The Management Plane of Multi-Cloud Networking – Aviatrix CoPilot

Recently, Aviatrix launched a new product called CoPilot to address the dire need of operational visibility in multi-cloud networking. This piqued my interest because the none of the Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) provide any topology tools for end-to-end visualization, monitoring and troubleshooting. So I decided to attend the launch event.

Some of the biggest challenges that enterprises face in today’s multi-cloud environments are complexity and lack of visibility (topology and traffic flow). It’s difficult enough managing a single CSP. Add multiple vendors with their proprietary, opaque ways of passing data and it becomes nearly impossible to pinpoint how and where traffic is flowing.

This is critical for enterprises that have SLAs that need to be met. For example, around a decade ago when electronic trading started replacing open outcry transactions in the financial markets, there was a strong need to identify, at millisecond granularity, where delays in electronic trades were occurring. Penalties would be imposed on the Exchange if it could not prove that the delays were on the member trading firm’s side. Monitoring tool companies like Correlix and Corvid (not to be confused with COVID!) were born out of this need.

Of course, that was fine for the on-prem world. In a multi-cloud world, this becomes far more complex. For example, if there is a routing issue (that is not yet identified as a outright outage) in a region for a particular CSP, and an airline is unable to track its passengers’ baggage that is intended to traverse multiple partner airlines (each using their own CSP), how will it be able to identify where the fault is without the right level of operational visibility in a multi-cloud environment? How will it meet its SLAs? CoPilot is able to visually identify such global multi-cloud anomalies.

The way CoPilot is able to achieve this based on its Aviatrix Transit Gateway as well as the native constructs from each CSP. While Aviatrix Controller is the Control Plane and Aviatrix Transit Gateway is the Data Plane, in a sense Aviatrix CoPilot can be considered the Management Plane (excluding the domain of IAM). It is more than just passive monitoring as it allows the user to take action in real-time.

The topology below shows AWS, Azure, and GCP clouds along with instances.

Aviatrix CoPilot Topology

 

The FlowIQ visualization tool makes use of heat maps and Sankey flow diagrams to provide intelligent reports on traffic patterns, trends, and key analytics regarding flow through the multi-cloud network. See this screenshot below.

Aviatrix CoPilot FlowIQ

Other anomalies it is able to detect include if an unusual amount of traffic is coming from a certain geo-location. The FlowIQ tool allows the user to search on a given geo-location as well, such as in this screenshot below.

 

Aviatrix CoPilot Heat Map

The presenter also gave a sneak peek of some very impressive features on their roadmap:

  • Track what resources VPN users are trying to access
  • Show live link latencies – This is an absolute must for SLA testing.
  • Latency Monitor – You will be able to set thresholds for latencies and be notified when the latency is exceeded. See the screenshot below.

Aviatrix CoPilot Live Latency

I believe Aviatrix is only getting warmed up in the world of operational visibility for multi-cloud networking.

 

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