Extracting Meaning and Knowledge of Big Data

December 6, 2016 Sean Brady

We’re very pleased to announce  the availability of Arbor Networks SP Insight, our extension to the critically-acclaimed Arbor SP platform long-used by our customers for network traffic visibility and DDoS attack detection. We believe this extension will allow SP users more flexibility with their data. They are more informed about their own networks, resulting in better planning and decisions to the benefit of their business. I also believe this is an opportunity to give context to a notion I find frequently is a marketing hand wave – the ongoing trend of highlighting new products and services which use “Big Data”.

The conversation around practical applications for Big Data is not exactly an untraveled road – in 2013, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) examined this topic and noted the following about how companies struggle to take advantage of Big Data:

They don’t know how to manage it, analyze it in ways that enhance their understanding, and then make changes in response to new insights.

What’s remarkable is years later we’re still in similar straits – it’s all too easy to be a cynic about the marketing of Big Data solutions when everybody stakes a claim to the concept. There’s also a burgeoning false equivalency that having massive storage or a NoSQL database underpinning your product means it must be a Big Data solution – that’s terribly misleading if the technology itself and the usability of the technology is not practical.  As the HBR notes – if it’s not manageable, it doesn’t readily enhance understanding, and thereby drive change leading to Big Data solutions failing at being practical.

It’s this distinction which guided the development of SP Insight – connecting the user experience of SP with the data being collected. The product pages on this site will note the incorporation of a “Big Data Lake” – but particularly in the context of above, what does this mean? To Arbor, while an acknowledgment of the scope of the flow data the SP user can decide to store, it’s also an expression that this is a repository of data made incredibly useful within SP & SP Insight.


From within the familiar SP Interface, users can select “Explore with SP Insight” to jump from a given report toward deeper exploration.


Users can zoom down into incredibly detailed information – but the point is it’s all relevant and usable. This is what we believe is the optimal approach to Big Data – it’s one thing to store large amounts of data, it’s an entirely different thing to purpose-build tools around the data to make it incredibly useful to the user. If the data itself is usable via clear user interfaces, that’s when the information truly contributes to planning and decisions beneficial to the business.

We invite anybody, especially our existing SP users, to contact us to find out more about SP Insight. As networks get more complex, the business expects more value from them – and we will all need solutions which increase both visibility and understanding at the same time. Arbor Networks understands this, and we’re pleased to announce SP Insight’s availability in response.

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