The Latest Managed Network Services Trends (and how it can impact your business)
Digital transformation is occurring at a pace like never before. With digital transformation will come changes to the ways we use and interact with the tools that give us insight into the performance of IT infrastructures and applications.
Monitoring and observability are crucial as technology infrastructure changes, integrations occur, and new business needs evolve. This post features insights gleaned from a webinar with executives from Netreo and Forrester Research on the future of managed network services trends and how those trends will drive changes to the ways IT resources are managed.
Within managed network service trends, what is the difference between the terms monitoring and observability?
The terms we see being used are observability and monitoring. But are these terms interchangeable? Is observability still a buzzword and where do we delineate between monitoring and observability?
People use the terms interchangeably but they have nuanced differences in network performance monitoring. Observability best references when a technology can be observed or to what degree we can observe it. Monitoring involves the ability to observe and the observer.
There is an observer and there is something that has the ability to be observed. Observability has to be built into the applications and has many parts for monitoring to work. So, observability can be helpful as a buzzword but the differences still exist in the realm of network monitoring trends.
What are the latest trends in network management IT leadership should be keeping in mind?
Forrester Research looks at the overall user experience including partners, customers, and internal stakeholders.
- Key focus on customers and their user experience.
- Examine how much observability your businesses’ cloud applications allow.
- Application integration across business organizations in the entire ecosystem is also important to consider.
Which types of observation tools in proactive network management will be most important over the next 3-5 years?
Traditionally we have been doing network monitoring, app performance management, IT infrastructure, and monitoring for decades. But today, we need a holistic understanding of the experience the customers and users have. To deliver a good experience no longer takes place in your data center but rather is in the cloud and B2B ecosystem. So, building observability into the managed network services process is key.
If services go down for cloud-native companies, the user experience suffers and there is typically wide exposure. Observability is much more crucial when users are spread across the globe and timely resolution is critically important.
The number of IT components that need to be observed is growing exponentially. Each piece of the technology stack is a potential risk to how well a business presents itself to the customer. The big challenge is creating the right architecture that is both easy to use, simple to administer and implement, yet handles the gigantic footprint of the future of monitoring.
Should your monitoring vendor be required to support streaming telemetry? Will SNMP be going away anytime soon?
SNMP is a networking protocol used for the management and monitoring of network-connected devices in Internet Protocol networks.
Streaming telemetry has begun to serve as an alternative to Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) in In Managed Network Services.
Streaming is coming and eventually, technology needs to move that way. But right now SNMP is not going away anytime soon. Technology entities that are not tethered to hardware are monitored by different means. Streaming telemetry is another way to bring in information. There are increasing ties between what monitoring systems do and the automated or AI-driven reactions to those observations in IT infrastructure. If your critical infrastructures are still in-house, you may want to consider working streaming telemetry into your roadmap for the future.
Ask yourself, does every device in my organization support streaming telemetry? If not, you don’t need your managed network service vendor to support streaming telemetry yet. But shifts in needs mean companies need to push vendors to have conversations about trends for new technologies.
Consider what the new application types are and their use cases.
- What are the kinds of new applications that you will deploy?
- Will the existing architecture fit your needs and let that inform your discussions with your vendor.
- Ask your vendor how they plan to meet the upcoming changes in technology.
What are the key areas of automation and IT ops and what is the real impact of automation in service assurance?
Automation is playing a key role in the next phase of adoption and innovation in the monitoring tools landscape of managed network services.
In service assurance, there is a tendency to want to apply automation to everything. Rather, we should define infrastructure automation scope by considering the following:
- Known problems, known solutions. We can apply automation only to known problems and solutions. If you have an unknown problem, and you don’t know how to solve it, how can you apply automation? So IT leaders need to ask themselves, how practical is the use of automation for service assurance?
- How frequently does a problem occur? How many of these problems can be automated? If the resolution is the same every time, and frequency is high, then automation can be applied.
- How unique is a problem and what value do I get from automating?
We are seeing a convergence in network monitoring trends and observability in network operations (NetOps) and software development operations (DevOps). How is Netreo handling this convergence?
Netreo has built automation at the discovery source and placed each device into a category. The advantages of this type of deployment are:
- Reducing human error across device deployment
- Getting to the root cause of the problem is typically the most time-consuming part of the process. The faster we get to the root cause, the faster we can shut down the noise.
Be sure to talk to your vendors openly and candidly about how they can support your organization’s needs. Look for a good vendor partner who anticipates some of these trending changes. These systems are complicated with different aspects for how a solution has to perform in front of the customers. Netreo is looking toward building the architecture of the future but not leaving customers behind in the process.
This area is constantly evolving and it can be a difficult journey. Partnerships can be a huge benefit so that multiple parties are working toward success.
DecisionPoint System’s OnPoint platform is a service provided to our customers which uses Netreo’s offerings for our network managed service clients. We can help you manage your mobility and fixed IT assets through a single pane of glass. The OnPoint platform can function flexibly as a standalone ITSM or it can be integrated into other existing systems a business may already have.
To learn more about our services, visit our website.