Cisco uses its ThousandEyes to build internet outages map

Telemetry from CDNs and data centres presented alongside a thousand promos to irritate your eyes


Updated Cisco has decided the world needs its take on an outage map.

The networking giant is unsurprisingly informing its map, which you can find here, with data drawn from deployments of its ThousandEyes observability suite. Switchzilla and its customers run ThousandEyes in over 20,000 data centres, and Cisco has accumulated the intelligence those implementations gather to produce its outages map.

Cisco reckons this is a gift to the world that, by using its telemetry, offers information that's closer to the source than rival services like Downdetector, which uses a mix of human and open-source intelligence.

However, the pre-release version of the site that The Register saw is not very helpful – offering entries such as a dot located in what looks like northern California that was yesterday experiencing 172 outages, including 116 Cloudflare IP addresses from a certain block experiencing issues.

As it happens The Register has a decent idea what was wrong – our operatives in San Francisco were among many who suffered an internet outage that hit the whole Bay Area, probably caused by lightning. Cisco's map offered no insights on that situation. Social media did.

Cisco's site is adorned with promos galore for ThousandEyes, a commercial experience The Register knows many readers may find irritating.

But the commercial experience is kind of the point of the new service, because Cisco has also piped outage info into ThousandEyes for customers so they can understand if their organisation's carriers, SaaS suppliers, or other providers are experiencing unplanned downtime. That info is presented alongside information on the state customers' own systems and apps, so that they can understand the source of any broken dependencies. ®

Updated to add at 2115 UTC

Cisco has revised its outages map, and is now offering a list of sites and services affected by outages, as the screenshot below demonstrates.

Cisco internet outage map

Click to enlarge

But none of the info is clickable, so notifications still warn of problems without offering additional data. Some of the outages listed are historical events that happened up to five days in the past.

And the site is still festooned with ThousandEyes promos galore.

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