The network is the core of the digital enterprise – it is the nerve center for every transaction and business event that happens within it. As such, we rely on its efficiency and integrity to ensure business success. Yet many organizations’ networks fall short of those qualities and become ridden with wasteful practices that ultimately make the situation worse.
This is often because of new levels of complexity in the network cloud the vision of NetOps and SecOps teams, making it harder to see the whole network. This forces them into a fundamentally reactive position in which they’re fixing problems moment to moment with piecemeal, inefficient solutions. They are prevented from gaining the holistic visibility required to eliminate those wasteful practices and preserve network performance.
Network innovation and upheaval
It’s first important to note that we are in a period of upheaval regarding the network: Organizations are moving towards software-defined networks, migrating their workloads to the cloud, investing in edge computing, and rearchitecting their networks around Zero Trust. As a result, operations teams are now dealing with new levels of traffic, new kinds of traffic, and new technologies. The fundamental shift in the nature of the network has raised new considerations, issues, and threats. New network architectures, for example, are often riddled with blindspots as a result of digital transformation. Dimensional Research, for one, shows that 81% of network professionals regularly deal with dark space – parts of the network that they’re blind to.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), for example, have opened up new creative possibilities for many businesses, but they also made the network incredibly porous. In the cloud, infrastructure can often be spun up without oversight or visibility and multiply quickly to open up the network to outside access in a variety of different places. As such, APIs now account for 83% of network traffic and serve as a promising attack vector for malicious actors.
While the modern network operates in a different – and a much more complex – manner to the way it did a short while ago, how those NetOps and SecOps teams manage it, often has not.
Good intentions and inefficient solutions
It’s against the backdrop of this complexity that waste arrives. In fact, it is often a result of inefficient solutions to larger problems. Ironically, it often comes from attempting to fix visibility performance problems.
Take tool sprawl as an example. Network teams will eagerly buy tools to wrest back control of network visibility. However, these often have a retrograde effect of actually reducing overall visibility. A 2021 Ponemon report revealed that around half of all companies have as many as ten visibility tools overseen by only one engineer. These are often complex tools, which require time, attention, and expertise to use. Furthermore, they often provide visibility with different metrics and don’t integrate. This leaves operators with a fractured view of the network, which often makes them hop between tools to establish what exactly is going on.
In turn, they also lack centralized platforms to analyze network data of devices, routers, and switches. Instead, they need to manually go through logs and resolve issues as they spring up, effectively limiting an ability they have to preempt potential issues. This also mitigates their visibility into and analysis of flow data – the traffic flowing internally within the network. That hamstrings report generation too, because network engineers have to manually sift through the traffic data to establish what is happening.
Similarly, when faced with performance problems like traffic bottlenecks, many will opt to buy more hardware or upgrade their circuits to fix those problems. Had they greater visibility over the network, they could identify the root cause of that bottleneck, but because they can’t, they’re forced to spend. This regrettable jumble of tools also makes it exceedingly difficult to innovate further and scale out the network.
Waste comes in at two levels. Because NetOps and SecOps can’t get a top-down view of the network activity – they’re forced to use resources to fix small problems with inefficient piecemeal solutions. These solutions often overly taxing on budgets, productivity, and energy. That lack of a holistic and strategic approach to visibility prevents them from seeing the root issues within the network and leads to recurring network issues, outages, and ultimately, downtime.
The seriousness of downtime can’t be understated. Modern businesses are de-facto digital and international – every minute their network isn’t functioning, is a minute of lost revenue and business paralysis. Data shows that it cost organizations between $300,000 to $400,000 an hour of downtime.
Eliminating inefficiency through centralization
NetOps and SecOps teams are prevented from getting a crucially holistic view of the network and so they’re bogged down by putting out fires and arduously investigating problems across a jumble of tools and equipment. That ultimately results in recurrent network issues, which further prevent long-term solutions.
Centralizing visibility and management is paramount to a modern, functional network – especially if businesses want to keep digitally innovating. A recent report from Forrester enumerated the potential savings that a business can make by doing so. In the report, Forrester collected testimony and data from multiple companies into a composite organization to model the potential effects.
By bringing this composite organization’s network management functions together into a centralized platform, the composite model enjoyed millions in savings. The composite organization managed to save:
- $2.5 million in avoided equipment and bandwidth costs,
- $695,000 in streamlining report generation by eliminating manual processes,
- $225,000 was saved by reducing mean time to resolution and
- $1.8 million from reducing downtime leading to increased productivity.
Waste often happens when organizations don’t fully accommodate the changing nature of the network – for many organizations, that means fundamentally changing the way they collect data and monitor network activities. Centralizing allows NetOps and SecOps teams to do more with less. By consolidating multiple tools and mitigating arduous data wrangling, businesses can regain a holistic view of the network to quickly find the source of problems, take action, troubleshoot, manage performance, and ultimately make long-term decisions that can help the business scale and thrive.
LiveAction provides unmatched visibility into network and application performance from a single pane of glass. This gives enterprises confidence that the network is meeting business objectives, offers IT administrators full visibility for better decision-making, and reduces the overall cost of operations.
By unifying and simplifying the collection, correlation and presentation of network and application data, LiveAction empowers network professionals to proactively and quickly identify, troubleshoot, and resolve issues across increasingly large and complex networks. To learn more and see how LiveAction delivers unmatched network visibility and security, visit https://www.liveaction.com.