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Cisco to buy network-monitoring firm SamKnows for better last-mile visibility

News Analysis
Jun 27, 20233 mins
Cisco SystemsNetwork Monitoring

SamKnows technology will be integrated into Cisco’s ThousandEyes cloud-based network-intelligence software.

Close-up Shot of Female IT Engineer Working in Monitoring Room. She Works with Multiple Displays.

Cisco again opened its checkbook this week and snatched up privately held broadband-network monitoring company SamKnows for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2008, the London-based firm uses a global network of software agents located in everything from home systems to mobile devices and service provider netoworks to get a real-time measurement of internet performance and customer experience. Through a central dashboard the  company can analyze the results and identify faults and the root cause of problems to help with remediation.

SamKnows technology will be integrated into Cisco’s ThousandEyes cloud-based network intelligence software that analyzes everything from the performance of local and wide-area networks to ISP, cloud, and collaboration-application performance to the health of the internet.

Since acquiring ThousandEyes in 2020 its cloud, enterprise, and endpoint-agent technology has been integrated in one fashion or another across Cisco’s core product lines such as its Catalyst and Nexus switches, and it is part of Cisco’s predictive networking as well as its Full Stack Observability efforts.

“Ensuring end-to-end connectivity from home environments is now essential for enterprises supporting remote employees, application providers reaching users, and broadband providers maintaining customer satisfaction,” wrote Mohit Lad, CEO & co-founder of Cisco’s ThousandEyes in a blog about the acquisition. “SamKnows offers vast visibility and rich insight into consumer broadband networks, enabling network operators to see and improve network performance and application experience for their customers.”

“Cisco’s acquisition of SamKnows will expand ThousandEyes’ visibility of broadband networks and last-mile performance through SamKnows fleet of millions of vantage points on home routers and mobile devices connected to internet service providers around the globe,” Lad wrote. “It will also bring ThousandEyes’ end-to-end network assurance to more broadband service providers, enabling them to isolate and troubleshoot issues faster to assure a differentiated customer experience that reduces churn, attracts users, and enables them to better compete in today’s market.” 

Enterprises, communication service providers (CSPs), digital service providers, and webscalers are all balancing the escalating demand for new applications and services with rising user expectations for service quality and time to resolution, wrote Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco Networking in a blog about the acquisition. “Success depends on fundamentally shifting from basic network connectivity at a massive scale to a deeper focus on real-time visibility, insights, and actions to delight customers and users across any application, cloud, and network.”

The acquisition is Cisco’s second in as many weeks and its sixth this year. Last week it said it was acquiring Accedian Networks for an undisclosed price.

Accedian’s performance analysis and monitoring platform–aimed at mobile backhaul, data center services, service providers and cloud connectivity customers–provides network visibility, can diagnose problems and recommend remediation.

The other acquisitions this year include Armorblox for large language models, Smartlook for mobile application monitoring, Lightspin for cloud security, and cloud network security firm Valtix.

Cisco expects the SamKnows aquisition to close in the first quarter of its FY24.