2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 8: NetOps and NPM
December 14, 2023
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Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM, AIOps, Observability, OpenTelemetry and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2024. Part 8 covers NetOps and Network Performance Management (NPM).

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 1

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 2

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 3

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 4

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 5

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 6

Start with: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 7

MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT - A NETWORK MANAGEMENT PODCAST

In Episode 1 of MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) discusses 2024 trends in network management.

Click here for a direct MP3 download of Episode 1

In Episode 2 of the MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Podcast, Shamus McGillicuddy discusses the network management impacts of remote work.

Click here for a direct MP3 download of Episode 2

The Internet is the de facto corporate network in 2024

The Internet is your network. Companies will be forced to look at new sets of tools as LANs become less important than understanding the broader distributed networks across the web.
Gerardo Dada
CMO, Catchpoint

As businesses increasingly transition to cloud-based infrastructures, Network Operations (NetOps) faces a paradigm shift marked by heightened complexity and the way they will need to operate. With the majority of traffic traversing the internet, it is poised to become the de facto corporate network. In response to this evolving landscape, NetOps professionals are compelled to prioritize security seamlessly within automated processes to ensure a smooth user experience. This obviously entails a notable shift toward network automation, where NetOps will integrate network connectivity with native security measures. The future of NetOps lies in the ability to harmonize intricate cloud networks with robust security protocols, adapting to the dynamic nature of the digital realm and safeguarding corporate assets in an era where the internet takes center stage as the backbone of business connectivity.
Erez Tadmor
Cybersecurity Evangelist, Tufin

AIOps IS Biggest Use Case for AI in Networking

AIOps, which is the use of AI to automate and streamline IT operations tasks, is going to be the biggest use case for AI in the networking space in 2024. When it comes to networking, every capability needs to be tightly integrated, and AIOps makes meaning out of all the disparate information floating around. In particular, this is going to be critical for anomaly detection, which can help enterprises quickly identify the root cause of an incident, so they can resolve it before there's any damage to their network.
Amir Khan
CEO, Alkira

Network optimization can support better performance of AI, but AI can also support better performance of networks. Although it's still early days for AIOps (AI for IT operations), it is beginning to show potential. While all areas of IT operations are covered by AIOps, one area which is now emerging as an important component is AIOps for network operations. Network engineers are being faced with increasingly complex network landscapes, combining a distributed workforce, a multitude of devices, and cloud infrastructure, etc. AIOps simplifies the management of network operations through automation, predictive analytics, and root cause analysis on the basis of big data and machine learning. AIOps can speed up troubleshooting and resolving issues for customers, and at the same time reduce costs, as precious NOC employees can work on more critical tasks that AI can't solve today. In late 2023, one survey found that while only 4% of respondents have already integrated some kind of AIOps organization-wide, a further 15% have implemented AIOps as a proof of concept, and 29% have identified use cases for its future implementation. The market is forecast to triple in size over the next four years, reaching nearly US$ 65 billion in 2028.
Dr. Thomas King
CTO, DE-CIX

THE RISE OF THE Dark NOC

With the speed at which AIOps has advanced, the idea of a completely automated, lights out Network Operations Center is quickly becoming an ideal. Over the next 12 months, networking companies will further embed AIOps into their broader operations to improve network quality, support engineers, and modernize infrastructures. While automation lays at the heart of a Dark NOC, human talent will be key to making it a success. Network providers will need to focus on upskilling, as well as ensuring they have made the necessary preparations from a technological standpoint — from standardizing APIs to optimizing data processes. Networking specialists must understand where automation helps and where human talent is still an essential part of the networking function.
NTT Data

AI STREAMLINES NETWORK PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS

In 2024, I expect Network Performance Management and Application-Aware NPM to evolve dramatically, especially with cybersecurity challenges mounting. We'll likely see a more nuanced use of AI and machine learning, not just for quicker threat detection but also to streamline network performance analysis. This shift is crucial because as our networks get more complex, the interplay between performance management and security becomes even more critical. We're moving towards a future where being proactive in cybersecurity is directly tied to maintaining robust network health.
Jered Gordner
Senior Manager, IT Security Operations Center, MorganFranklin Consulting

