SDN and NFV Can Help Safeguard Service Continuity and Quality in a Digital Age
March 16, 2016

Jeremy Rossbach
CA Technologies

Share this

The application economy has put the digital consumer in the driving seat. They dictate when, where and how they want services delivered. Whether they are using a smartphone or a laptop, digital consumers all want one thing – speed. To be productive at work and play, they need to be in the fast lane, and so do businesses and their networks.

Building a network fit for the application economy means transformation, optimization and virtualization. Today’s networks and processes will not be sufficient to meet digital consumers’ expectations for agility and availability. Services will suffer downtime. Applications will be slow to respond. And digital consumers will be quick to find an alternative. Their expectations are high as recent research reveals that 80-90% of all consumer applications will only be used once.

Embracing new technologies, such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), will be key to safeguarding application performance and service continuity in a digital age.

However, organizations must invest and innovate with care. SDN and NFV are both disruptive technologies, which means they have the capacity to both enable and encumber application economy initiatives.

Catalyst for Change

When implementing SDN or NFV, businesses must plan not just for technological change but also operational and cultural change. Performance and fault management will no longer just be about fixing individual issues, but optimizing an overall service to enrich the experience for digital consumers.

To take a more holistic, user-focused approach to performance and fault management, CIOs will need to encourage greater collaboration between teams as well as embed service assurance into their SDN and NFV environments.

As Paul Parker-Johnson, Senior Analyst with ACG Research confirms: “SDN and NFV reshape conventional network designs and introduce the need for new management and service assurance tools to handle implementation.”

A recent Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) study on SDN and network virtualization’s impact on network management reveals even more evidence. Only 32% of communication service providers and enterprises feel confident that their performance management and troubleshooting tools are ready to support SDN and NFV technologies. That leaves a lot of organizations out there unprepared to meet the demands of this next-generation technology that will fuel their network transformations.


To succeed and win in the Application Economy and meet the demands of digital consumers, next-generation service assurance solutions will need to encompass:

■ Automated workflows

■ Physical and virtual network stack visibility

■ Service chain frameworks and metadata

■ Transient data collection

■ Actionable analytics

“A major threat to SDN and NFV success looms. Before SDN can help companies boost productivity and grow revenue, IT organizations must make sure they have the right network management tools in place”, says Shamus McGillicuddy, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).

Accelerate the DevOps Vision

By prioritizing service assurance alongside network transformation, organizations will also be able to bring greater agility to their development activities. For example, with service assured SDN and NFV, internal and external developers will be able to test new or young applications on live networks, enabling a faster time-to-market and a better user experience.

The ability to meet production and development demands without compromising agility or availability will help organizations move closer to realizing the full vision of DevOps, which delivers significant advantage in a digital age.

With SDN and NFV set to become the backbone of the application economy, organizations need to ensure that next-generation network reliability is assured and optimized at every stage and every layer. Otherwise they risk being left behind in the slow lane. And you can bet digital consumers won’t stick around to enjoy the ride.

Jeremy Rossbach is Sr Product Marketing Manager at CA Technologies.

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

The Latest

February 22, 2018

Everyone wants to talk about how analytics is the future of network engineering and operations. The phrase "network analytics" is used by vendors of various stripes to imply that a particular technology is smarter and better than the average solution. But what is it? What does the term network analytics mean to the enterprise network infrastructure professionals? ...

February 21, 2018

Three out of four (76%) of organizations think IT complexity could soon make it impossible to manage digital performance efficiently, according to the Top Challenges Facing CIOs in a Cloud-Native World report from Dynatrace ...

February 20, 2018

The Global CIO Point of View report compiled by ServiceNow notes that 89 percent of organizations are either in the planning stages or are already taking advantage of machine learning. Nearly 90 percent of the CIOs surveyed anticipate that increasing automation will increase the speed and accuracy of decisions, and more than two-thirds believe that decisions made by machines will be more accurate than human-made decisions ...

February 16, 2018

The enterprise WAN is unable to keep up with digital transformation demands, according to Foundation for Digital Transformation, a new research report, authored by Ensemble IQ and supported by InfoVista. This challenge was universal across all three vertical industries surveyed — retail, manufacturing, and banking/financial services ...

February 15, 2018

Achieving optimum Java Virtual Machine (JVM) performance is key to ensuring proper memory management and fast application processing. According to a Cornell University study, a 1-millisecond improvement in the performance of a trading application can be worth $100 million a year to a major brokerage firm. Because of this potential for loss, IT teams owning banking, financial, trading and other Java-based applications place a high value on having a proper JVM monitoring strategy in place ...

February 13, 2018

APM had to evolve to keep pace with development velocity and maintain the service quality for the modern applications born out of digital transformation. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are critical to the next step in APM evolution, helping to address speed, scalability and intelligence demands ...

February 12, 2018

A worldwide survey by Gartner, Inc. showed that 91 percent of organizations have not yet reached a "transformational" level of maturity in data and analytics, despite this area being a number one investment priority for CIOs in recent years ...

February 09, 2018

Mobile app performance is still a significant issue. In a new report from PacketZoom, The Effect of Mobile Network Performance on Mobile App Users, 66% of consumers said reliable mobile app performance is "very important" — second only to mobile app security ...

February 07, 2018

IT departments that shift from reactionary fire fighters to becoming proactive business partners find their ticket counts reduced from 20 to 50 percent or more. The strategies outlined in Part 1 of this blog may all sound like a great way to turn IT into a strategic, proactive business-enabler, but how can companies turn strategy into reality? The following are three best practices ...