Sep 24, 2018

Intent-Based Analytics: True Value is in Day-2 Operations

network_analytics_640x427Intent-based data center automation and the multi-cloud-like portability it enables will accelerate your organization’s digital transformation, improve speed-to-market and save you money doing it.

If you are focused on building out a private data center and evolving the once legacy world you have come to grow accustomed to, you are likely looking at new technologies to set you up for success today and well into the future.

As the pace of technology continues at breakneck-speed, in-house IT teams, network operators and engineers have become overwhelmed, attempting to hire and to train to keep up.

You actually have a choice and don’t have to try and manage the deployment – and everything that follows, in house. Especially when it comes to Day 2 operations. Where the money is made is in operations – that is, what happens after the deployment – spanning from automation, scaling, application services, security, upgrades and more.

As part of an intent-based data center automation strategy, whether it be software-defined networking (SDN) or intent-based networking (IBN), critical is Day 2 operations and analytics. A newer approach is available, called intent-based analytics (IBA). A key component of IBN is analytics, particularly the kind that relies on deep visibility into network conditions and then informs the automation engine as to the best path to accommodate user requirements. This is driving the operational requirement for event-driven updates on the state of the entire data center infrastructure.

IBA is an integrated big data pipeline that enables the user to configure signatures pertaining to how they’d like their network to run in a matter of minutes. Using IBA allows operators to see the pulse of the network through real-time analytics and, most importantly, actionable intelligence. Part of the challenge network operators struggle with is the mapping of services to resources, which is subject to constant change.

When evaluating IBA, it’s important to look for the following characteristics in a solution:

  • A highly scalable distributed data store where you can declaratively specify a data processing pipeline that can be used to extract knowledge from the data.
  • A continuous validation engine that generates anomaly alerts in real-time, anytime the infrastructure state deviates from intent.
  • Extensible telemetry agents that can extract traffic imbalance issues across various platforms.

Technologies such as IBN, network orchestration and others are driving network operators and managers towards leveraging deeper analytics. IBA delivers reduced costs, less complexity, less finger pointing, faster troubleshooting and more agility.

Network operators will look to embrace network analytics, rather than be reactive. Organizations need to become more proactive in order to generate actionable insights that will accommodate and drive the dynamic nature of the new data center infrastructure. IBA provides IT organizations a practical path to dynamic proactivity.

Check out this video and learn more from Apstra’s CTO, Sasha Ratkovic, on the value of analytics in Day 2 operations.