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ThousandEyes 2018 Predictions: Life After the Cloud Tipping Point

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Alex Henthorn-Iwane, VP of product marketing, ThousandEyes

2018: Life after the cloud tipping point

We have reached the cloud's tipping this past year-the point where a majority of business critical apps are now cloudified in some fashion. Add on the rapid adoption of SD-WAN and now network teams are delivering application traffic that crosses more networks they don't own or control than networks they do. While not an overnight phenomenon, this is a massive shift in how enterprises IT systems connect with their employees and customers. Many of trends that we foresee in 2018 emerge from dealing with this new reality.

An end to finger-pointing in network outages

2018 will see an evolution of relationships between service providers and their clients as these relationships become increasingly data driven. We will soon see less finger pointing between service providers and corporate IT and network teams when service outages occur. Instead there will be more mutual accountability as clients are able to independently access more forensic data sources associated with an outage and determine exactly what happened and where everything went wrong. This is causing service providers to move beyond simple outage portals to greater transparency with clients. Organizations no longer have to rely on their providers to tell them when there is a problem.

Cloud baselining: the new artform of 2018

Cloud continues to make enterprise networks and IT systems more efficient and cost-effective. But since cloud migration pushes more traffic across networks and services that are outside the corporate borders, old expectations of network performance don't necessarily hold up. Service level agreements that have stood for years will suddenly find themselves in jeopardy in the cloud era. Network engineers may find themselves in the position of having customer success teams ask them to "restore" service to a level that never existed nor was possible in the first place on cloud networks. Savvy network teams will spend a lot more time this year baselining both app and underlying network performance levels to define what is the new normal in the cloud era as network traffic navigates more and more dependencies between the origin and destination.

Make network performance part of user experience

Designers, marketers and developers have traditionally been the custodians of user experience-creating elaborate customer journeys, compelling audio and visual communication and intuitive transitions design to reduce complexity for the end user. But as applications and online services move to the cloud, network teams are increasingly being tasked with delivering on service level agreements and ensuring high quality user experience. We're now moving into the cloud-first world, and it's no longer acceptable to simply blame service degradation on a third party. Organizations that rely on public networks, DNS, CDN and DDoS mitigation providers for the delivery of apps and services have to take ownership of the user experience across unowned networks and services. Network teams will go beyond outage and status pages to offer internal and external client groups more detailed, self-service views into the performance of applications that they uniquely care about and the impact of network factors. In 2018 network engineers will start being measured against user experience-focused KPIs.


About the Author

Alex Henthone-Iwane 

Alex leads product marketing at ThousandEyes, and brings a perspective gained from working on innovative networking and analytics technologies since the early days of the commercial Internet.

Published Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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