Editor’s note: This blog post was sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, but the sentiments are entirely my own.
Everyone wants to talk about how analytics is the future of network engineering and operations. The phrase “network analytics” is used by vendors of various stripes to imply that a particular technology is smarter and better than the average solution.
Enterprise networking professionals have a cloud problem, even if they don’t know it. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions can help them solve this problem.
Despite what you hear from trolls, bigots, and misogynists, diversity in the technology industry is a good thing. But the philosophy of diversity needs more champions. Tech companies and IT organizations need to expand their workforce beyond the herds of white men that have dominated the industry for decades.
Despite some recent obituaries published by my peers, software-defined networking is not dead. But perhaps certain aspects of it are dead or dying. If that’s the case, I say: “SDN is dead. Long live SDN.”
EMA research has determined that network managers will need to upgrade, expand, and adapt their network monitoring and management tools and practices if they are going to support the Internet of Things (IoT).
Some network operations teams are discovering that they possess a critical asset that can transform enterprises: network data.
The Open Networking User Group (ONUG) is a community of IT executives that are using their combined buying power to influence the networking industry. Members hail from companies such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity Investments. ONUG’s goal is to specify requirements and reference architectures for products that are open, more affordable and more agile than what vendors traditionally offer.
Over its first two years of existence, ONUG has focused on software-defined WAN (SDWAN), network virtualization overlays and network service virtualization (also known as network functions virtualization or NFV). Last week, ONUG convened its spring meeting at Columbia University, where its focus expanded into network management and operations. ONUG introduced three new working groups that will specify open networking requirements and begin testing vendor solutions in various management areas.
As an analyst who focuses on network management research, I am particularly intrigued by software-defined networking (SDN). As SDN architectures are deployed in data centers, local area networks and WANs, network management practices will have to evolve. For instance, SDN may make it easier for cloud administrators to provision network services and connectivity for a new application, but how do you ensure that your new programmable network remains compliant with configuration controls and policies? Is your performance management tool able to model and monitor an SDN controller? If you have traditionally relied about appliance-based load balancers and firewalls in your data center, how do you monitor and manage those network functions when they become virtualized services that are as mobile and dynamic as the workloads they serve?
Of course, I always encourage practitioners to carefully study the full EMA research report on the “Obstacles and Priorities on the Journey to the Software-Defined Data Center” or at least read the research study summary or at the very least join the EMA SDDC Research webinar on February 18, but I still want to briefly summarize the key findings here.