Simplifying modern network operations: From your office to Timbuktu

CA and Netrounds simplify quality monitoring of hybrid cloud environments, among other things

When Shamus McGillicuddy, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Management Research, published the 2017 EMA Innovator Report late last year, there were two statistics that caught my eye:

Firstly, on average, 71% of a Network Operations Manager’s day is spent fixing network problems, through either reactive troubleshooting (“firefighting”) or proactive problem prevention1. This alarming statistic leaves little time for your operations team to spend on projects that are delivering real value to your business.

Secondly, the number one challenge that operations team face today is the “lack of end-to-end network visibility”, largely due to a fragmented toolset. Although we realize that “One tool to rule them all” will never exist, the fact that 24% of network engineers use 6-10 monitoring and troubleshooting tools on the daily and 34% use more than 11 is just alarming!

So, how can we help to remedy this situation?

As a partner of CA, specifically working with Network Operations and Analytics from CA, Netrounds provides active testing and monitoring integrated into the CA solution. When used with Netrounds, Network Operations and Analytics from CA Technologies can validate the dynamic creation and changes of network services in automated SDx and public cloud environments. Together with live full stack network monitoring and added synthetic insights, this powerful integrated approach actively tests and monitors pre-production and production deployments for predictive network behavior and validation to help optimize the customer experience.

Instrumental in reducing the large number of tools that many IT organizations struggle to handle, the combination of CA and Netrounds allows you to combine traditional performance management and monitoring, fault management, and active testing and monitoring into one view. In addition, the Netrounds active solution covers a wide spectrum of network KPIs and SLAs as the solution can measure service KPIs and SLAs all the way from the lower networking layers up to voice and video quality (Layer 2 to Layer 7) with one solution – in other words, test and monitor everything from throughput, loss and latency up to IPTV channel streaming and VOIP quality, further cutting down the number of tools that you need to assure network service quality for your users and customers.

Below you can see how Netrounds fits into the Network Operations and Analytics from CA platform, as well as examples of the end-to-end service monitoring that we can perform and a variety of the use cases that we can cover.

Netrounds attended the recent CA World and had the opportunity to speak with CA Technologies in a Tech Talk titled Predict Network Behavior with Active Testing and Modern Network Operations and Analytics. In this presentation, due to popular demand, one of the use cases that was covered was hybrid cloud monitoring. In other words, we explained how can you ensure that your business critical services work seamlessly from the core network, through an off-net connection, across an aggregation network, to the Universal CPE (uCPE), and up into the public cloud – in this case AWS.

Today, most organizations have no clue on the quality of their services running in the public cloud. However, as more and more applications and services are moving to the cloud in an effort to simplify branch office IT processes and save capital expenditure, it becomes even more crucial to monitor the quality of those applications that are critical to the day-to-day functioning of your business.

Below is a diagram outlining an example hybrid cloud environment that we are monitoring – from the uCPE placed in the branch office up to the AWS-hosted SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft applications.

Now the above diagram may look fairly uncomplicated, but in reality the public cloud is, quite simply, a quagmire. When a VNF is onboarded into the public data center, you generally don’t know where it ends up. Maybe in… Timbuktu (in actuality though, this would be someplace like Seoul or Mumbai). Well, with some artistic license, if your VNF is going to end up being hosted in Timbuktu, let’s make sure that we know where it is and can monitor towards that VNF from your on-site uCPE by pinning it to the specific server that it is running on along with your Netrounds Amazon Machine Image (AMI) Test Agent.

The AMI Test Agent allows you to measure the network path to that server, testing a variety of quality metrics and SLAs and ensuring a seamless service from your office, at, say, CA HQ in New York, all the way to that AWS server in Timbuktu. Both Test Agents can also test server response times for services like HTTP and DNS.

What are some other use cases that CA and Netrounds are working on together? SDx validation and monitoring and cloud workload and service chain validation, to name just two.

To learn more about Predictive Network Analytics and how Netrounds and CA Technologies can solve your hybrid cloud performance and service quality monitoring needs, watch the video of our CA World presentation here, or read our solution overview, How Can I Predict Network Behavior to Provide for an Exceptional Customer Experience2.

Interested in a deep-dive discussion or one-on-one demonstration? Contact us at demo@netrounds.com.

References

1EMA Innovator 2017 Report, EMA, Shamus McGillicuddy

2CA and Netrounds Solution Brief, How Can I Predict Network Behavior to Provide for an Exceptional Customer Experience

 

Blog by Kaela Loffler, VP Marketing, Netrounds


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