Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Data Analytics journey in Networking - An optional to Essential

Data Analytics and Machine Learning, Two of the most popular buzz words in Tech industry not only entered Networking industry did make a bigger impact. Gone are the days where networking equipment operators thrust on syslog servers and SNMP based monitoring tools to analyze and manage networks. Modern networks need agile ways to monitor networks. Super intelligent traffic engineering methods intrduced by  modern networking gears forwarding techniques offer many different seamless failover technique, age old monitoring utilities has less chance of detecting such fail-overs. Also, operators view of monitoring tools as CAPEX had a hard time in integrating monitoring utilities with usage billing. Netflow and sFlow as a flow analysis method or flow monitoring method couldn't tale off due to inherent complexity is building external data store and retrieve layer. Network monitoring utilities failed to stitch networking events with application/server performance, hence ended up in the usual suspect list on every outage.

Networking Industry prayed for a New King with abundant power and easy to adapt integration techniques. From the ray of hope Network Data Analytics raised to industries prayer. Data Analytics had become an essential part of Networking. It attacks traditional network monitoring bottle necks with cognitive echo system.  Echo system consists of Tailor made programmable asics and easy to use scalable analytics core engine with army of API support. 

  • Programmable ASIC standout by line rate analytics data export. Cisco, Broadcom (Avago), Intel had come up with stream analytics directly from ASIC. similar to constructing Data traffic, HW analytics tables will get stream out of switch/router.
  • Network security, a growing vertical in networking eco system relies on collected pieces of information such as data signature and flow patterns. Storing time-sensitive mass data is critical for Network security. Streaming Telemetry makes it easy by means of less overhead in consuming high volume of data. 
  • Traditionally SNMP implemented as an application to listen to asic exports. SNMP responded to external entities request,  this method is a big overhead in networking gears CPU performance. Streaming telemetry removes these bottle necks. 
  • Analytics engine need not be a new software. Regular business data analytics engines with a protocol buffer to decode streamed data is good enough. 

Who is playing a key role in Network Data Analytics? 
Cisco as an Industry leader has fantastic solutions. 
Tetration analytics -  real-time data center analytics, combines network and server sensors to simplify SDN, migration to the cloud, and white-list security.
LancopeLancope provides network behavior analytics, threat visibility and security intelligence to help protect companies against top cyber security threats.

Splunk - with host of Network analytics centric tools. Splunk is a bug player in Network Data Analytics
IllumioIllumination provides a live application dependency map across your environments showing workloads, applications, and traffic flows so you can see how applications communicate and identify violations quickly.

Network security companies - PaloAlto Networks, fire eye have their own Network data analytics utilities.

P.S. Above list represent only a small set which i am aware of.