Modern software defined networks (SDNs) would not be modern without the value that big data adds.
By Rafat Shaheen, Lead Global Solutions Executive, CTO Office, CSC
Using analytics for the management and reporting of network utilization, we can spot trends and deviations through event correlation and adding context to the enterprise data model. This can be used for greater levels of optimization, or for early detection or investigation of cyber attacks. Analytics can provide a single view of business activities, application trends and network health for unprecedented levels of visibility into the network as an integrated service delivery asset, not just a collection of resources.
Analytics-driven service management makes intelligent infrastructure decisions and optimizes service delivery for the enterprise. For example, this would allow IT to identify a potential problem and automatically prescribe a course of action before service interruption actually takes place.
The key is to replace rigid, hard-coded network properties with a set of variables that are fulfilled at deployment time and can be readily modified during runtime based on operational events such as reactive system performance or predictive demand analytics. Network and application analytics enable traffic optimization and new services and capabilities, such as bandwidth on demand, dynamic traffic redirection, diverse routing and just-in-time provisioning.
SDN is also a mechanism for managing service levels. Governing SLAs can dynamically request changes to the network controller to ensure that the SLAs can be met. Self-monitored devices will communicate to the network what resources are needed to meet their individual performance, capacity, coverage or latency requirements. This level of manageability provides an opportunity for new integrated services and agility to the network edge.
The rapid expansion of an extremely distributed IT estate has caused both the amount of data and its sources to grow massively. Data shared between devices, data about application states and data about network details is also growing. Big data analytics can use this data to enable SDN controllers to make the right decision according to real-time network, device and application state.
SDN is an essential step toward integrating an estimated 26 billion objects that are expected to join enterprise networks in the next few years. Devices such as sensors, actuators, HVAC systems, lights, cameras, environment controls, energy management systems, fire/safety controls and A/V devices will find their way onto IT-managed, IP-based networks. This flood of devices will affect security, performance, capacity and latency of the network and will demand new reporting capabilities, changes in policies and complex SLAs.
A comprehensive look at how digital can power forward the enterprise: csc.com/power-forward
Read more in this paper, Software-Defined Networks Unlock Digital Information.
This paper is part of the Journey to the Digital Enterprise paper series.
Rafat Shaheen is a Lead Global Solutions Executive and a member of CSC’s CTO Office. His expertise includes IT transformation, Service Oriented Architecture, design methodologies, IT virtualization stack, hybrid cloud architecture, DevOps and architecture design patterns.