Network management in the cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud era is a tangle of virtual, physical, and cloud infrastructure. Enterprises are utilizing new technology through software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and network function virtualization (NFV), as well as edge computing techniques. While these are incorporated to provide a competitive edge, they also complicate and bog down network operations.
With multiple providers, platforms, and wireless networks all in the mix, network engineers often don’t know where to begin when application performance issues require troubleshooting. While there are network monitoring tools available, it’s the rare enterprise that’s able to effectively simplify that part of network management. Most use several to pull in data from multiple network sources.
Given the complexity of the enterprise network, is there a way to improve management approaches to networking? Here are three critical components necessary for effective management:
Collection of Network Data from Various Domains: Teams need to be able to troubleshoot application performance issues, direct capacity planning, and analyze a network anomaly that may indicate there is an intruder. This requires end-to-end visibility, which means teams need to be able to collect data from a range of sources, from packet data to flow and application programming interface (API) integrations. Each of these plays a role in how the network is best managed, and without a full range of data sources available, network operations (NetOps) is left with insufficient information to manage or troubleshoot the network.
An Intuitive Approach to Visualizing and Interpreting the Data: In order to take action for network optimization, NetOps must have more than just access to the data. They need the data to be translated into troubleshooting and management workflows. For instance, network engineers require packet-level data in order to troubleshoot an application performance issue that is resulting in a database’s slow response times. It doesn’t matter whether an engineer is trying to optimize an SD-WAN solution or solve a performance issue with voice over internet protocol (VoIP); access to meaningful data interpretation is important.
Access to an Executive Summary: Network management professionals need the buy-in and support of key stakeholders, and executives want to see key points about the network without getting bogged down in granular detail. An effective networking tool will produce information about why the network experienced a short amount of downtime last week, or insight into how one type of device is performing compared to its predecessor. Without this critical information, executives won’t be able to make the right decisions in terms of the budget, personnel, or technology investments.
Is your enterprise struggling with the growing complexity of your network? It may be time to try a new approach. Contact us at Compass Solutions, where we can help you leverage the right tools to simplify your network with improved visibility, insightful data interpretation, and meaningful network updates for your leadership team.