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.

Share this

The Latest

April 21, 2017

In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...

April 20, 2017

Almost One-Third (28 percent) of IT workers surveyed fear that cloud adoption is putting their job at risk, according to a survey conducted by ScienceLogic ...

April 19, 2017

A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...

April 18, 2017

The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...

April 17, 2017

One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...

April 12, 2017

Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...

April 11, 2017

What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today ...

April 10, 2017

As companies adopt new hardware and applications, their networks grow larger and become harder to manage. For network engineers and administrators, the continued emergence of integrated technology has forced them to reconfigure and manage networks in a more dynamic way ...

April 07, 2017

The complexity of data in motion is growing and risks undermining the success of the modern data-driven enterprise. A recent survey of data engineers and architects, conducted by StreamSets, sought to bring some perspective to the new reality in the enterprise, leading to some interesting insights about the enterprise data landscape ...

April 06, 2017

The biggest factor driving happiness is the quality of relationships IT professionals have with their coworkers, including users, peers, and managers, according to the 2017 IT Job Satisfaction report from Spiceworks ...