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18 Feb

How to Make Your Infrastructure Faster and More Reactive

This is the final blog post in a three-part series on how to achieve operational insight in SDN and NFV environments. This blog explains how to optimize and automate your infrastructure. Previously, we explained the need to collect and visualize performance metrics that support application and service delivery, and the importance of properly analyzing performance in SDN/NFV environments.

To deliver a great and consistent quality of experience in SDN and NFV environments, you must have visibility into how everything works together – from the bare metal all the way to the application itself.

Data mediation is the start – it’s being able to translate data from different elements – each with its own representation of the infrastructure – into a simple and consistent structure that you can integrate and remix with other systems and tools to allow you to visualize and analyze your environment in the right way.

There’s no doubt that enough data exists. But it’s about getting that information and using it to make real-time decisions. With this data intelligence, you can send it back to SDN controllers, which make real-time decisions. You can use this intelligence to optimize and automate your infrastructure, while also improving customer experience and productivity.

In SDN environments, data collection comes first. Then, as you visualize your infrastructure, you understand patterns and the relationship from the application to the network.

If you’re monitoring performance of an enterprise network and you see a certain traffic increase, you know it’s going to affect your application in some way. But when you understand the context behind the traffic increase, you can provide that detail back to the SDN controller, which can automatically find an alternate path for better quality of service.

Or maybe you know that your n-tier web application is working well, but you’d like to decrease latency. And most of your users are contained in one geographical region. If you move components of the application closer together or to the same virtual cluster, you can affect the perception of latency, allowing for a better application and improved user experience.

Rich data will also give you the tools to increase agility, improve productivity, reduce costs and improve security in other ways, as well. You can make your infrastructure faster and more reactive through datacenter consolidation and shifting your physical infrastructures to ones that are more efficient, while phasing out legacy and outdated tools and devices.

And as more data is gathered from “things,” you can use this intelligence to improve security. As soon as you see something out of character on your network, you can send this data back to the controller, which can immediately add a firewall, sparing your infrastructure from harmful bugs and breaches.

To enable the real-time, closed loop goals of delivering services that self-optimize, the digital infrastructure solution must be able to notify external systems of anomalies discovered in the analyze stage.

Essentially, the digital infrastructure solution becomes a way for business to measure their infrastructure for performance and cost. It makes reactive business decisions based on the data it collects and analyzes.

The real value for businesses is to encode it into their processes to react to changes in machine time instead of human time.

For additional insight, download our new whitepaper, “Achieving Operational Insight In SDN and NFV Environments.”

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