Tag

networking

Evolving Your Tools As An Onramp To Accelerated Automation

By | Blog | No Comments

Most of the sales pitches you hear encourage you to spend millions of dollars to implement new tools, define models for everything you do, and embed IT-like tasks and functions into your network engineering organization in a big bang approach that will change your world overnight. World hunger will be solved, everybody gets raises, and your network will run itself. Sounds realistic, doesn’t it? To be honest, if I go back and read my own blogs I am probably as guilty of this as anybody in some of them. It…

Read More

Revolution Or Evolution? The Path Forward For Network Automation

By | Blog | No Comments

There are two approaches to the next steps in automation that we will make in the near future. One of revolution or one of evolution. Let’s look at each of these and lay out why evolving what you have today is a much more rational approach, in my opinion. Revolution: 1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government of political network automation system by the operator people governed. First of all, I did take some liberties with the definition of revolution above, but clearly this is how a lot of people are looking…

Read More

The Right Way To Automation

By | Blog | No Comments

It is a pretty well-known fact by now that the internet outage on Nov 6 was a direct result of a configuration error. What is not known is just how such a common occurrence in the network, a config change, could have been allowed to happen at a time and in such a way that it caused such a massive problem across the country. Every time an engineer touches the network using the common processes and techniques in place today this kind of thing can happen. That doesn’t mean that every…

Read More

Intent Based Automation Is Complex, But It Shouldn’t Scare You

By | Blog | No Comments

In the last year the SDN/NFV hype peaked and people moved on to an automation focus in general. It always comes back to automation eventually, but this time a new term has gotten hot. Intent Based Networking, which is something I discussed in a blog about 2 years ago. The beauty of the emergence of Intent Based Networking as a hot topic is that it is a byproduct of automation done correctly. Now, what do I mean by that? If you do automation correctly you are moving to a model-based approach….

Read More

Where Should Automation Live In Your Network?

By | Blog | No Comments

First, let me clarify what I mean by the question. There are different levels of control within the network. There is the OSS layer, where people have traditionally tried to place automation, but it doesn’t have a very good connection to the network and this leads to tons of specialty adapters and other components to be able to push information out to devices. Tons of components that cost tons of money. There is the EMS/NMS layer, which is much closer to the network and communicates very well with it, but…

Read More

Ops Automation: A New Year, Same Old Challenges…With New Answers

By | Blog | No Comments

As we move into a new year some things have become very clear. Some of these are things we have known for a while, some are revelations from working with clients, and some are things we SHOULD have known all along. There are many efforts going on within service providers and enterprises alike at the moment. There is the work to maintain legacy operations and service offerings under the weight of declining, or at best stable, revenue with a constant, and sometimes increasing, cost of maintenance. There is the effort…

Read More

Quantum NFV: The Future Is Closer Than You May Think

By | Blog | No Comments

I am constantly thinking about just how network functions are going to become virtualized effectively enough to impact carrier transport networks, where you see the need for very large bandwidth circuits. The current state of virtualized network functions (VNF) is such that you wouldn’t even consider going down this path due to the limitations that exist today. The coming containerization of VNFs is not going to fix this issue either. What might fix it? Well, believe it or not, quantum computing. Before we decide I have gone off the deep…

Read More

Operational Challenges Abound, and Not Always Tech Related

By | Blog | No Comments

This is a topic I have written on a while back, but it is so important it seemed to deserve a revisit, with a slightly different view than I approached it from before. In the last few weeks we have been discussing with a client this very issue. This client is nearing the launch of a production trial of their NFV environment with a small group of friendly customers. We have worked with them on processes, the issues they can expect to see, and what they should do if/when each of…

Read More

NFV Induced Operational Complexity and the Absent VNF Supplier Support Myth

By | Blog | No Comments

An article on SDxCentral.com yesterday points out a few major issues facing Service Providers when it comes to NFV and the operational complexities involved. It focuses most attention on the maintenance of VNFs and how the software model will be very different than the traditional, hardware-based model Service Providers are used to. I have to take exception with comments about VNF support from vendors in the following excerpt from the article: “Often, when service providers ask incumbent suppliers for VNFs, suppliers merely produce virtualized versions of existing boxes, writes Aloke Tusnial, VP…

Read More

Are You Abusing The Term “SDN”?

By | Blog | No Comments

I had an interesting conversation today after a client meeting with a vendor they are using. I was being introduced to one of the newer members of the vendor team that I had never met and was asked the following question while describing the work Itential does: “So, when Itential says SDN what do you mean?” At first I was taken aback because this is a vendor that is a pretty major player in the SDN space, and my initial reaction was to think he didn’t understand what SDN was….

Read More