Is the Data-Driven Network Next?

Analysis of large volumes of real-time network data can help optimize network forwarding mechanisms.

Terry Slattery

October 12, 2017

1 Min Read
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In talking with a customer recently about network management, an interesting question came up: "Is the network management industry headed toward instrumentation on the network devices and exporting the data to analysis systems?"

I've seen some early indications that this is starting to happen. For example, I'm aware of several products that use agents residing on network devices to gather and quickly send real-time data to an external analysis system. So the question stayed with me, and I began to wonder about analyzing such data to improve network monitoring and control. It finally sank into my head that the ideal terminology is "data driven network." While a quick Internet search turned up several papers and presentations on the topic, I found no products. I expect that to change.

The basic Idea
The idea behind data-driven networking is that the analysis of large volumes of real-time network data can help optimize network forwarding mechanisms. Stated another way, data-driven networking is the application of big data analysis to raw network data, with the results then used to optimize network performance. Is the subject that new? Not really. Most of the papers about data-driven networking published in 2016:

Network instrumentation
The traditional approach to network monitoring and management, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), uses a simple mechanism to collect data from network devices.

Read the rest of this article on No Jitter.

About the Author(s)

Terry Slattery

Principal Architect, NetCraftsmenTerry Slattery is a principal architect at NetCraftsmen, an advanced network consulting firm that specializes in high-profile and challenging network consulting jobs. Terry is currently working on network management, SDN, business strategy consulting, and interesting legal cases. He is the founder of Netcordia, inventor of NetMRI, has been a successful technology innovator in networking during the past 20 years, and is co-inventor on two patents. He has a long history of network consulting and design work, including some of the first Cisco consulting and training. As a consultant to Cisco, he led the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface. Prior to Netcordia, Terry founded Chesapeake Computer Consultants, which became a Cisco premier training and consulting partner. At Chesapeake, he co-invented and patented the v-LAB system to provide hands-on access to real hardware for the hands-on component of internetwork training classes.Terry co-authored the successful McGraw-Hill text "Advanced IP Routing in Cisco Networks," is the second CCIE (1026) awarded, and is a regular speaker at Enterprise Connect and Interop.

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