ExtraHop Helps IT See Networks in Real-Time

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Sample visual map of a network produced by ExtraHop Networks.

As today’s mission critical applications move information over networks, it is increasingly important to IT shops to be able to see, predict and fix issues in real-time. With the amount of network traffic today, diagnosing problems can be like “looking for a snowflake in an avalanche,” says Jesse Rothstein, CEO and cofounder, ExtraHop Networks.

ExtraHop, founded in 2007 and shipping product since 2009, has a real-time solution for network admins. The company’s platform provides agentless, network-based application performance management (APM) solutions that  measure, map and assist with troubleshooting at the transaction level in dynamic environments.

“The tools and technology in use today are from the time when we had static environments,” said Rothstein. He co-founded ExtraHop after a six-year tenure at F5 Networks where he was a Senior Software Architect and co-inventor of the TMOS platform, an application delivery platform. “There is a hodge-podge of different approaches from the network side, the application side – they are all using different approaches to try to solve the problem.”

ExtraHop’s platforms, whether virtual or hardware appliances, allow customers to perform sophisticated anlayses to understand traffic at the transaction level, seamlessly with no overhead. They use auto-discovery to create a visual map of every device on the network. Data center managers planning migrations find the mapping function very helpful.

“I compare network tools to either telescopes or microscopes. Either you see things like a telescope from 50,000 ft view or from a microscopic level, such as the packets,” Rothstein said. “Our tool is like Google Earth – you can see everything from a very high level and then drill down to a specific area.”

The company has clients in multiple industry sectors, including online travel, retail, e-commerce, financial services and tech companies.

What ExtraHop does is it makes a copy of network traffic from each Ethernet switch, in real-time, which is different from other approaches of installing sensors along points in the network. This approach limits the overhead and risk.

“The network info has always been there, in a sense, just flying off the network and falling on the floor,” Rothstein says. Often tools used were only available to look back at history, rather than observe transactions in real time.

As the ExtraHop CEO looks ahead to the new year, he sees striong demand for these kind of tools, and predicts robust growth for his company. “We doubled in size in 2011, and I expect we’ll do the same in 2012,” said Rothstein.

About the Author

Colleen Miller is a journalist and social media specialist. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, with her most recent work dedicated to the online space. Colleen covers the data center industry, including topics such as modular, cloud and storage/big data.

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