The term “network visibility” has been in the networking space for ages, but has never been as important or relevant as it is today. New and exciting methods of automation — whether virtualization, the cloud, IoT or even best practices like network segmentation — tend to emphasize innovation over visibility. As such, networks develop blind spots that mask network problems and even faulty devices.
In this environment, understanding what visibility truly means is just as important as having it. Visibility is what allows IT to control and optimize the network, along with applications and IT services. Without it, organizational speed decreases, network problems take longer to resolve and security threats increase. Knowing how to measure what “good” looks like is critical in modern, complex networking environments. Determining the best strategy to accomplish this requires serious consideration.
Here are a few tips for making your decision.
End-to-end visibility architecture
An end-to-end visibility architecture lets you see across physical and virtual network elements, into cloud environments, and of course, into your network traffic. Achieving it requires a plan. Many organizations grow into their networks, adding on components, analytics, compliance and security, one appliance at a time. While it is possible to piecemeal visibility components along the way, the method can create its own blind spots while leading to unnecessary complexity and higher costs. Instead of waiting until a problem arises, it is important to annually reevaluate network visibility infrastructure and plan accordingly. Assess network segments to make sure they are being monitored — look into virtual cloud monitoring for your public cloud resources and test your existing infrastructure with realistic high-volume traffic.
If done well, a strong visibility architecture will dramatically increase your visibility depth and breadth, whether it is physical, virtual, out-of-band or inline security. And depending on the solution, scaling doesn’t have to be a problem. VaaS can scale up or down, with cost based on consumption.