To stay relevant – you need to transform
The digital consumer in the application economy demands service delivery at lightning speeds—when, where and how they want it. In order to meet this demand, every business must become a digital business and transform their networks based on software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. For any network to stay relevant and competitive, the inclusion of SDN and NFV in its strategic plan is paramount.
A recent study by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) and sponsored by CA Technologies on the Impacts of SDN and Network Virtualization on Network Management revealed that the top benefits targeted with SDN-based network transformation efforts were boosting end-user productivity, growing revenue and improving customer brand loyalty and retention. More than anything else, 61% of communication service providers (CSPs) are building virtual private clouds with SDN and NFV to achieve these business goals; allowing them to add new services rapidly in software rather than hardware. SDN in the data center is where the enterprise is expecting to achieve these business goals. Their top use cases were to increase network automation (44%) followed closely by rapid provisioning of network connectivity (43%).
Is your current network management up to the task?
Before SDN and NFV technologies can help companies be successful, they must make sure they have the right network management tools in place. 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.”
Unfortunately, EMA’s research has determined that most CSPs and enterprises’ existing network management systems are ill-prepared to fully support SDN and NFV. Less than one third (1/3) said their inventory, performance management and fault management tools are ready to support these new network technologies. That leaves a lot of organizations out there unprepared for a successful network transformation to fuel their competitive edge.
Stay calm and ask questions
Clearly, early adopters of SDN and NFV see it as a technology that is transformational to their business. “However, a major threat to SDN and NFV success looms. Most incumbent operations support and readiness tools and service assurance systems are not prepared to support these new network technologies”, insists Shamus McGillicuddy, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).
To succeed and win in the Application Economy and meet the demands of today's digital consumers, look for a SDN/NFV fault and performance management solution that encompasses these six principle requirements:
1. Dissect and rebuild the multi-layer SDN/NFV network stack.
2. Pinpoint known data-plane weaknesses.
3. Utilize the service chain framework.
4. Manage the old and new networks together.
5. Keep pace with change velocity.
6. Participate in auto-healing.
SDN and NFV demands fault and performance management to respond quickly and dissect the most intricate service problems in a meaningful, actionable way. A viable management solution should enable organizations to transition to SDN/NFV networks with their current infrastructure management investments and operational best practices and apply them to these new networks.
Ask your network management vendors about their SDN/NFV assurance roadmaps. Is your network management vendor addressing the new functional requirements you need for business success? Can you complement your existing network management systems with a new tool?
Play nice and make friends
The right network management solution isn’t the only piece of the puzzle for network transformation success. It takes industry collaboration to champion and drive the development and deployment of “proven” SDN and NFV solutions. Intel Network Builders is fostering a vibrant ecosystem to lead the successful network transformations of tomorrow. They connect service providers and end users with the infrastructure, software and technology vendors that are driving new solutions to the market and CA Technologies is proud to collaborate with Intel to realize success for our telecom and data data center network customers.
The consequences of not transforming your network with precision to compete in today’s digital market are severe. Infinite blind spots to bottlenecks, continually being two steps behind service outages, failed product launches and no competitive edge – just to name a few.
For any additional details on CA Virtual Network Assurance or to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the team of subject-matter experts, please feel free to contact Jeremy Rossbach.