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cPacket Networks 2017 Predictions: Monitoring in the Age of SDN and Data Sovereignty Concerns

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Jim Berkman, Senior Director of Marketing, cPacket Networks

2017: Monitoring in the Age of SDN and Data Sovereignty Concerns

Monitoring of Virtual Networks Becoming More Critical

The march to the cloud will accelerate as organizations seek to leverage the cost, flexibility, and agility benefits of digitalization for their networks. This will help fuel the growth of software-defined networking (SDN), as they separate hardware (data plane) from software (control plane) in their networks. As these virtualized network functions move out of the lab and into production environments, new challenges to understanding the performance and availability of the network are being created. Lack of awareness of network performance can lead to higher operational costs (OpEx), and potentially more costly downtime from lost revenue or missed SLAs. Additionally, delayed time to resolution for network service issues leads to poor end-user experience and higher custom churn rates. Virtualized monitoring systems that are running on the same equipment that you are monitoring for problems cannot be relied upon to accurately monitor themselves. As we move into 2017, it is clear that software-defined and virtualized networks need additional feedback loops to actively identify and overcome these real-time monitoring issues; whether related to performance, anomalies, security, or data center catastrophes. As these SDN/NFV production environment deployments become more and more common, it will be critical to separate monitoring systems from the networks that they monitor, to deliver understanding and clarity about the performance of the network. Without this, these network deployments will fail to maintain the uptime and performance that customers demand.

Privacy, Compliance and Security Concerns Intersect on the Network

The issues around data sovereignty and data privacy will rise to the forefront in 2017, as incoming and existing government administrations alike struggle to find the balance between security, compliance and privacy protection. We have seen the fallout from an increasing number of events in recent years, including: the Edward Snowden revelations; financial market scandals in the EU and the US; the specter of nation-state cyber-terrorism; and growing concerns of cybersecurity in the data center. We learned that data handling can be manipulated for monetary gain through events such as the Forex trade rigging scandal, precious metals manipulations, "Dark Pool" settlements, and from other unethical events. As a result of these events, governmental regulations relating to the cloud, and data compliance will likely continue to increase over the next year.

Europe will be forced to come to grips with the complexity surrounding compliance and regulatory issues, as legal and technical challenges related to the "Brexit" vote are realized and felt. The first to feel the pain of new regulations will likely be UK Service Providers who must fully implement the new data identification, timestamping and data storage compliance laws that were passed in 2015 and 2016. We will likely see these compliance laws get adopted across the rest of Europe and other western countries. The terrorism and crime-fighting acts will require solutions that give authorities visibility into the identity of suspicious users, without bulk harvesting of all personal data from users on the network. Similarly, financial trading organizations within Europe will need to comply with MiFID II/MiFIR regulations which requires new 100 millisecond timestamping capabilities and expanded data storage duration times for compliance audits. FinTrade and FinServ organizations must be ready to meet MiFID II/MiFIR compliance by next year. While monitoring tools are necessary for these compliance scenarios, if they must harvest user data in the process, organizations will quickly find themselves at odds with personal privacy advocates. To avoid this, monitoring tools must not only be highly accurate, but will need to be able to be able to perform processing in real-time, which avoids the need to harvest bulk user data.

The final challenge for CIOs in 2017 is the balancing act that goes beyond just implementing network virtualization, data compliance, and user privacy. The most difficult part of all this may be trying to do so while reducing their CapEx budgets, and lowering their ongoing OpEx expenses. This will require the reduction of unnecessary complexity, and tools with duplicate functions, and better overall management and control of the network, whether physical, virtual, or hybrid.


About the Author

Jim Berkman heads global marketing for cPacket Networks, the leader in next-generation network performance monitoring, since joining in 2015. A veteran of the networking industry, Jim previously helped take Gigamon, from early-stage startup to successful IPO in 2013. In his spare time, he is currently finishing his EMBA at Pepperdine University. You can also find him on Twitter and on Linkedin.


Published Tuesday, January 10, 2017 7:02 AM by David Marshall
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