Cisco Acquires Epsagon for Greater Observability

Cisco is adding the ability to monitor applications based on containers and serverless computing frameworks to its portfolio via the acquisition of Epsagon, a provider of an observability platform for cloud-native applications.

Liz Centoni, chief strategy officer and general manager for applications at Cisco, says Epsagon will complement both the AppDynamics observability platform that Cisco previously acquired as well as the Intersight and ThousandEyes platforms that Cisco makes available to monitor servers, storage and networking infrastructure.

Cisco is working toward creating an observability platform that can be used to monitor both legacy monolithic and microservices-based applications based on cloud-native technologies such as containers, adds Centoni. Most enterprise IT organizations will be managing these applications side-by-side well through the rest of the decade, she notes.

There may, of course, be organizations that need to only manage cloud-native applications, but the bulk of enterprise IT organizations usually find themselves managing a wide range of applications. In some cases, it might not make sense to replace a monolithic application. In other cases, an organization may encapsulate that application in a container to make it more accessible to other applications via application programming interfaces (APIs). Eventually, some subset of that application could be rewritten to create a microservice that could be more easily incorporated within a wider range of application scenarios.

The biggest challenge now is weaving all the observability tools required to holistically manage an IT environment within the context of a framework through which IT can be managed via a single-pane-of-glass console. IT teams need full-stack observability across all the elements that make up a modern distributed computing environment while still being able to access the tools required to remediate any issue that is discovered, says Centoni.

The one thing that is certain is IT environments are becoming more complex. Beyond lifting and shifting monolithic applications into the cloud, it’s clear the number of cloud-native applications based on container technologies that will be deployed in production environments will only increase. A hybrid cloud computing environment will require a much wider range of observability tools and platforms to effectively manage.

Going forward, Cisco plans to emphasize the advancement of predictive analytics to enable IT teams to discover issues long before they cause disruption, says Centoni. Machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are being implemented across the Cisco portfolio to achieve that goal, she adds.

Cisco, of course, is not the only IT management tools provider looking to meld the management of monolithic and microservices-based applications. It may be a while before most IT teams achieve that goal, but as part of the ongoing effort to reduce the total cost of IT, the frameworks for managing different classes of applications running in the cloud and on-premises IT environments continue to converge. Until then, the challenge is determining how best to manage an increasingly diverse portfolio of applications running on any number of platforms.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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