Monitoring Software Defined Networks
Software defined networks (SDNs) are the infrastructure architecture of the future. Recent studies indicate that already more than 50% of enterprise level IT departments are using them for at least some portion of their network needs. The most important thing for network administrators to understand is that SDNs require more monitoring than standard hardware/software networks do. Because they are virtual constructs, the only way to actually inspect them, or to see performance, is through a network monitoring system, like Statseeker.
SDNs are dynamic in nature. What used to work for a static network infrastructure will not work in an SDN environment. Doing a single, nightly scan of the network so the network administrators can see what has to be achieved to keep things in working order, just doesn’t work anymore. In order to deploy and control a dynamic network, you need the ability to see into that network in real-time. What you can’t see, you can’t control. This last sentence is repeated so often it has become a cliché, but the fact remains, it is as true now as when it was first said or written. You need near instantaneous visualization of your network to be able to operate it in a truly dynamic fashion.
Modern networks will actually be a dynamic hybrid of hardware and SDN network segments for a long time yet. They will be dynamic hybrids because you now have the choice, when faced with hardware failure in a network segment, to implement an SDN instead of ordering new hardware, which, as in the old days, took days or weeks to get, configure, provision and implement. This means that the network infrastructure management tools must have the capability of being used in both types of network, or hybrids of the two.
This also means that with a little advance planning, you don’t have to have either shelf spares or dedicated inventory at your vendor’s. This can save you substantial amounts of money, as well as all the time you save when commissioning and provisioning a network segment or an application is reduced to a couple of keystrokes.
The ability to use and monitor SDNs also increases the range of services you can provide to your clients. Special purpose virtual private networks, video links, cloud accessibility, and temporary network segments that you used to say “no” to, are now simple and easy to produce and decommission. It gives you the ability to be seen to be able to service your clients quickly and inexpensively, which is always good in your annual report, and for your career.
Statseeker enhances the dynamic nature of SDNs, and alerts you to failures as fast as they occur. Monitoring known potential failure points for performance can give you early warning that things are not as they should be. Statseeker can configure and reconfigure itself immediately to give you a true picture of how your increasingly dynamic network is performing, and do it in real-time.
What are your thoughts on these suggested strategies regarding monitoring software defined networks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.