Cloud & Network Infrastructure & operations visibility
Network visibility used to be awareness of the various applications and conversations traversing the network, be it LAN or WAN down to the packet, user, and application level. Network management for the visibility layer is a critical mechanism for Information security and IT professionals to enable them to locate, isolate, and implement network visibility solutions for performance and network security related issues. In today’s fast-paced, digital-first ecosystem, complete visibility is vital in maintaining control of your network and eliminating (or at least minimizing) blind spots and system downtime.
In the recent years the work of the network administrator has become even more challenging with the whole world coming to the web, mobile, IOT, Cloud, SAAS, and IAAS. We haven’t even started to touch on the challenges of video / audio streaming, online shopping, and location based/real-time data. Your networks are growing and evolving, and so is your service assurance and deliverables. Meanwhile delivery timelines, budgets, even hours in the day are shrinking. This increase is the result of the growing pervasiveness of network visibility and the move from single-device solutions to multi-device solutions and from single-site deployments to multi-site deployments. For virtual data centers and other environments, managing each device individually via its dedicated device GUI becomes inefficient. For network hardware, managing each device individually via CLI can also become inefficient.
You require full infrastructure visibility, so that your service assurance and network and systems engineering staff can efficiently manage every component of your enterprise IT infrastructure Routing/Switching, Security, Firewall, Load Balancer/Content Switching, Systems, Cloud (Public & Private), Smart Glasses, DDOS, Out Of Band Management, Wireless, Storage, Automation, Power & Cooling, Cabling, IP Telephony, Inventory, AI/Analytics, hardware vendors, carriers, and ticketing systems.
Cloud along is a huge responsibility. 20% of IT professionals indicated their organizations can properly manage and monitor public cloud infrastructure, it reminded me of the reoccurring network visibility conversations I have with network managers from around the globe. Traditional VPN solutions enable connectivity for mobile and remote employees but do little to enable the same visibility and control possible on-premises.
Granular network visibility brings several benefits to the enterprise. With in-depth network visibility, organizations can improve security through stricter policy enforcement, rapid detection of malicious behavior, and reduction in shadow IT. Additionally, network visibility can improve network analytics and application profiling. This, in turn, enables better reporting, more informed decision making, and improved capacity planning.
Network Visibility Challenges Created by Public Cloud and Mobile
One of the biggest challenges enterprises face with network visibility is addressing blindspots created by cloud and mobile. It is easy for an enterprise to fall into a false sense of security because they can view all the traffic traversing MPLS links. The problem is today enterprise WANs are a mix of MPLS, Internet-based VPNs, mobile users, and cloud services. Under those circumstances, traditional monitoring tools simply aren’t able to provide visibility across the entirety of the WAN.
However, the best way to conceptualize the network visibility challenges facing the modern enterprise may be to consider the task of securely connecting mobile users to resources in the cloud. In this scenario, if enterprises wish to gain some level of visibility over the data flows, mobile users traditionally must connect via a VPN back to on-premises appliances for auditing and inspection. The traffic is then routed on to a local Internet access point or across the WAN to a centralized and secure Internet access point before making its way to its destination in the cloud. This approach creates significant impact on performance, making it unattractive to most enterprises.
This is one of the reasons over half of the enterprises we surveyed reported they let mobile users connect directly to the cloud. Unsurprisingly, over half of the respondents also indicated that “lack of visibility and control” was their biggest challenge when it comes to providing mobile users access to business applications.
NETWORK MONITORING & FASTER TROUBLESHOOTING Keeping an eye on the network at all times can help in proactive issue detection, hence, faster troubleshooting. This can be done using a tool and some of these tools even have alerting, which will intimate you once a preset threshold value is crossed.
APPLICATION MONITORING AND PROFILING Helps in a detailed monitoring of all the applications. Which application, when was it used and by whom was it used, are some of the few questions that can be answered by getting a wholesome network visibility. The right tool will let you map applications given the port, protocol and IP address to be more specific.
CAPACITY PLANNING AND NETWORK TRENDS Network visibility not only lets you see the present state of your network, also lets you foresee the network growth trend and take informed, wise capacity planning decisions
DETECTION OF UNAUTHORIZED WAN TRAFFIC Detect the unauthorized WAN traffic hogging the bandwidth and thus choking the business critical applications. If you have the right tool, you can even monitor the applications using dynamic ports.
