Every holiday, we decorate our homes from top to bottom and inside and out. And it seems with each passing year the decorations get a bit more intricate as we layer them on top of each other.
Organizations around the world are building similarly complicated stacks in their data centers as they invest in new modern network technologies that support their IoT, Cloud or software-defined networking (SDN) initiatives.
Multiple layers breed complexity and complexity breeds bottlenecks. Just one bottleneck in any part of the new modern network stack can have a rapid impact on application performance and the customer experience. To decrease this complexity, organizations need to be able to not only see but also assure every layer in the new network stack. They need to know when a new network function is spun up, its utilization and relationships and when it is decommissioned.
Peel Back the Layers
Although new self-service provisioning models, such as SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), increase flexibility; they also decrease visibility. Dynamic changes are harder to track. Problems are harder to find. And performance is harder to control.
To realize the full benefits of SDN and NFV, organizations need to be able to peel back every layer of the supportive infrastructure, so they can understand, manage and assure what is happening underneath.
Virtual network functions (VNF) like firewalls and load balancers or content filters and optimizers are critical links in the service chain and need to be permanently on the network performance monitoring map. Every one of these links to services the customer experience. For example, millions of AT&T customers rely on its next-generations networks to provide continuous wireless connectivity.
The need for effective network performance monitoring across such complex and dynamically changing environments is becoming an increasing concern not just for carriers such as AT&T but all enterprises.
To survive – and succeed – in the modern network revolution, network operators need to rewrite the monitoring and management rulebook. They need solutions and processes that extend their visibility and that help them:
■ Track evolving relationships in the network stack
■ Map performance issues to business services
■ Monitor and mitigate potential bottlenecks
■ Relate new networking assets to legacy environments
■ Access intelligent and predictive analytics.
Delivering Business Value
With network performance monitoring linked no more than ever to an organization’s revenue and reputation, it’s not just the folks in IT operations who care about controlling and optimizing the networking stack. Everyone from the CEO and the capacity manager to the line of business director and the developer want to know the network can deliver on expectations.
By taking a proactive approach to network assurance and performance management, organizations can ensure that every layer and every component in the stack – physical, virtual or software-defined – is not only supporting the business but also optimizing the customer experience.
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.