Are Your Network Management Applications Ready for the Rapid Elasticity of Cloud Environments?
About ten years ago, in a pre-SevOne life, I was asked at the very last minute to give an hour-long presentation to the Customer Advisory Board on our network management strategy and architecture. About two minutes into the presentation, it was clear the content was a bit too technical for the audience. As the first presenter of the day, cutting the time short wasn’t an option. It was time for an audible. I hit the “b” button on my laptop to black out the screen, and asked the audience, “ What network and system management applications do you like and why do you like them?” The first answer led to a conversation on what it really means to use and leverage network management applications that still applies today.
“Instead of me naming the application, let me tell you what I like about it, ” said a representative from the US Social Security Agency. “Now this app doesn’t do everything I’d really want it to do, but what it does, it does very well. It does it well enough, that I have baked this product into our daily operational procedures. It’s not just another tool. If I deploy a automation-imagenew device in my network, I can count on this product to support it. Device support updates come out on a quarterly basis, so I can plan new deployments in my network with confidence they will be supported. All I have to do is add the device into the product for manageability and it’s ready to go. “
Now fast forward to today. How well would the attributes this customer described apply in today’s highly adaptable and elastic cloud deployments? A provisioning process for compute and network resources that used to take hours to days of planning 10 years ago can now be done in a few clicks of a mouse. A new virtual machine with an overlay network segment with firewall and load balancing services can be spun up (or spun down) in a matter of minutes. Clearly device support is important, but if your network management applications aren’t able to be part of the rapid provision process for compute, network and storage resources, your management products will have a considerable visibility gap.
How well can your network management deal with the rapid provisioning process that cloud deployments can bring? Can your tools:
- Integrate with compute, network and storage provision tools to be notified when new resources have been added or deprecated to automatically be added/removed from manageability without human intervention?
- Automatically spin up new virtual instances of network management resources to deal with increased demand, and still respond as quickly as they did as a “standalone” system?
- Be counted on to add new device support on a regular basis? Can you submit a new device support request and see consistent, timely response from your network management vendor?
As you look to deploy modern automated compute, network and storage offerings, make sure your management tools are up to the challenge.