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How Cloudflare One solves your observability problems


5 min read

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How Cloudflare One solves your observability problems

Today, we’re excited to announce Cloudflare One Observability. Cloudflare One Observability will help customers work across Cloudflare One applications to troubleshoot network connectivity, security policies, and performance issues to ensure a consistent experience for employees everywhere. Cloudflare One, our comprehensive SASE platform, already includes visibility for individual products; Cloudflare One Observability is the next step in bringing data together across the Cloudflare One platform.

Network taps and legacy enterprise networks

Traditional enterprise networks operated like a castle protected by a moat. Employees working from a physical office location authenticated themselves at the beginning of their session, they were protected by an extensive office firewall, and the majority of the applications they accessed were on-premise.

Many enterprise networks had a strictly defined number of “entrances” for employees at office locations. Network taps (devices used to measure and report events on a local network) monitored each entrance point, and these devices gave network administrators and engineers complete visibility into their operations.

Learn more about the old castle-and-moat network security model.

Incomplete observability in today’s enterprise network

Today’s enterprise networks have expanded beyond the traditional on-premise model and have become extremely fragmented. Now, employees can work from anywhere. People access enterprise networks from across the Internet, and the applications they use every day are a mix of on-premise and SaaS cloud instances.

SaaS applications are hosted outside the enterprise network, leaving your security teams with limited observability into how users access those applications and move data through them. Without observability on the applications your employees are using, you can’t control how sensitive data is stored, shared, or exposed to third parties.

Now that enterprise networks have become more fragmented, it is increasingly difficult to understand how the various fragments are operating. To even gain limited observability, you have to implement a disorganized combination of network taps, flow data, synthetic probes, and dashboards that fail to share data across one another.

Total observability across an enterprise & cloud network built on Cloudflare One

Cloudflare One Observability is built to solve today’s issue of network fragmentation in a zero trust world. Instead of having data spread across multiple network tools, Cloudflare One Observability will combine data from different Cloudflare One functions into a single experience. Customers will be able to go to one place to troubleshoot any issues they’re experiencing with their enterprise applications and networks.

In today’s world of fragmented enterprise networks, there are some questions that can be difficult to answer. Let’s break down a couple of customer examples and walk through how Cloudflare One Observability will simplify the troubleshooting process.

Troubleshooting bandwidth issues across branch locations

A customer may want to know, “What applications are using up the majority of my bandwidth across multiple office locations?” In a typical enterprise network, a network engineer would need to install a network tap or collect flow data at each office location, aggregate the information across separate networks, then build a custom tool to visualize the bandwidth data.

Instead, for Cloudflare One customers, Cloudflare will automatically do all the upfront data collection and aggregation. Customers will be able to skip straight to troubleshooting and solving their bandwidth problem by using Cloudflare One Observability to visualize bandwidth usage across office locations.

Identifying network vulnerabilities

Another challenging question that customers face is, “What attack trends are popular, and is my network vulnerable?” Assessing a network’s vulnerability is time-consuming as administrators dive into separate applications for VPNs, firewalls, user policies, and endpoints to understand their network’s security posture.

Cloudflare One is built from the ground up to simplify this problem. Observability is straightforward when your network on-ramps, firewalls, user policies, and endpoint protection are all managed within the same platform. Customers will be able to go to the Cloudflare One Observability experience to see security patches that are automatically applied by Cloudflare so that customers don’t have to worry. Cloudflare One lets you know whether you’ve been targeted by an attack and gives you confidence that you’re protected.

Troubleshooting slow network performance

Many people have experienced logging into a slow enterprise network. The general problem of “my network is slow when I access an on-premise or SaaS application” can be tough to solve. If employees are working remotely, a network engineer would need to dig through different applications to troubleshoot latency and jitter between VPNs, firewalls, user policies, and endpoint connections.

Cloudflare One Observability simplifies this time-consuming troubleshooting process. When your on-ramps, firewalls, user policies, and endpoint monitoring are all configured on the same platform, you only need to go to one place to troubleshoot these network functions. Cloudflare One’s architecture is built on the concept of single pass inspection. When a request lands on a Cloudflare server, that request passes through instances of Cloudflare One services all on that same single server. This makes it easy to visualize end-to-end network request handling, so customers can seamlessly analyze traffic and identify a network bottleneck or misconfiguration.

Observability powered by Cloudflare’s network

Cloudflare One Observability is built on Cloudflare’s best-in-class network. We have data centers in 270+ cities and over 100 countries. Since every Cloudflare One product runs on every server, we can provide an unparalleled fast and consistent experience to customers everywhere. Cloudflare built its network and security applications from the ground up on the same infrastructure. Unlike our competitors that have strung together a zero trust platform by building siloed applications or through acquisitions, Cloudflare One applications are seamlessly integrated and designed from day one to share data between one another.

As our applications are all built on the same infrastructure, so are our data pipelines and logging services. When you use Cloudflare One, you get the full benefits of our advanced data tools, like Instant Logs for delivering live network data as it arrives and ABR for analyzing network data at scale.

Delivering the Zero Trust observability customers need today

Since 2009, Cloudflare has built one of the fastest, most reliable, and most secure networks in the world. We’ve built Cloudflare One and Cloudflare One Observability on top of this network, and we’re extending its power to meet the challenges of any company. The move to Zero Trust is a paradigm shift, and we believe the security benefits of this new paradigm will make it inevitable for every company. We’re proud of how we have helped and continue to help existing and new customers reinvent their corporate networks.

Construction of Cloudflare One Observability is still in progress. If you’re excited about this new product, you can sign up for our wait list now!

We protect entire corporate networks, help customers build Internet-scale applications efficiently, accelerate any website or Internet application, ward off DDoS attacks, keep hackers at bay, and can help you on your journey to Zero Trust.

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