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LiveAction 2021 Predictions: 3 Network Management Trends to Watch

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

3 Network Management Trends to Watch

By John Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at LiveAction

Enterprise networks are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage with every passing year. New technologies and market developments emerge at a rapid pace, presenting both advantages to capitalize on and major challenges to overcome. The transition into a new year represents a useful opportunity to take a step back and assess the industry's latest technologies and trends to build an effective network management strategy for your business.

As 2020 comes to a close and we look toward the new year, our team at LiveAction has developed three key IT and network management predictions for the coming year that might help you do just that:

1.       NPM Becomes Keystone to Cloud Harmony

COVID-19 has had a major impact on how and where people access and use network resources. As a result, network patterns have changed dramatically in 2020 and will continue to evolve significantly in 2021 as businesses further adapt to the fallout from the pandemic. In fact, nearly 60% of enterprises expect cloud technology usage to exceed prior plans due to COVID-19.

The adoption of more and more cloud applications and services will fuel the need for IT teams to invest in Network Performance Management (NPM) solutions that can quickly analyze these larger, more distributed network foot prints to ensure performance and security. Organizations that use NPM as the keystone for public and private cloud visibility and reliability will dramatically increase employee productivity and customer acquisition.

2.       SASE Adoption Hits Double Time

Today's enterprise is no longer a location, it's a set of dynamic endpoints with a variety of cloud services. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) technology converges networking and network security into a single, cloud-delivered offering to support the needs of digital business transformation, edge computing and workforce mobility. 

According to Gartner, by 2024 at least 40% of enterprises will have explicit strategies to adopt SASE. However, we predict this timeline will be cut in half and there will be a dramatic acceleration of SASE adoption through 2021 and 2022, as organizations scramble to securely connect and enable WFH employees. NPM solutions will play a major role in this shift, providing IT teams with critical visibility into the traffic between SASE, public and private cloud environments and on-premises locations.

3.       AIOps Wins the Year

AIOps is the application of advanced analytics in the form of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) towards automating network operations. The goal is for ITOps teams to move more quickly. The dramatic changes to network operations and usage over the last eight months will continue throughout 2021. As such, network managers need the ability to understand these new network baselines, bandwidth usage trends, application SLAs, and the new potential bottlenecks or trouble hotspots brought on by increased usage of cloud services, changing traffic patterns and migration from traditional WAN to SDWAN networks.

Without AIOps technology, teams will struggle to process and interpret the large data outputs from these systems. As a result, AIOps will be the hero technology of 2021. NPM solutions will play a significant role in the rise of AIOps by constantly looking at the network and the applications traversing it, understanding what is normal (from an availability, performance, quality of service perspective) and thus what is anomalous. This helps ITOps teams, ably address major issues, avoid becoming inundated with the noise that comes with scale and complexity, and remain focused on key IT priorities.

Effective network performance management and optimization can be a tall order without insight into the industry's latest technology trends, and without the right NPM solutions in place. Consider the 2021 predictions we've laid out above and ask yourself, has your network operations team taken the necessary steps to prepare for the coming year?

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About the Author

John Smith

John K. Smith is the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for LiveAction, where he is responsible for developing the technical vision, strategies, and relationships to drive product development to meet customer needs. He has been in the networking field for more than 15 years, holding two patents and four patent applications. Previously, Smith served as Vice President of engineering at Spirent Communications where his contributions led to more than $120 million in revenue per year, while overseeing the product line and leading more than 130 engineers. He has been in software development for more than 25 years. Smith holds a MS degree in Computer Science from the University of Hawaii and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, as well as a MBA from Chaminade University.
Published Monday, December 07, 2020 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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