Virtualization has breathed new life into networks, as NFV and SDN technology offer new possibilities in the way they can be built and operated. As a result, networks are becoming increasingly agile, offering service providers the capability to scale their operations with the rising demand of customers.
However, as new services and infrastructure are deployed, network complexity can begin to quickly snowball. Within virtualized networks, service topologies can change in minutes making it difficult for service providers to stay ahead of the network.
This has lead to one of the main challenges service providers face today: achieving an accurate view of the network and understanding the state of services across physical and virtual infrastructure.
The solution? Operators must be able to establish a trusted model of service topology and monitor network performance intuitively.
In the same way that doctors rely on X-rays and CT scans to diagnose a patient’s ailment and determine a remedy, network operators need to have an end-to-end, real-time view of the network in order to manage and solve problems between layers and domains.
Let’s examine the benefits of having a detailed view of what’s happening in your network.
Pinpointing the fracture
Much like the composition of a human leg, the status of the network is reliant on all of its components working together. For example, if a person breaks a bone, or if a single device in the network experiences a failure, it can create a cascade of issues throughout. For the individual this can mean surgery, and for the service provider it can mean a degradation in customer quality of experience. By visualizing the entire network in real time, operators can locate and respond to faults rapidly, as well as prevent potential breaks from happening in the future.
Monitoring heart rate and blood pressure
With a deep understanding of network dynamics and patterns, operators are also able to optimize capacity and identify underperforming services and resources. It’s the same idea as a doctor monitoring the health of a patient. Determining whether or not the network can support demand is made simple with a holistic perspective of operations, just as measuring vital signs can provide insight into the capability of a body. Network utilization can be monitored over time, and upgrades can be made to areas where it’s needed most.
Finally, establishing a trusted model of network and service topology is crucial for automation. Doctors keep medical records of patients in order to better understand their health and subsequently create a treatment plan. Once the foundation of an accurate view of the network infrastructure is in place, a proactive approach can be applied to operations. As a result, service providers would be able overlay their network data on top of service topology to automate and orchestrate network and service changes.
For service providers looking to keep their network off life support, having a comprehensive view of real-time operations is critical.
Download the Appledore Research Group’s white paper for a comprehensive guide to assuring dynamic services in the hybrid virtualization network.