Cisco Live 2017 Monitoring Survey
Kelsey Hanger | July 25, 2017

Moogsoft surveyed attendees at Cisco Live 2017 about the challenges they face & the tools they’re using to solve them.

Moogsoft surveyed attendees at Cisco Live 2017 about the challenges they face & the tools they’re using to solve them.

Did you know that Cisco Live 2017 was the largest Cisco Live ever? I believe it. I have to admit, I got lost at least 3 times going to back to the Moogsoft booth.

Amid the fidget spinners, giant booths and thousands of Plixer swords (how many did they bring to the show?!), Moogsoft had smaller booth in the Investment Pavilion. But that didn’t stop me from conducting the Monitoring Survey.

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These Network Engineers had completely different challenges, tools and environments than the DevOps and IT Ops teams I’ve interviewed at past conferences.

Survey Summary

So who did I talk to? Unlike the other surveys I recently conducted, over 47% of the Cisco Live surveyees were Network Engineers. That is crazy high! Another twist to the survey was that I only spoke to 1 DevOps Engineer (unlike like previous conferences, where the majority were DevOps engineers and SREs). Why such a huge Network presence? Though Cisco has expanded into other products, their bread & butter is -and always has been- the Network – hence why all the Network Engineers in Vegas.

What types of companies did I talk to? Also unlike the Moogsoft Velocity and Monitorama Monitoring Surveys, I  mostly spoke to large multinationals, federal and transportation companies.

As you read the survey results, I think you’ll come to realize (as I did) that these Network Engineers from large enterprise multinational corporations have a completely different mindset than the DevOps Engineers & SREs from past conferences…

Key Findings

  • The top 4 most used monitoring tools are SolarWinds, Splunk, Riverbed and AppDynamics.
  • The top 3 monitoring challenges are single-pane-of-glass, alert noise / fatigue / volume, and collaboration across teams.
  • On a scale of 1-10 — 1 being the most reactive company ever — most companies said they are a 3.
  • The average level of alert volume per month most commonly cited by people we surveyed was in the millions.

The Most Interesting Fact

Unlike our past two Monitoring Surveys from Monitorama and Velocity, the top monitoring challenge at Cisco Live was that attendees feel like they don’t have a single-pane-of-glass.

With the majority of surveyees being Network Engineers, this makes sense though. These guys and gals live in the NOC and of course they would a single-pane-of-glass to show them the bigger picture. After all, they are blamed too often for things that aren’t even their fault.

So why would these folks want more context in their monitoring ecosystem?

One explanation is the fact that 39% of them are dealing with “Millions” of Alerts every month. (Velocity and Monitorama folks were mostly dealing with “Hundreds” of Alerts.)

Also unlike Velocity and Monitorama, when I asked them — on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the most reactive company ever, 10 being the most proactive company ever — where they ranked their companies, 36% said their company is fairly reactive (3) when it comes to alert/event management.

While Velocity and Monitorama attendees said they were mostly a proactive company (7), why is it that Cisco Live attendees think they’re more reactive?

A possible answer goes back to the type of companies I spoke with: large multinationals. They’re bigger companies, slower moving – thus more reactive?

The Cisco Live 2017 Monitoring Survey

68% of the surveyees say that they don’t have an Event Manager. It’s also interesting to note that all the legacy vendors, Dell, IBM, CA, and HP made an appearance at the conference – unlike the last two surveys.

AppDynamics is the #1 most used APM with 63% of participants saying that they use the tool. It’s important to highlight that AppD is the APM leader for the first time in these Monitoring Surveys.

Riverbed is the #1 most used NPM with 68% of surveyees saying that they use the tool to monitor their network. Referring back to the fact that almost half of the participants were Network Engineers, I think this is the  most important answer in the whole survey.

With over 84% of the respondents saying that they use it, SolarWinds is the #1 most used Infra Monitoring tool. SolarWinds takes the top spot but it was beat out Nagios for the first time. SolarWinds always does well either in the NPM or Infra monitoring question – but it’s exciting to see it in first place for once.

Splunk is still dominating the log scene with 81% of interviewees saying that they use it. It’s no surprise that Logstash, from Elastic Stack is the second most popular log tool. But check out the percentage difference between the two – quite a few more enterprise companies are using Splunk vs. Logstash…

PS – @Splunk, you have an admirer ?

Legacy vendor, HP, beat out Pingdom for the first time in the history of this Moogsoft Monitoring Survey – with over 44% saying that they use Sitescope. And there’s a another tie in the Survey: NR Synthetic, Catchpoint and Neustar are tied for 3rd!

And it’s another tie! For the first time, xMatters, VictorOps and PagerDuty are tied for the most used notification tool.

ServiceNow beat Jira for the first time with over 69% of respondents saying that they use SNOW to ticket. Jira, the dominate ticketing tool for the last two monitoring survey, is surprisingly 3rd. BMC & HP also made an appearance. Perhaps Jira is third because these large enterprise corporations have the ServiceNow, BMC & HP suites?

PS- One surveyee took some extra time to show me how they really felt about ServiceNow:

Skype beat Slack for the first time with over 70% of participant saying at they use the communication tool internally. Normally Slack is #1 by a wide margin, so it’s interesting to see another tool come in 1st. Jabber & Spark were represented in the survey too. This makes sense since this was a Cisco show.

Python beats out Java & Java Script for the first time. It’s weird to see Java Script in last place….as it’s been commanding the #1 or #2 spot for the last two surveys.

AWS continues to lead the Cloud technologies with over 83% of surveyees saying that they use Amazon Web Services. But as I noted in the last survey, Azure is not backing down and with over 58% saying that they also use Microsoft’s tool, the Cloud is still a very competitive space.


There were a lot of “firsts” in this Monitoring Survey:

  • AppD beat out New Relic as the #1 APM tool
  • SolarWinds beat out Nagios as the #1 Infra monitoring tool
  • HP Sitescope beat out Pingdom as the #1 Synthetic monitoring tool
  • ServiceNow beat out Jira as the #1 ticketing tool
  • Skype beat out Slack as the #1 internal communication tool
  • Python beat out Java and Java Script as the #1 language


The audience for the Cisco Live survey was mostly Network Engineers, who have completely different challenges, tools and environments than the DevOps and IT Ops teams I’ve interviewed in the past.

Everybody wants to get on this “DevOps” craze but this survey made me aware of the fact that not all companies are there yet.

A lot of companies are still very reactive. They’re still dealing with millions of Alerts every month and they’re still suffering from not having a single-pane-of-glass. The audience of Cisco Live is less mature because they work at large multinational corporations. And with bigger companies, comes more silos. And with more silos, comes more reactive action.

But that doesn’t mean these companies can’t change. Change can start with one Network Engineer challenging the status quo and asking, “Is this really the best way we could be doing this?”

So to all those Network Engineers I spoke with at Cisco Live, starting challenging the status quo, because it seems to me like you already know what needs to be fixed in your own company.

Moogsoft is the AI-driven observability leader that provides intelligent monitoring solutions for smart DevOps. Moogsoft delivers the most advanced cloud-native, self-service platform for software engineers, developers and operators to instantly see everything, know what’s wrong and fix things faster.
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About the author

Kelsey Hanger

Kelsey Hanger is a Product Marketing Manager at Moogsoft. When she isn’t writing blogs about AIOps or conducting Monitoring Surveys, she loves finding unique eats in and around SF and traveling to the parts unknown, whether that be a speakeasy in Oakland or the ruins of Monte Albán in Oaxaca, México. Feel free to tweet her @KelsHanger or connect with her on LinkedIn.

All Posts by Kelsey Hanger

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