Blog, Events & Press

23 Oct

Customers Envision the Future of Digital Infrastructure Management at NEXT15

SevOne NEXT15 User Conference

When the time-traveling DeLorean made its return in the 1989 film “Back to the Future II,” could we have ever imagined what 2015 – the year Marty McFly planned to travel to – would be like?

Who would have thought in 1989 that our watch would someday be able to tell us more than just the time? It’s kind of amazing to think of something that was once so simple, can now provide us with data about our habits, function as a phone and computer, connect us to the Internet, and live among the millions of objects in this Internet of Things.

It’s more than fitting that on October 21, 2015 – the “future day” in the film – we kicked off our first-ever user conference at the University of Delaware campus, where hundreds of our own SevOne customers discussed the future of digital infrastructure management, including topics such as SDN, NFV, IoT, cloud, security and more.

More than a dozen of our customers, SevOne employees, and analysts also gave presentations at the event, discussing how their companies use the SevOne product to make their businesses more efficient and adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll post additional content and video interviews from the event. But for now, here are the three biggest topics and takeaways customers discussed at the event.

With complexity increasing, the need for an end-to-end view of your infrastructure is critical.

“Complexity is becoming greater. The need to scale is getting greater. Things are so dynamic,” said Lockheed Martin’s Eric Sharpsten.

Sharpsten said real-time situational awareness is needed to assure the quality of your digital infrastructure. Proactive monitoring and remediation is the first step, followed by the need for optimization and continuous improvement. To close the loop, you need data and operations analytics to give you the business critical insight you need for future planning.

451 Research Analyst Christian Renaud also discussed the criticality of monitoring in this time of rapid change and rapid innovation.

“Cloud adoption is off the chain and it makes things far more agile,” Renaud said.

Renaud reported on the primary pain points network managers face: networking monitoring (19 percent); aging hardware (16 percent); budget (15 percent); security (14 percent).

His research pointed out that monitoring and visibility are the most important network worries network managers face.

“You can’t manage what you can’t see. You can’t optimize what you can’t see. And you can’t secure what you can’t see,” Renaud said.

There’s an immediate need to identify and resolve anomalies.

“We really value anomalies,” said Comcast’s Randy Burke. “We know what normal is. When we get abnormal in this space, we have to figure it out.”

The key, Burke added, is to only deploy monitoring tools that you cannot live without. By using baselines and alerts, Comcast is able to detect about five to 50 anomalies per day, Burke said. This is business-critical information necessary to ensure customer satisfaction.

“It’s about the customer experience. Customers don’t engage us when things work well. They talk when there is congestion. So customer experience is hugely important,” Burke said. “We have much more innovation now at a much faster pace. We must scale. We must detect anomalies.”

In the hybrid cloud panel discussion, AppNeta CEO Matt Stevens also spoke of the criticality in detecting irregularities and variances through monitoring.

“It really comes down to the anomalies. The way you do monitoring has to come from the perspective of the end user,” he said.

We’re ready for SDN and NFV.

“SDN and NFV – there’s great momentum, but go faster,” said Verizon’s Ryan Krier. “Everyone out there is doing this.”

During the SDN panel, Marc Heimlich of Hewlett Packard discussed the need to figure out what to do with the influx of data in these complex SDN and NFV environments.

“With data collection, we’re not just looking at packets anymore. We’re looking at flows, logs, SNMP, tweets and what you are blogging about,” Heimlich said. “Today you need to have the ability to look at more than just the packets. You need to see five years of historical data and understand the seasonal and yearly trends.”

SevOne’s Brandon Hale cited OpenStack as an innovative way to harvest rich data.

“Instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, you’re pulling on a common thread,” Hale said. “You now have this context of what you’re looking for.”

For more on the future of SDN and NFV, download our free whitepaper "Achieving Operational Insight in SDN & NFV Environments."

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