What happens when the worldwide leader in IT technology develops a new cloud software platform for service providers, but needs a killer service assurance component to complete the solution? Simple – they turn to Moogsoft for help.
The Cisco-Moogsoft relationship initiated in the summer of 2014 – roughly a year before Cisco Investments’ participation in Moogsoft’s Series B financing – and quickly led to an extensive pilot that turned Cisco IT into a Moogsoft customer. We ultimately proved to Cisco IT that we could handle a complex, multinational data center and DevOps environment. Now, Cisco has announced that it has packaged Moogsoft as a key part of its Virtual Managed Services (VMS) software, a platform for service providers to offer a variety of cloud services on a global scale using virtualized network functions.
There’s an interesting story behind what lead Cisco to choose Moogsoft to fill a key service assurance gap as everything moves to software. As the VMS platform was rolled to the market and deployed at several Cisco service provider environments, it became clear that it was nearly impossible to know of all the possible failure scenarios, likewise making it nearly impossible to model and monitor for customer-impacting failures within the VMS environment.
Why is this a Problem?
Keep in mind that in the old world, a single failure could determine the impact of future failures on all applications. In the modern compute world, however, when things fails you can never get an accurate model of what’s going on with that infrastructure because things are constantly changing, especially within complex, virtualized environments. Simply put, it’s extremely difficult to build models around infrastructures that are constantly changing. This brings to mind the quote from Donald Rumsfeld during a military news briefing in February 12, 2002,
“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”
Just as Mr. Rumsfeld mentioned, the ‘unknown unknowns,’ are the most difficult to understand simply due to the fact that these are things we don’t know we don’t know. The modern compute fabric, from the application, down to the full-stack network is full of ‘unknown-unknown’ failure conditions that are changing all the time. This means that the modern approach to monitoring today usually involves assembling a huge big data warehouse and applying analytics to it in order to model future failure scenarios. People are simply monitoring what they have already seen. The problem with this model-based approach, however, is that people are monitoring for things they already know – not the ‘unknown unknowns’ – ultimately making this an inefficient process (especially because you are going to have a number of failures occur along the way).
At Moogsoft, we recognized this problem early on, and its impact on service assurance. In order to solve this dilemma, we have created the ability to detect anomalous behavior without pre-describing what an anomaly actually is. What does this mean? It means that we can go into modern compute environments and see very modern, virtualized infrastructures, and identify anomalous behavior that has never been seen before. Simply put, Moogsoft detects the unknown-unknowns.
Now, IT operational teams are no longer blind to issues, and are actually able to detect anomalous behavior before service is interrupted. In turn, this reduces the amount of activity support people must perform, ultimately increasing productivity. Moogsoft also improves service quality with less down time and reduced customer interruptions.
So when Cisco came to Moogsoft with the dilemma of not knowing the failure scenarios they may encounter with their new VMS software platform, we proved with our flagship product, Incident.MOOG, that we can automatically detect issues that may affect service quality and address them before they become service disrupting. Now, Moogsoft is a fully incorporated component of Cisco’s VMS software service assurance element.
The Cisco-Moogsoft Relationship
Finally, it’s important to note two aspects to the Cisco-Moogsoft relationship.
- Incident.MOOG is now packaged with Cisco’s VMS service as the main service assurance component and will be sold to service provides globally.
- Incident.MOOG is on the global Cisco sales list and is now treated as a Cisco product.
Moogsoft’s co-founder, Mike Silvey, has this to say about the relationship:
“Obviously, this is a huge advancement for Moogsoft in terms of global reach and support. As a relatively young company, we initially chose to focus our market operations on North America and Europe, but now with this OEM agreement, Moogsoft immediately gains global reach with the Cisco sales and support footprint. Practically every large enterprise and service provider uses Cisco IT solutions, and now these companies can just as easily deploy Moogsoft’s Incident.MOOG”.
About the author Steve Burton