Ethernet probe and network analysis vendor Viavi has recently published the results of its latest “Network Global Study”. This article covering the report’s release emphasizes the insatiable demand for network bandwidth and the range of technologies being deployed to address it, such as SDN. Not unsurprisingly, the relevance and interest in Ethernet probe based hardware approaches is shown to be high on the list of the respondents’ priorities.Alesha_Globe

As the nature of IT changes and morphs towards a blend of legacy and private/public cloud architectures, the author points out that “loss of performance monitoring capabilities for networks spread across physical, virtual and cloud segments” is a concern. It’s true to say that “The network is being held to a higher level of availability and performance than ever before. At the same time, hybrid cloud networking is becoming the new normal.”

It’s also true to note that these same concerns have been voiced during many of the periods of change since networks were first deployed decades ago. When the use of shared media Ethernet and the use of traditional probes was shaken up by the rapid deployment of switched Ethernet in the 1990’s, most of the probe based network management methodologies had to be rethought in the light of the micro-segmentation that switching swept in.

Not only is the network traffic volume increasing but the approach to managing and configuring the network connectivity is undergoing a major shake-up. It’s true to say that “For SDN deployments, groups must validate monitoring solutions”. Unlike the physical media side of this discussion which focuses on the increasing popularity of various flavors of 25/40/100 GbE, the SDN story is far less harmonious across the industry. Multiple radically different approaches to reinventing the way networks are configured and provisioned are being promoted by major industry players and it’s important to note that SDN underlay and overlay approaches are very different and helping to fragment the marketplace.

The bottom line is that as networking is in a state of flux so is network management … it’s a fascinating and exhilarating time to be part of this industry!

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