Beyond the Default Gateway: Its Past time for Visibility

The network engineering profession is often challenged with a choice of technologies to avoid challenges, headaches, and issues as much as possible.  But this in the stressful life that the network engineer has chosen, these complex systems provided by multiple vendors will often bring their own challenges, headaches, and issues.  Whether equipment failure, operator error, vendor issues, or acts of God, those things will happen.  It’s inevitable.

A skilled network engineer working for an organization that has made the appropriate investments will sometimes encounter more problems outside their gateway than within.  When the service you are providing needs to work with others, you often throw traffic at a default gateway to the internet to interact with the outside world.  Internally generated traffic goes through different gateways.  A network engineer can control that.

But you can't say how data should behave outside of your domain when traffic goes out through a gateway.  It goes to a carrier.  That carrier does what they think is best at the time, but it frequently proves not to be best for the customer’s needs.

For example, let’s consider:

  • I’m in Paris and want to reach someone in Germany.
  • I give that traffic to a transit provider, and they have a cheap service that goes via Russia.
  • I prefer the direct route, but the carrier has a business to run, and when they offered me pricing, they planned to optimize traffic to control costs.
  • In this instance, it was more economical for them to take the Russian route.

Network engineers, and the service they provide, are at the liberty of carriers for what they decide to do with their traffic. As a customer of a carrier, it is out of your control.  As in our example of traffic taking “the slow boat” through Russia, what is desirable is not always what our providers deliver. They’ll do things with our data outside of our knowledge, which is not what we want.  But do you ever actually know what our transit provider is, in fact, actually doing?

For example, can a network engineer ever know if their traffic from Paris to Germany was delivered non-optimally? The lack of true digital experience monitoring tools has kept engineers and our customers in the dark.

LynkState provides a view of traffic behavior for carriers and transit providers, both in the moment and past:

  • I want my traffic from A to B to take the quickest path.
  • But there is maintenance going on so that traffic takes a loop around a couple of continents.
  • So whether you’re looking for live data, a snapshot of this past Tuesday afternoon, or from late on a Saturday night last August, LynkState can provide you with the data from that moment in time.
  • This data allows you to hold providers accountable and give accurate answers to all customers and stakeholders.
  • LynkState provides the visibility that leads to network accountability.

As network engineers, we know that our traffic shapes our customer experience, which is our livelihood.  Yet, there is so much out of our control.  With LynkState we finally have the visibility into actual network performance, not just on our networks but in the outside world, that we’ve always wanted.  It is true enterprise network monitoring. And LynkState offers metrics, data, and detail that nobody else can, offering all network engineers visibility beyond the default gateway.