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TAP Into Technology

Leading the Way in Network Technology

What is Driving the Need for Additional Network Monitoring?

Posted by Chris Bihary | 9/5/19 8:00 AM

Enterprise networks are evolving. They face different challenges today than just two or three years ago. Today’s IT teams must find a way to deal with more data, more connected devices, networks distributed over a greater geographic area, and a greater risk of phishing or DDoS attacks, while ensuring that they provide their users with a fast, and reliable service. In order to meet their organization’s business level goals, they must stay at the forefront of technology, adopting trends as they become market ready. As a result, enterprises are increasing the scope of their network monitoring initiatives, largely driven by:

Public and Private Cloud Utilization

Monitoring network infrastructure in third party cloud environments is much more difficult than monitoring in traditional on-prem networks. As enterprises are moving more workloads into public or private clouds, they need to think of what their monitoring and security strategy will be for these new environments. In order to start monitoring traffic, you first need visibility into how these workloads are performing. That visibility can be provided with cloud or virtual TAPs that feed packet level traffic to cloud-based monitoring tools.

Data Center Adoption of 100G

Network speeds of 40G and 100G are no longer a rarity. As data centers have started migrating towards 100G, the question of how to monitor networks at higher speeds arises. Enterprises are looking for network monitoring tools or solutions as their existing tools may not support 100G. This is due to the fact that high speed network traffic comes with additional problems to overcome; packets can have multiple MPLS headers, they may have overlays or underlays, and there is an increased chance of duplicate packets or packets with errors.

How can we monitor these networks if common tools don’t yet support 100G? By using a Network Packet Broker or Advanced Aggregator to perform filtering, aggregation, and load balancing to optimize the performance of existing monitoring tools

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Increase in Cyber Attacks

DDoS attacks are getting more sophisticated and more frequent, posing a greater threat to enterprise networks. While network monitoring tools are not strictly security focused, SecOps teams are starting to rely on their NetOps teams to provide them with more insight into the network. Network monitoring tools can notify teams of unusual traffic patterns, spikes in activity, and other indicators that an investigation needs to take place. 

Growth in Data from Connected Devices

5G, video streaming, connected cars, AI, smart homes, and more. The reasons for exponential growth in data just keeps on growing. Enterprise networks have seen tremendous evolution. There is so much data out there, but getting to it in more distributed networks, and making sense of the data that comes from non-traditional locations is a challenge. 5G is going to introduce even more devices and end points that will require network monitoring tools that can quickly sift through even larger amounts of data than ever before. 

AI and Machine Learning Tools

How can you take advantage of all of the data that’s being produced by the Internet of Things, smart cars, and connected devices? By applying AI and Machine Learning (ML) tools to gather information that’s flowing across your network, automate more of the process, and start acting on the information provided. ML allows you to capture the most useful data as quick as possible so anomalies can be detected and MTTR can be reduced. 

With all of the changes in enterprise networking over the last couple of years, it’s obvious that it’s time for our methods of monitoring and managing these advanced networks to catch up. Enterprises need to think strategically to address their needs today, while also planning for a future that will likely include a combination of on-prem, and cloud resources. 

[Interested in learning more about network monitoring best practices? Download our whitepaper, The Ultimate Guide to Network Monitoring for a look at network monitoring tools and best practices for monitoring 10G to 100G networks. ]

Topics: Network Security, Network Visibility/Monitoring, Cloud Solutions

Written by Chris Bihary

Chris Bihary has been in the network performance industry for over 20 years. Bihary has established collaborative partnerships with technology companies to complement product performance through the integration of network test access points. Previously, Bihary was Managing Partner at Network Critical.