Hybrid Cloud is Mainstream and Performance Management Software is Essential
April 15, 2016

Shamus McGillicuddy
EMA

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Enterprises are aggressively deploying hybrid cloud infrastructure today, and the majority of them are deploying new network performance management software to support it.

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) recently published its biannual network management megatrends research report, Network Management Megatrends 2016: Managing Networks in the Era of the Internet of Things, Hybrid Clouds and Advanced Network Analytics. For this research we surveyed 150 North American enterprise network management professionals, and as the title makes obvious we asked them how they are impacted by hybrid clouds, among other megatrends.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of them said that their organizations have completed a production hybrid cloud deployment. Another 35% said they are in the process of deploying a hybrid cloud today and 15% said they plan to go into production within 12 months. EMA defined a hybrid cloud as a combination of internal, private cloud infrastructure and external, public cloud infrastructure, with orchestration and connectivity across the two.

Performance monitoring is a critical technology for enterprises that are deploying or operating hybrid clouds. We asked them to identify which networking technologies they are adopting to support these environments. The number one response was network virtualization overlays (e.g. VMware NSX). The second most popular response was network performance monitoring and management software (51%).

We also asked research participants to identify the networking challenges they are facing with hybrid cloud. The number one challenge (30%) was the complexity of provisioning interconnections between public and private cloud environments. However, several other challenges emerged as nearly as common. For instance, 26% said they lacked end-to-end, multi-site network visibility and troubleshooting, and 26% said they struggled with network latency between internal and external cloud resources. Finally, 23% said that their applications were not properly architected for hybrid cloud networks. These latter three challenges point to potential application performance problems. Enterprises who are implementing hybrid clouds will need to evaluate the readiness of their performance management to support these new cloud environments. Many of them also clearly need to evaluate their application architectures before they migrate.

EMA's 2016 network megatrends research explored a number of other interesting topics that IT professionals will find informative. For instance, we found that the vast majority of network management professionals are supporting an Internet of Things (IoT) initiative. The research explores the technologies they are adopting, the use cases they are pursuing, and the challenges they are facing with IoT.

Nearly half of enterprises are applying advanced analytics to network data. And more than half are outsourcing some aspects of network management to a managed services provider. Our research explores both of these trends in depth. It also examines enterprises' evolving requirements of network management products and the overall challenges to and benefits of network operations success.

To learn more about this research, attend EMA's free research highlights webinar and download the full report.

Shamus McGillicuddy is Senior Analyst, Network Management at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).

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