Insight-Driven Network Performance Management and Protection in the Cloud/IoT Era (2017)

By Tony Kourlas, Nokia

As streaming video, intelligent cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) applications begin to dominate today’s networks, they bring with them new challenges for service providers (SPs) to address. Subscriber demands for a perfect streaming and cloud experience is creating explosive growth in network bandwidth and complexity. A new generation of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks originating from cloud and IoT sources is bringing down critical parts of public network infrastructure. Any upsets in service increase customer dissatisfaction and churn.

At the root of the problem is lack of the visibility and control necessary to identify and resolve cloud/IoT network issues quickly and cost-effectively. Operators have petabytes of data at their fingertips. However, this data is collected in silos across multiple systems, requiring them to manually combine and correlate billions of data points amassed, and then organize them into a coherent report so they can try and sniff out issues. This process has been wrought with human error, and has not provided enough data to see exactly where problems lie. The primary tools of this process, deep packet inspection (DPI)-based appliances,were simply not designed to deal with cloud/IoT scale and complexity. In the end, problem resolution has become a costly guessing game that rarely resolves problems quickly enough to keep customers happy.

That has led to ballooning capital and operational costs.

The industry has responded by evolving IP network analytics. A new generation of software-only solutions can ingest, combine, and correlate petabytes of siloed data from network, enterprise and cloud sources to provide a holistic view of the entire network and the applications that flow through it – in real time. SPs can, without hardware probes, track applications and services – not just at certain points in the network, but end-to-end, across 100 dimensions at the same time.

Network intelligence has also become actionable in real time. These solutions also provide SPs with the tools they need to quickly act on this data by creating baselines and triggers that alert on anomalies. Data from the network, data center and wide area network (WAN) can be used to trigger processes or real-time policies that increase customer quality of experience (QoE) and network security, while decreasing overhead and customer churn.

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