You ever feel like you got everything in order and you're all up to date on your "To Do" list just to find out there is a whole new workload coming your way that you can't even begin to wrap your head around? That's what I feel software-defined networking (SDN) is to some network operations teams out there. A new technology stack that is completely different from the way networks used to be provisioned, monitored and managed. A whole new level of complexity some folks may not be too excited about right now.
Despite the apprehension with implementing next-generation network technologies, the industry is seeing an uptake in adoption rates for SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV). Analyst firm ACG Research recently reported the adoption of SDN in data centers increased 75% in 2015, and project deployment of NFV is expected to increase at a compound rate of 44% per year between now and 2020.
One of the most important tasks that needs to be addressed is the day to day network performance monitoring of this new architecture. Shamus McGillicuddy from Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) stresses that in the white paper, Successful Network Operations in a Cloud-Centric, Software-Defined World.
"Enterprises need monitoring tools that can fully support SDN and legacy environments without adding operational complexity. Rather than adding to the number of network monitoring tools that they use on a daily basis; network teams should find comprehensive management tools that can monitor both existing networks and SDN networks."
The gaps that exist in today's management and monitoring tools will prevent organizations from reaping the full benefits of their SDN and NFV investments. Trying to close this gap post-deployment will be too late. To ensure you are ready for this new era in networking, it's time to start evaluating your network performance monitoring strategies and assurance solutions needed to fully support your SDN/NFV investments. Assuming your existing tools and processes will do the job could lead to scary scenarios in the future.
Jeremy Rossbach, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager at CA Technologies.
CA Technologies has launched a new network performance monitoring comic series featuring Kip and Gary to bring a little fun and laughter to the everyday challenges network operations teams face with traditional network performance monitoring along with implementing and managing modern network architectures like SDN and NFV. Check it out when you get a chance.