Networks continue to transform as people and devices demand more and more from the underlying infrastructure. Macro trends including digital transformation, the various flavors of cloud, and the emergence of software-defined networks exponentially increase complexity to serve these ever-increasing demands. As an example, Cisco predicts that by 2021, 73 percent of enterprise cloud workloads and compute instances will be in public cloud data centers, 21 percent in private cloud, and 6 percent in traditional data centers¹.
The key to honoring service level agreements and meeting the expectations of end-users is visibility. If you can’t visually verify how your network is performing, how can you effectively find the “needle in the haystack” to ensure rapid response and adherence to your committed SLAs? To put this in perspective: $60B is spent annually on network operations (NetOps)2, and it’s estimated that 75 percent of IT operational expenses (OpEx) is used to address network changes and troubleshooting3. And the ever-increasing complexity of networks continues to drive these expenses higher.
In short, managing NetOps is becoming an increasingly complex task that has a significant monetary value. This highlights why it’s so important to have an integrated toolset for network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD).
What do we mean by an integrated toolset? It means delivering NetOps efficiency, for example, with voice and video optimization, application performance, and quality of service. It also means helping customers better plan deployments and optimize the value of their network. The goal is 50 percent faster deployments, which includes baseline assessments, policy intent validation and operation assurance. Overall, the ultimate objective is to improve the user experience by allowing NetOps teams to have insight into network and application traffic, packet-level capture, and inspection so you can see device to device conversations, end-to-end visibility from the data center to the campus to the cloud, and historical playback for needed analysis.
What does this specifically mean when it comes to NPMD capabilities? Here’s a summary:
- Day-zero visibility to plan, design or refresh a network, including SD-WAN
- Network, application and SaaS performance monitoring and troubleshooting
- Voice and video optimization, for example with Skype, Webex, and Cisco UC
- QoS monitoring and configuration to optimize the end-user experience
- Operational visibility into NOC workflows or key cloud services
- SD-WAN visibility and performance monitoring
- Root cause analysis with deep packet inspection
- Capacity planning and the ability to evaluate bandwidth, site and circuit usage
You may have noticed deep packet inspection on this list – this is what Savvius brings to LiveAction. Having both packet and flow data will allow us to deliver the most comprehensive view of the network, with the ability to drill down into packets for rapid problem isolation and resolution. We’ve gained this capability through our acquisition of Savvius, and, as we move forward and integrate, NetOps teams will be able to visualize, simplify, optimize AND troubleshoot their networks from the data center to the edge – a true next generation network management solution. What does this mean for customers in the coming weeks and months? A lot!
- More powerful solutions and toolsets, with less tool sprawl
- New data sources feeding our patented visualization capabilities including netflow, IPFIX, SNMP, and packets
- More comprehensive workflows, for example around alerting or identifying patterns and conditions
- The ability to monitor, capture, store, and drill into packet data and conversations for quick problem isolation and resolution
- Simplified management and easy click-through to critical data (like packets)
- Deployment flexibility with physical and virtual appliances, and the ability to support packet capture and storage
- An integrated worldwide sales team to meet growing customer demands
The combination of LiveAction’s flow analytics and the packet capture technology of Savvius will allow users to bridge the gap between flow and packet-based data, and use that information seamlessly when planning, monitoring and troubleshooting critical network infrastructure and key applications. Users can now go beyond seeing and analyzing data from devices, applications, paths and networks, and actually inspect packets and conversations in real-time at wire speed. This translates into more value in the form of network service assurance, a better user experience, faster response times to identification and resolution of issues, and accelerated time-to-value and performance around the optimization and adoption of new technologies.
The future of NPMD is now! Come see the future at the new LiveAction.
¹Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021 White Paper:
³Cisco UK and Ireland Blog: https://gblogs.cisco.com/uki/network-management-is-easy-said-nobody-ever-until-now/