Arun DeSouza Explains Why Dynamic Networks Require Observability

Learn why today's dynamic networks require more than traditional monitoring.

Modern cloud applications are becoming more complex, which present challenges that limit the ability to proactively detect emerging threats and locate root cause issues that impact availability and uptime. Traditional monitoring and tracing solutions produce a plethora of data and alerts that can overwhelm IT and operations staff.

In this archived keynote session, Arun DeSouza, managing director at Profortis Solutions, explores the growing industry trend that sees enterprises migrating from monitoring to observability and solutions that use AI to assist in managing alerts, correlating incidents, rapidly resolving problems, and proactively eliminating problems in the making.

This segment was part of our live virtual event titled, “Network Observability in the Age of Cloud.” The event was presented by Network Computing on April 18, 2024.

A transcript of the video follows below. Minor edits have been made for clarity.

Arun DeSouza: Now, let's discuss the rise of network observability. Today, if you look at network monitoring, it focuses on the continuous collection, analysis, and display of network data.

This is the old KPI-type of approach where you'd monitor specific metrics and operating thresholds, which ensures stability, availability, and performance. However, today’s network is no longer static, it's a dynamic network.

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So, if you only focus on a few things, you're going to get lost, because the state of the network changes very fast. The future state for network management gives rise for network observability because you must understand the impact of the network state dynamically on business objectives and the user experience.

You must be able to use network data and a holistic view, which allows you to understand what's happening to the network to have a richer, next generation, architectural design that embraces transistors, zero-trust, and SASE.

Assuring the user experience and performance of all your enterprise applications utilizing the dynamic collection analysis of diverse telemetry data, whether it's log sources or flow data. Last, but not least, providing a holistic, detailed network illustration and operating state in real-time is important.

Every network and security leader must see the network map, threat posture, service, risk, and application failures in real-time to proactively manage every system in the user experience to serve the business. What are some of the pillars for network observability?

The first is telemetry, because you need to be able to collect data across many diverse data sources, including the data center and network level, as well as the application level in real-time. Collecting the data in individual silos only won't help you.

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The next key pillar for network observability is the data lake. In fact, you might need multiple data lakes to facilitate proper analysis, which is key to aggregate and provide actionable insights to these huge amounts of data.

The third pillar is visibility and visualization. You must see any threats that impact performance in real-time, and consistently act, whether that's every month, quarter, or annually. It is important to see the performance of the network and how trends positively or negatively impact the business and user experience, which is zero-trust.

It's very important to understand the context and behavior of the network, and the applications that are delivered through it, so that you can have proactive incident management. You want to be ahead of the curve, not behind.

Now, obviously, you want actionable insights, but even if you get those, you're not going to be able to achieve it with limited staff. Today, most companies don't have enough staff, so you need the ability to automate and orchestrate incident response.

That's where observability and the new modern paradigm shift to observability helps facilitate that. To achieve the appropriate automation, scale, and efficiency, you must leverage those diverse data sources.

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Back in the day, the network, security, and IT teams were apart of certain silos, but now zero-trust and SASE help power and deliver a better user experience. The business posture requires cross functional collaboration across all levels of IT, security, and network operations.

As a CISO, we always talk about people, processes, and technology. You can distribute all these pillars into some of those dimensions, and some across multiple dimensions, because network observability is not just a technology concept – there are also people in business processes.

In addition to all the macro trends and the business drivers we talked about earlier, what are some of the primary use cases for network observability? First and foremost, is root cause analysis and troubleshooting.

If you're able to have real-time dashboards that enable holistic illustrations, actionable insights, and even automated remediation, it becomes a powerful tool. It makes the entire enterprise safer, improves service assurance, and minimizes breaches.

You want the ability to locate bottlenecks, threats, and areas to improve in real-time. Locating which services can be removed is important because of the need for fundamental reporting and visualization. As we try to power businesses forward, utilizing the cloud for reporting and visualization is huge, both at the network and security level.

Watch the archived “Network Observability in the Age of Cloud” live virtual event on-demand today.

About the Author(s)

Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager

Brandon Taylor is the Digital Editorial Program Manager at Network Computing.

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