Intelligent Data Centres Issue 01 | Page 20

DATA CENTRE PREDICTIONS AS NETWORK MANAGEMENT AUTOMATES, VIRTUALISES AND GOES ‘NETOPS’, OOB HAS ALSO TO EVOLVE AND BE LESS ABOUT CONNECTING 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 be be hot in in network hot network infrastructure infrastructure management in in 2019 management 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 20 Issue 01 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 will continue. 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. The evolution of of OOB The evolution OOB 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 two decades. 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 than nothing. 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. ◊