NETWORKING

  • 04/28/2014
    7:00 AM
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Tech Talk Week 1: Service Provider Network Visibility

Welcome to the first in a series of weekly community discussions, as we explore the lack of visibility enterprise customers often have into the service provider network.

Today we kick off a series of weekly discussions. I'll present an idea or topic, and I invite everyone in the community to add your thoughts in the comments throughout the week. At the end of the discussion, we'll evaluate and see if there are any action items that community members can take on to help advance the issue or solve the problem that currently exists. And we may even be able to award some prizes to those with the best ideas -- stay tuned.

If you would like to lead your own Tech Talk and have an interesting topic, just let us know. Network Computing is looking for more volunteers!

Topic 1: Service provider visibility to the customer

Most of the time, if not always, enterprise customers no have visibility into the service provider side. In the case of an MPLS service at Layer 2 or Layer 3, the customer will be assigned by virtual forwarding instance (VFI) or virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and have a private context. This allows for good separation and multi-tenancy but still is widely open to operational mistakes.

Change management processes might be in place, and maintenance windows might be scheduled, helping the customer to keep informed. However, I have seen many times when this has not been the case. The service provider should also be performing according to an SLA, but still the customer should see the root cause and understand the reason for any unplanned downtime -- whether due to operational mistakes, wrong configurations, etc. We may need to apply that configuration information to other places or inform other parties of the problems.

Is service provider visibility an issue in your network? How do you deal with it, or how would you solve this problem?

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.