Ronny Lam


5 Network Management Resolutions for 2014

Everybody can write down some resolutions or predictions for the upcoming year, but depending of the subject you need more expertise to do trustful predictions. I think the EMA has shown expertise in the field of networking and management. Here are my rewrites and two cents of their predictions:

  1. APIs are going to be hot. Programmability of the network is getting traction and in order to make good use of that you need to engage with APIs. There is however a whole slew of legacy networks that have CLI as their only “API”.
  2. Leveraging automation wherever possible. Enforce change management procedures by preferably reducing the of CLI. Backups of configurations are a good thing, but are second best, always walking behind changes and problems. Pro-active change-management uses a top-down approach.
  3. Tear down the walls. Not only between netops and sysops, but also between development and operations. Only when all of these teams collaborate together performance and stability of the network will rise. The clear division between networks and systems is getting vague as we will see in the next point.
  4. Virtual networking is hot. If the networks are not agile enough for systems and applications than the latter will get around the network teams by building overlays on top of the legacy networks. If this doesn’t go together with the previous point I foresee some serious troubleshooting issues.
  5. Performance and monitoring. This has always been top priority but with the mindset of programmability and automation of the network this creates extra bonus points. This is a good time to leverage the available data in the network.

No word about SDN. But as you can see, these points combine very well with SDN. In fact, I think it is even better to describe the goals for the upcoming year in above terms. SDN is just an enabler, but must never be a goal on itself.