Shine Light on Blind Spots with Visibility
March 03, 2016

Ananda Rajagopal
Gigamon

Share this

Enterprise networks are as complicated as they have ever been. A host of factors are coming together that are creating previously unimaginable complexity, which in turn is the underlying cause of performance issues and cybersecurity flaws. Network administrators are bombarded with change at a rapid pace, with enterprise mobility, machine-to-machine traffic, virtualized infrastructure, encrypted traffic and more turning their infrastructure upside down. It's a wonder they have time to rest.

These trends put network performance and security at risk by creating blind spots. For example, the rise of virtualized infrastructure has been necessary to support many modern technologies, but virtualized infrastructure is more difficult to monitor than physical infrastructure, which in turn has created security weak points. Likewise, there has been a significant growth in SSL encrypted traffic in recent years, to the point where it now represents nearly a third of all enterprise traffic, per a study by NSS Labs. But, many out of band monitoring and performance management tools do not have the ability to support SSL traffic, and even if they do, they don't have the ability to monitor it in a way that doesn't dramatically reduce network performance. Again, administrators are left with the choice of a blind spot or an untenable network chokepoint – not an appealing option.

Virtualization and SSL traffic are here today, but the Internet of Things and the associated machine-to-machine traffic are coming tomorrow. When they fully arrive, network administrators will have far more to contend with as even the lowliest sensor redefines the edge of the network and the use of newly integrated devices results in more chatter and more network traffic than ever before. This is especially true for manufacturing, industrial and government networks, where IoT is going to mean a lot more than just smart thermostats and refrigerators.

All hope is not lost for besieged enterprise IT departments. What they need now, more than ever, is visibility. They will never be able to manage what they can't see, and fortunately for them, there are ways to gain a single view over each and every part of their network infrastructure. Here are four tips that will help increase visibility and shine a bright light on blind spots:

1. TAP Everything

It is no longer good enough to rely on SPAN ports. They have a variety of limitations, from limited views to missed packets. It's time to TAP everything.

2. Connect Everything

All out of band security and performance management tools can't sit separately from the rest of the network infrastructure. The tools that need to see network traffic can't be siloed, and need to be able to review every packet without contention.

3. Segment Traffic

Security and performance management tools need access to traffic, just not all traffic, all the time. By segment, manipulating and grooming traffic flows, administrators can ensure that the appropriate traffic is flowing to the right places.

4. Aggregate Traffic and Metadata

Enormous benefits can be derived from aggregating traffic and metadata into a single, unified fabric that gives administrators one view of their network.

The future is as bright as ever, but the network that's going to support it is complicated. Network administrators that bring visibility to their infrastructure will race forward fastest, without the fear that a new problem is lurking in their blind spot.

Ananda Rajagopal is VP of Product Management at Gigamon.

Share this

The Latest

July 09, 2020

Enterprises that halted their cloud migration journey during the current global pandemic are two and a half times more likely than those that continued their move to the cloud to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs, according to Virtana's latest survey report The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT ...

July 08, 2020

Every business has the responsibility to do their part against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint while increasing sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing optimization of IT infrastructure is one method companies can use to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainability and increase business efficiency, while also keeping costs down ...

July 07, 2020

While the adoption of continuous integration (CI) is on the rise, software engineering teams are unable to take a zero-tolerance approach to software failures, costing enterprise organizations billions annually, according to a quantitative study conducted by Undo and a Cambridge Judge Business School MBA project ...

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...

June 17, 2020

In the agile DevOps framework, there is a vital piece missing; something that previous approaches to application development did well, but has since fallen by the wayside. That is, the post-delivery portion of the toolchain. Without continuous cloud optimization, the CI/CD toolchain still produces massive inefficiencies and overspend ...

June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated digital transformation projects. To better understand where IT professionals are turning for help, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers. Our research found an increase in demand for resources related to APM, microservices and dependence on cloud services ...