by Michael Cooney, Network World

An indication of how impactful the Splunk buy could be for Cisco and its customers can be seen in the companies' plans to integrate their observability platforms. At this week's Cisco Live event, execs from Cisco and Splunk detailed plans to create what they called a "unified observability experience" to help customers manage applications across on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.

Cisco closed the Splunk acquisition in May, spending $28 billion to gain the vendor's wide-reaching technology for searching, monitoring and analyzing system data.

Splunk describes its Observability Cloud as a full-stack, OpenTelemetry-native SaaS platform. Customers use the platform to monitor and troubleshoot their infrastructure, application performance, and end-user experiences. Using AI technology, the platform can spot anomalies and help customers identify the root cause of an error or performance problem, according to Splunk.

Cisco's Full-Stack Observably Platform is designed to collect and correlate data from application, networking, infrastructure, security, and cloud domains to provide a clear view of what's going on across the enterprise and make it easier for enterprises to spot anomalies, preempt and address performance problems, and improve threat mitigation.

Cisco's platform includes performance-monitoring technology gained in two earlier acquisitions: Its ThousandEyes network intelligence solution analyzes Internet routing and cloud connectivity data, for example, while its AppDynamics software specializes in application performance monitoring. Further integrating all of that information with Splunk could significantly boost the expanded platform's observability capabilities. (Going forward Cisco said its AppDynamics technology will be developed under the Splunk umbrella.) 

The combination of Splunk, AppDynamics, and ThousandEyes will be a critical differentiator for Splunk and Cisco in the observability market, said Cisco president and former Splunk CEO Gary Steele at the Cisco Live event.

Neil Anderson @ Cisco Live

Effectively integrating the observability capabilities of the two vendors will ultimately determine the success or failure of the acquisition, experts said.

"There is a ton of accessible enterprise data, analytics and telemetrics available to Cisco and Splunk, and what will be key for them is to integrate everything effectively – because customers don't need a package full of different products that they need to figure out how to incorporate and use somehow," said Neil Anderson, vice president of cloud, infrastructure and AI with technology services provider World Wide Technology.



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