of cost analysis."
What other advice do I have?It's a great product and the company is great. The company iterates and they move fast to add new things. When we did our first trials, almost two years ago, more than once, although not routinely, I would see a missing a filter set. You could filter on this element here, but you couldn't over there, and that's an error. I would put it in as a request and it would get resolved, sometimes in hours. The responsiveness is great. It really takes a while to figure out the best way to use it for yourself. There is just a ton of information in there. Don't get dissuaded at first. They will help you…
What is our primary use case?The primary need is to really understand where our traffic is going, not just the transit ASNs — we know that — but where else is it going? How much traffic are we sending to those other ASNs? Of course, DDoS is also another use case for us. We have identified DDoS. And we're also using alerting now to help us understand when service owners are perhaps utilizing more than they should.
Pros and Cons
- "I really love the Data Explorer. I use it all the time to go in and craft exactly what I need to see. I'm able to then take that story and explain it to the executives. I've done that a couple of times and it is helpful."
- "In terms of the solution’s real-time visibility across our network infrastructure, I have not been able to find any other monitoring or netflow visualization tool that gives me the kind of information I get from Kentik. If I need to take a deep-dive into something that I see, it's really easy for me to do that. Whereas with most other things, I have to use five or six other tools to get that kind of data, with Kentik, I have it all in one place."
- "I've checked out the V4 version of the interface and it's still a little bit clunky for me to use. I still go back to the old interface. That's definitely one that they still need to work on. It doesn't seem like everything that you get in the V3, the older interface, is there. For instance, I was trying to add a user or do the administrative tasks in V4, and I couldn't figure out where I was supposed to do that."
What other advice do I have?Carefully analyze your routers and how much flow they're sending to a collector. I would also suggest if you can minimize the number of routers that have to send BGP, so you have a good enough view of the BGP, but you don't have to have every router sitting at BGP sessions, that might help. Those are suggestions for implementation. The biggest lesson I have learned from using Kentik is "don't do it yourself." At my previous company they were being very stubborn and they didn't want to use an off-the-shelf product, so I went through three iterations of a netflow interface trying to get it…
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… more »
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 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…
What is our primary use case?We mainly use it for visibility into our traffic but we use it for DDoS detection as well.
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 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…
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.
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 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…
What is our primary use case?We're using Kentik for flow data, so we can do things like peering management and interconnection research, as well as capacity management. We also use it fairly heavily in our tech cost-reporting so we can see things such as how many dollars per gigabyte and how much we're using. The deployment model is cloud, which Kentik provides.
Pros and Cons
- "Having the API access allows us to do a great deal of automation around a lot of our reporting and management tools."
- "We're also using Kentik to ingest metrics. It's a useful feature, and its response time, whenever we're pulling back the data, is higher than our on-prem solution."
- "There is room for improvement around the usability of the API. It's a hugely complex task to call it and you need a lot of backing to be able to do it. I should say, as someone who's not in networking, maybe it's easier for people who are in networking, but for me that one part is not very user-friendly."
What other advice do I have?Rely on the customer service reps. That would be my biggest piece of advice because they've got all the good tips and tricks. The user base of Kentik in our company is very small, about 15 people or less. That includes our interconnection managers, peering managers, and capacity managers, as well as my small team of software developers. For deployment and maintenance of the solution it requires one person or less. Nobody needs to make it their full-time job, which is nice. Those responsibilities are spread across several people. One of the interconnection managers helps me, for example…
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.
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 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.
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