Network Operations Visibility
Visibility also covers multi-layered monitoring that examines multiple different metrics. Network monitoring tools can analyze a network’s performance on various levels, including speed, data packet loss, latency, and throughput.The primary function of a network monitoring tool is to discover all performance and security problems affecting your network. However, it can’t perform this without full visibility into a network. Not every issue will affect the entirety of your network; it might be isolated to a small section of your infrastructure. With a network monitoring solution, you gain a holistic view of your entire network infrastructure.
All of these metrics can give your network team insights into your network; maintaining full visibility so your monitoring tool can search for them allows you to take advantage of those insights.
Maintaining network visibility across every technology
Part of why enterprise networks are becoming more complex is the increase in technologies connecting to a network. Emerging technologies like cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) are making it difficult for legacy network monitoring tools to address evolving business needs. For example, IoT devices might have different configurations than the rest of the devices in your infrastructure; if your network monitoring tool can recognize or work with this configuration, then your visibility is inevitably muddled. That IoT device might become a problem later on if it drains performance or is hacked into by a security threat. Thus, your monitoring software needs to be equipped to work with every device and technology you introduce to your enterprise.
The transfer of workloads to the public cloud is accompanied by a certain loss of IT control. Many IT organizations think more about the capabilities of their security solutions and monitoring tools than they do about how to give those solutions all of the data they need to perform effectively. The diverse hardware and software platforms used in a typical enterprise can become ‘opaque containers,’ preventing your monitoring solutions from seeing the complete environment. The result is blind spots that can limit your ability to strengthen security and improve performance.
Blind spots can lead to:
- Unchecked security threats and data breaches
- Compliance issues
- Network downtime and service disruptions
- Application performance and customer dissatisfaction
Achieving total visibility means being able to see traffic as it moves through all your physical, virtual, or cloud platforms. This information helps you determine which of your resources are in use, who is using them, where bottlenecks might exist, whether your infrastructure is secure, and much more.
MobileNOC Network Operations Controller (MNOC) is an Enterprise-wide unified manager for network visibility. MNOC for the visibility layer is an essential network visibility tool for empowering your IT’s network awareness in real-time, and facilitating any relevant responses should the need arise.
Whether you are an administrator looking for an overview of all of your visibility nodes (network packet brokers, network taps, network bypasses) for your virtual data center, or an engineer studying the configuration details, the key to addressing the evolving and dynamic needs of the network visibility layer is best described as being seamless.
Take note also of system reconfiguration, upgrades, and replacement (or addition or retirement) of nodes and devices. Keeping tabs on any changes in general, is a headache, but when you add to this the mission-critical nature of knowing that each node or device is in fact operational and functioning as required – this adds more weight to the need for a resilient yet flexible and adaptable centralized network management controller.
MOBILENOC provides network professionals with a powerful tool to quickly and seamlessly navigate their network and manage visibility via a centralized platform with the following proven functionality:
- Visibility Groups – Logical containers of visibility elements tailored to your needs
- Topology and Navigation – A 360° view of the network connectivity to single element view
- Granularity – Topology of port status, configurations, and device schematics
This three-layered integrated approach enables seamless management of your visibility layer no matter how many nodes you have or what type they are.
Advanced abstraction layer – for timely management and network-wide application awareness
MOBILENOC empowers a true application-aware network to manage and improve the performance of business-critical devices and applications. It monitors devices such as network routers, access points and
Simple Orchestration for Complex Visibility Configurations
Network services and applications are mushrooming to encompass increased levels of sophistication and complexity involving application monitoring, performance management, and network security. The increase in service complexity increases the importance of an intuitive and user-friendly flow that enables engineers to accomplish their tasks quicker and with fewer errors.
- Centralized management, monitoring , configuration or automation of any infrastructure device.
- Reducing configuration time and errors.SDN architecture – OpenFlow discovery and topology visualization.
- User-friendly and intuitive Fabric Flow creation.
- Easy-to-complete firmware updates and configurations updates of multiple visibility nodes from a single pane-of-glass UI.
- REST API Support for programmability.
- Unified management for network packet brokers, network bypasses, and network taps.
- Ability to see the ‘forest’ and the ‘trees’.
- Seamlessly navigate between three panes of management, from Group view to detailed Device view.
- Available in a self-install Virtual Machine package.User Management, User Roles, and Authentication.
- Situation Awareness and Node Visibility