No stranger to processing raw network data into actionable information, Cloudmeter – which started life as Atomic Labs – is repositioning itself beyond its network analytics roots with two new offerings, Stream (which started life as Pion Enterprise) and Insight. Initially created in 2007 to address the wealth of network traffic data not being captured, the company realized that they could not only feed data to analytics, but also for Big Data intelligence insights, said Mike Dickey, founder and CEO. “The use of these apps generates a great deal of information and all of that resides in the network traffic.”
Prior to starting Cloudmeter, Dickey had founded BeatBox Technologies (AKA ClickCadence), and created a network appliance for monitoring enterprise web applications. It combined network packet-sniffing with TCP reassembly, SSL decryption, real-time sessioning, and rules-based data processing to provide website administrators with more detailed pictures of visitor interactions. The company was sold to Mercury Interactive in 2005, which was acquired by HP in 2006, and from which he left to start Cloudmeter the following year.
The new products represent a breakthrough in making valuable information accessible, available and useful for those who are in charge of end users’ experience, whether their applications run on public or private clouds or within their internal networks, he said. The new data capture technology is a culmination of years of experience building network-based data capture products, enabling customers to gain real time access into the wealth of business and IT information without the need to connect to physical network infrastructure, and without introducing risk to production systems or application performance.
Simple and easy to implement, Cloudmeter Stream, the fifth generation of its Pion Enterprise offering, is designed to help companies leverage the information that flows through their networks. It includes the industry’s first ultra-light passive capture agent that can be installed directly on customers’ servers and does not require connecting to network infrastructure, as well as event processing technology that allows users to filter, transform and enrich their data in real time before feeding it into their preferred big data and analytics solutions. Stream integrates with Big Data solutions such as Splunk, Hadoop, and GoodData, as well as web analytic solutions like Adobe’s web Site Catalyst, and Google Analytics.
The last release of Pion Enterprise was around two years ago, and since then the company has made hundreds of enhancements, with the two biggest being more efficient data capture, and integration with leading Big Data tools like Splunk and GoodData, said Dickey. The ability to install a software-only version on a server, instead of requiring dedicated hardware, was huge.
“With Stream, we refined and optimized it so that it only takes a few percent of network resources.” It’s passive, so doesn’t impact performance, which is a big breakthrough, he said. The emergence of mobile devices and the cloud are both very disruptive to performance.
Cloudmeter Insight is a SaaS solution that focuses directly on helping customers understand and improve the end user experience. It is the first product to include visual session replay for exceptionally detailed problem analysis, said the company.
“We looked at the application performance monitoring space around two years ago,” said Dickey. The existing products focused on code and what happened behind the server. “There weren’t a lot of companies focusing on the end-user experience, which is really the most important aspect.”
Insight incorporates the Cloudmeter’s other tool, Pion Replay, a customer experience management product that enables companies to identify, find and replay individual website visitor sessions. Instead of just looking at individual requests, it captures everything that happens within a visitor session, he said.
The new offerings are based on customer demand and experience with the existing Pion offerings, said COO Ronit Belson. In addition to their installed base, new prospects include anybody where the Web is critical to your top or bottom line, she said.
Looking ahead, the company said there is a lot of very valuable information that people don’t have access to. “Everybody that is in charge and has something to do with customer experience should have access to that information,” said Belson. “We believe our product can be the one enabler for that,” instead of having different groups use different products. “Our longer-term vision is breaking down the walls and enabling the teams to work together.”