SD-WAN monitoring, still a long way to go,’native functions and third-party tools’

SD-WAN supports native monitoring technology that can improve network operations. As the biggest difference between SD-WAN technology, it is comparable to hybrid WAN connectivity and direct cloud connectivity.

In general, SD-WAN products provide cloud-based controllers. This provides visibility and manageability for virtual networks that SD-WAN builds on top of an enterprise’s physical WAN. Most SD-WAN controllers support report and dashboard functions, where you can check performance information by site, application, and cloud vendor.

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This visibility-related component is a very important part when introducing SD-WAN. But recently, an Enterprise Management Associates survey (EMA) surveyed 303 WAN managers. resultLooking at, native monitoring was ranked third among the essential requirements of SD-WAN products (first was hybrid connectivity support, second was integrated network security). In addition, 48% of respondents cited improved visibility as the most important factor in the spread of SD-WAN adoption.

In addition, 91% of respondents said they are monitoring or plan to monitor their SD-WAN environment using additional network monitoring tools. 41% said third-party monitoring is essential to network operations. Even though SD-WAN supports native monitoring, why are so many companies looking for third-party tools?

One hint is that, while managers and analysts at network operations centers (NOCs) at least believe that SD-WAN third-party monitoring appears to be essential to network operations, network engineers who receive technical support requests from these NOC managers are Is that I see it as absolutely necessary.

It’s not difficult to understand what happened to this situation. The NOC analyst receives a request from a user in the branch that there is a problem. When analysts look at the SD-WAN console, they can see that the performance of certain applications is poor. However, even if you look closely at the console’s report, there is little to be clear about what is causing the problem.

The request is now forwarded to a network engineer who can use network flow monitoring, BGP monitoring, and integrated monitoring tools. In the end, reports from the SD-WAN console can help with this, but finding the root cause requires other tools.

This situation was also reflected in the results of the investigation. 65% of WAN managers use native monitoring to identify SD-WAN related issues. About 30% said they provided limited or little information about the visibility of WAN underlays (MPLS or broadband networks where SD-WAN overlays were created).

In addition, 30% said native monitoring tools lacked application visibility. In other words, it seems that application intelligence is built based on ports and protocols rather than layer 7 application signatures. Or, there is a possibility that the layer 7 application signature library is insufficient, providing visibility only for the most widely used applications.

About the data collection fragmentation problem of native SD-WAN monitoring like this, 29% of IT teams said it was serious. If the interval between data collection is too long, this can happen. However, if the network administrator reduces this interval, the overall network performance may decrease.

Given these issues, it’s not surprising that companies turn to third-party monitoring. Unfortunately, however, it is not easy to introduce such a tool. Many SD-WAN products use their own specifications. Network data standards such as SNMP and IPFIX are not supported. Even if you apply, there may be problems. Most of the network monitoring companies are integrating their products into SD-WAN products. With so many companies scattered, we cannot be sure that the monitoring products currently used by the network team will reliably support SD-WAN products.

After all, all of this can be problematic. In the survey, only 48% of WAN administrators said they were satisfied with SD-WAN third-party monitoring. Monitoring satisfaction is an indicator that is directly connected to whether to purchase more new monitoring tools. Companies currently planning to purchase SD-WAN products need to understand exactly this situation. [email protected]

Source: ITWorld Korea by

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