Network Telemetry - Building a Network Monitoring Solution
for Scalable Enterprise IT Infrastructures

Network Telemetry – Building a Network Monitoring Solution for Scalable Enterprise IT Infrastructures

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With the advancements, IoT and 5G technologies, enterprises, and OEMs are re-designing traditional business models to Software as a Service (SaaS), Product as a Service (PaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). However, while offering everything as a service, enterprises often lose direct control and visibility over business-critical applications hosted on private, public, or hybrid cloud and accessible through multiple networks. To improve the availability and response time of cloud-based business-critical applications-as-a-service, it is essential to monitor the performance of end-to-end network topology built using multiple switches and routers.

  • Key Challenges: Network Monitoring for End-to-End Network

Some unique challenges of end-to-end network monitoring are:

  • Use of multiple tools to monitor end-to-end network
  • Adds unnecessary management overload and expensive tools licensing cost
  • Manually setting up monitoring for each switch and routers is cumbersome in dynamic resource provisioning environments

Moreover, using traditional siloed tools and technologies such as SNMP, sFlow, netFlow to determine root cause of network unavailability and inefficiency are no longer suffice. The challenge is how quickly can network administrators identify, manage and optimize switches and routers within the network topology to efficiently resolve the root cause behind the network failure or slow response time.

  • The Solution: Building Up Network Monitoring Solution

For improving operational efficiency, redundancy and scalability of large enterprise IT infrastructures, it is important to leverage utilization of in-house network resources. Here are some of the key features which should be targeted while designing a network monitoring and management tool, in order to have round the clock watch over network infrastructure and resources such as switches and routers, achieve a great deal of improvement in network throughput and network downtime.

  • Statistics and Counters
    • For Port at Ingress and Egress
    • For Queue representing different TC and Qos
    • For Buffer bounded to port or device level
  • Microburst detection and Congestions
  • Blackhole detection against Packet Loss
  • Environment attributes such as CPU Utilization, Temperature and more
  • Memory footprints and Flow Table Occupancies
  • Device Identification and Commissioning
  • Reference Architecture: Network Monitoring Solution

There are many opensource and proprietary tools and protocols available in the market to implement key elements of network monitoring solution, but the real magic of ‘Network Telemetry’ lies in the method used to gather and analyze the data and on top of that the way of representing them in a pleasant and user-friendly manner.

network-telemetry

The key elements of the Network Telemetry solution include:

  • Network Device Data Sources

Network monitoring solution identifies and connects with various type of network data sources, which can be called as network assets. These network assets has SDK or NOS integrated with firmware library installed, usually known as Telemetry Agent. Agent would be responsible to capture or read all the monitoring and control data from that asset. The type of data it gathers from assets solely depends on the analytics requirement, however, it should be comfortable to support it with packet, interrupt or poll manner.

  • Network Data Collection and Processing

Network Data collector runs on the server in or outside the network, and it usually uses REST APIs, Google ProtoBuf or other standardized or open-source  RPC communication method to connect and collect data from network assets having telemetry agent library installed. The collected data is an input to the data processing unit, a control and management system for Network Telemetry Enterprise Solution. Going with usual design mentioned in the diagram above, this module analyzes data from various data sources and performs data processing tasks to store processed data to the centralized database.

  • Network Data Analytics Dashboard

The Data Analytics Dashboard displays the processed data in an intuitive user interface to provide actionable insights in a single view. This ranges from generating simple statistical metrics to inferring problems to recommending solutions to said problems.

  • Business Benefits: Considering Network Monitoring Solution for Hybrid Cloud
  • Mitigate costly network downtimes
  • Schedule network resources to adapt to timely business-critical service demands
  • Detection against performance constraints to access network quality
  • Resolve network glitches and irregularities in their premature state
  • Offer real-time and round the clock monitoring of network assets
  • Overcome hard to identify issues of the network such as silent packet drops, load imbalance, protocol bugs and inflated latencies
  • Anticipate capacity saturation and accordingly aids to plan resource efficiency benchmarks
  • Pinpoint load changes and unwarranted threats to facilitate proactive troubleshooting
  • Facilitate to define business strategies based on reports and analytics of the network
  • Key Takeaway

Network Telemetry Solution can offer extensive and useful detection capabilities coupled with a dedicated analytics system to collect, trend and correlate observed activity. And one can say, thumb rule of Network Telemetry Solution’s design is to look for the best modern analytical methods which efficiently and consistently give visibility over the entire network infra and resources to serve as remedy for the network issues.

Are you looking for unified network monitoring solution for your IT infrastructure? Drop us a message at [email protected] or give us a call on +1 510 358 4310.

About Author: Aalok Shah

Aalok Shah is working in VOLANSYS Technologies as a Sr. Engineer. He has served in multiple industry verticals and worked upon many tools and technologies till now in his journey. Being passionate, he always looks forward to the opportunities to bring better solutions on the table.

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