AI NOT READY FOR NETWORK PROVISIONING

Although AI will be a helpful tool for networking in 2024, we're still far from AI handling network provisioning on its own. Networks are mission-critical, so using AI to automate an entire network is still too risky, especially if you don't have the right personnel to monitor it and understand all the real-time decisions it's making. An enterprise can lose millions of dollars in an hour if they don't know where an issue happened. AI models will need to be trained for a long time for organizations to feel comfortable giving it more network responsibility.
Amir Khan
CEO, Alkira

GENAI SUPPORTS NETWORK TROUBLESHOOTING

GenAI will play an increasingly important role in Network Observability and Operations. The industry will start simply, with prompt-based natural language interfaces for data exploration, but quickly evolve towards using GenAI and LLMs for network troubleshooting assistance, using autonomous agents or co-pilots. By the end of 2024 we will see a number of products assisting network engineers with high accuracy, making a difference in speed of recovery for complex hybrid networks supporting business-critical applications.
Christoph Pfister
Chief Product Officer, Kentik

Consolidation of Network Management Tools

One of the top customer and prospect pain points we've been hearing from enterprises in recent months is that they feel overwhelmed by the number of tools they have to navigate to manage their networks. Moving forward, we expect enterprises will actively try and eliminate tool sprawl by consolidating their network management tools with more end-to-end platforms. Doing this effectively addresses several goals that corporate boards are laying out for enterprises, including cost reduction, increased performance, and higher customer satisfaction. Currently, the majority of enterprises are wasting precious time logging in and out of different point solutions to achieve basic tasks, when they could be reducing operational friction by using a centralized platform that has been designed and optimized for modern enterprise workloads. As more enterprises see what's on the other side of their tangled web of network management tools, adoption rates for platform solutions will grow quickly.
Amir Khan
CEO, Alkira

PRIORITIZING CONTEXT OF ANOMALIES

Expect to see brands prioritize context of production environment anomalies, leveraging advanced technologies to do so: Machine learning will be used to build a baseline telemetry and reduce noise within the network infrastructure. DevOps will then be able to rapidly detect anomalies even for unprecedented errors. Observability platforms that use newer data collection techniques, such as extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF), will go beyond just detecting these anomalies and use AI to analyze the context of the issue. Overall, there is a stronger focus on actionable insights and additional context to trigger remediation of compromised production environments.
Amir Krayden
CEO, Senser

As-a-Service Model Takes Off in Enterprise Networking

2023 has been a turning point for cloud-based, as-a-service delivery models, which enterprises are realizing is just as easy to consume as all the other SaaS applications they have come to rely on. We've seen firsthand how much interest has soared over the last 12 months, and it is clear that this is the future of the networking space. Customers have been raving about the ease of use, cost savings, and increased agility and performance that this model delivers, compared to traditional networking where organizations had to purchase, install, and manage their own network infrastructure. With shrinking staffs and IT leaders being asked to do more with less (yet again!), the as-a-service model for networking is going to continue to be a vital component for the next generation of enterprise success.
Amir Khan
CEO, Alkira

Network-Driven Transformation Becomes Increasingly Necessary

Beyond the data realm, another dimension of transformation awaits through operational technology systems leveraging the full spectrum of network capabilities via network exposure. Although it's a ground-up journey with initial challenges such as ROI and integrations, the lessons from NaaS, private networks, and Edge/Cloud developments will serve as accelerants. The path to maturity is poised to accelerate, reshaping industries and redefining possibilities.
Ana Redondo
Product Strategy Lead, Amdocs Networks

Convergence of Network, Cloud and Security Teams

In today's day and age, networking is no longer just about connecting point A to point B. It's become a lot more complex, where cloud is involved and security is expected to be integrated inside of the network. We are moving away from the days where network, cloud, and security teams function in their own silos. These teams now have to be fully connected, working in unison to solve today's toughest challenges, and enterprises are beginning to realize this on a larger scale. While it may be tempting for some organizations to try and consolidate these functions under a single person or group as another way to reduce costs, we don't anticipate this happening en masse. Network, cloud, and security professionals each possess unique skills that would be difficult for a single person or group to acquire and maintain at the highest level. Combining the skills of the best network, cloud, and security professionals is going to be a lot more beneficial for an organization's bottom line than having someone in a broader position that tries to balance the responsibilities of all three.
Amir Khan
CEO, Alkira

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