IM 4 Forces That Will Influence Network Operations Success
Transforming your network monitoring software and strategies to respond to four prime forces influencing network operations
September 20, 2017

Jeremy Rossbach
CA Technologies

Today's network teams are locked in a struggle as existing and emerging forces place additional pressure on network monitoring and management. Here's a look at the top four forces that are impacting networks and network operations and how the enterprise can best respond.

1. The application economy

There are now thousands of apps that are needed to run businesses and connect people around the world. As the variety, velocity and volume of apps increases, so too does the pressure on the network – both in terms of performance and resources. To succeed in the application economy, network teams need network monitoring software that not only analyzes performance at a packet or component level but also at a user and transaction level.

Takeaway: Think about how many times you update apps on your mobile phone. This is just a small example as to the speed at which changes in applications put pressure on the network and how network monitoring software should be able to track the impact of these changes on not only the network but the customer experience.

2. Cloud

In response to the application economy, organizations are increasingly using cloud-based resources to keep pace with the demand for additional infrastructure and development capacity. While cloud means agility, it also escalates complexity by creating blind spots beyond the doors of the datacenter. To safeguard availability of critical services, network teams need network monitoring software with extended visibility into the new pathway to the cloud

Takeaway: Think about this – enterprises are moving workloads out to cloud providers and network access to these apps are no longer over LAN connections but internet connections. This is a new challenge to manage and monitor connectivity to corporate apps like SAP, SalesForce, etc, for network operations teams today.

3. SDN

In response to infrastructure agility demands, network architectures need to provide greater flexibility as well. As a result, organizations are increasingly embracing new models, such as software-defined networking (SDN), which enable network resources to grow or shrink according to user demands. This means the network architecture is constantly changing with objects appearing and disappearing. To ensure nothing falls through the monitoring gap, network teams need network monitoring software that can quickly spot the arrival of a new physical or virtual asset and capture the relevant operational metrics and new relationships.

Takeaway: SDN may close the gap on network automation but also brings with it a complexity unheard of by most network operations teams today. Avoid network monitoring software that doesn't fully support a wide array of SDN vendors and technology stacks and cannot future proof your network transformation initiatives. You may not be ready to dive head first into the deep end of the SDN pool but when you are, shouldn't your network monitoring solution be ready to support you?

4. IoT

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), network borders have changed forever. In fact, there are no borders any more. Smart meters, wearables and drones are just some of the things that will make up the 80 billion connected devices predicted for 2020. To cope, organizations need highly scalable network monitoring software that can not only capture performance metrics of millions of devices but also analyze them to provide insights into root causes and improvement opportunities.

Takeaway: IoT will push the scale limits of today's traditional network monitoring. A dense network architecture should be expected from the anticipated tsunami of data that comes with IoT and SDN, and these new technologies will cripple most monitoring systems. You should expect a modern network monitoring platform to scale into the millions of monitored items along with support for hundreds of thousands of polled metrics per seconds. It will be the only way to keep up!

These fantastic four forces can equip the enterprise with super powers, but their full potential will only be unleashed if your network monitoring software is primed for their arrival and advancement and problems are identified and addressed quickly.

By transforming traditional approaches with a scalable and open network monitoring platform, enterprises will be able to tap into new operational insights and analytics that maximize agility and availability while minimizing risk and cost.

Jeremy Rossbach is Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Network Operations and Analytics, at CA Technologies
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