Cisco Boosts Network Monitoring with Acquisition of SamKnows

Network, cloud, and security giant Cisco has announced its intent to acquire London-based broadband network monitoring company SamKnows for an undisclosed fee. The acquisition is the second in a week after Cisco made a similar move to add Accedian to its portfolio. The combination of SamKnows and Accedian will give Cisco a comprehensive set of tools to help enterprises and broadband service providers to ensure that their networks are performing optimally.

SamKnows will specifically be joining Cisco’s ThousandEyes team giving the firm millions of vantage points on home routers and mobile devices connected to ISPs around the world. This will allow Cisco to gain deeper insight into broadband networks and performance, which will be valuable for the network health of both enterprises and broadband service providers.

For enterprises, ISPs and Governments, the increased visibility into broadband networks will help them to ensure that their employees have a reliable and consistent internet connection when working on-site or from home. This is especially important in today’s hybrid work environment, where employees are increasingly using their home networks to access corporate applications and data.

Last-Mile Network Visibility

With visibility into over 400 million endpoints, Cisco expects to have the most comprehensive network and user experience data, vital to measure and improve network health. For end-users like employees working from home, the micro level of IT and infrastructure monitoring will help improve services such as SaaS applications and video conferencing.

Formed in 2008, SamKnows was the brainchild of software developer Sam Crawford. Dissatisfied with web-based speed tests, Crawford realised that the only way to accurately manage internet performance was from the home, using hardware connected directly to the consumer router and running test 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Crawford then built his first “Whitebox” router, published his first internet performance report, and soon after incorporated SamKnows as a company bringing in CEO Alex Salter and COO Neil Campbell.

In the years since, SamKnows have gone from strength to strength, with today’s acquisition proving their status as last-mile network visibility pioneers.

CEOs Speak

Speaking of the acquisition, Jonathan Davidson, EVP and General Manager of Cisco said:

“Cisco’s intent to acquire SamKnows, a privately held broadband network monitoring company headquartered in London, England, will expand ThousandEyes’ industry-leading view of global internet health. Today, ThousandEyes has hundreds of thousands of vantage points across the Internet, in enterprise environments, and on user devices.”

Davidson continued:

“With the addition of SamKnows’ millions of vantage points into the last mile, customers now have a single source of truth for how the Internet is performing across their entire infrastructure, including home and mobile device networks. Whether for hybrid work or consumer application delivery, optimizing and improving internet performance for everyone is just a click away.”

Alex Salter, SamKnows CEO added:

“We believe that in a few years, every internet enabled device will include a measurement agent, collecting data about internet performance. We already have tens of million homes actively testing using our global platform. We expect this number to grow tenfold in the coming years. This month alone we’ve added almost four million homes and with the performance data we collect, we are building a never-before-seen picture of device, application, and network performance. But there is still so much more that could be done.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of financial year 2024.

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