DATA CENTRE PREDICTIONS
OOB HAS ALSO
TO EVOLVE AND
BE LESS ABOUT
PEOPLE TO PORTS.
end-to-end security, network redundancy
and failover, remote provisioning techniques
were combined and packaged together
with new cloud-based provisioning and
configured to take advantage of network-
function virtualisation (NFV) to create
a very compelling solution for WAN
connectivity and management.
It has become moot to predict explosive
growth in SD-WAN. 2019 is the year
where every single enterprise managing
remote branch connectivity will be
looking at SD-WAN deployments. The
cost and resiliency differences between
old-school WAN networking using MPLS
circuits and access routers and SD-WAN
are clear and compelling.
While cloud-based provisioning has
alleviated the cost and pain of deploying a
WAN solution, reducing the need to send
a team of engineers to each location to
setup and configure the router and network
uplink, it is important to remember that
the laws of physics still apply: any tool or
technology that relies on an infrastructure
to manage the infrastructure gets into a
deadlock when there is a disruption.
deployed at the edge, the opportunities
for something to go wrong multiply.
While a traditional access router can be
deployed and go untouched for months
or even years, in SD-WAN, the software
components are updated continuously
from the cloud.
Compared to traditional networking,
this is convenient and secure, but is still
dependent on the stability of WAN links
and remote physical infrastructure.
Specific technologies that will
Specific technologies that will
in in 2019
If virtualisation transformed the
big blocks of IT in the past decade,
containerised applications are
transforming networking and networking
management in 2019.
Containers allow the flexible deployment
of applications anywhere in the
infrastructure, while avoiding the weight
and complexity of traditional virtualisation.
When most of your nodes or devices are
not full-blown data centre servers, size
and simplicity matters. Though there are
many challengers, Docker is the most
popular container format and is likely to
remain so in 2019.
Use of traditional network management
protocols (like SNMP, IPMI, NETCONF)
for both monitoring and configuration
of devices have been the mainstay of
Large-scale service providers have
abandoned that approach in favour of
less structured methods that remove
the dependency on hardware vendors.
Instead of getting structured monitoring
data from SNMP gets, apply Big Data and
AI techniques to parse less structured log
and event information.
Instead of using SNMP set to configure a
particular parameter in a device, use an
orchestration tool like Ansible or Puppet
to replace the entire configuration file.
In the enterprise, there are good reasons
to apply both methods and the debate
On the more structured side of the
market, OpenConfig and streaming
telemetry is gaining traction as a user-
driven set of standards. At the same time,
the attempts to ‘converge’ networking
and apply the same techniques used in
other IT silos will continue. This debate
will be central to both technology
providers and IT users in 2019.
While always-on network connectivity
is the saviour of managers of any
other IT silo, Out-of-Band (OOB) is the
infrastructure of last resort that saves
network managers when the production
infrastructure is disrupted.
An Out-of-Band management system
provides a secure alternate path so
that a network engineer can reach the
console port of any network element in
the infrastructure even if the production
network is disrupted. This has been the
established definition of OOB for the past
Provisioning of remote devices relying
on existing in-band network connectivity
is still subject to deadlock (whether it is
done from a NOC or the cloud).
With more sophisticated, fast-evolving,
multi-vendor software stacks being
network management for as long as
we remember. It has been plagued
by vendors making sure their
implementation of the standards
was always ‘unique’, but it was better
Marcio Saito, CTO of Opengear
As Network Management automates,
virtualises and goes ‘NetOps’, OOB
has also to evolve and be less about
connecting people to ports. ◊