IS YOUR NET­WORK IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE 5G-READY?

Will 5G bring scal­a­bil­ity chal­lenges along with changes to networking ar­chi­tec­tures?

Network Middle East - - TECHNOLOGY / 5G- READY NETWORK -

5G tech­nol­ogy, with its speed 10 times faster than 4G LTE, can help busi­nesses re­alise many long-held am­bi­tions like real-time aug­mented re­al­ity (AR), vir­tual re­al­ity (VR), dis­trib­uted ma­chine learn­ing within the In­ter­net of Things (IOT), au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, smart ci­ties, edge com­put­ing, etc. While 5G tech­nol­ogy is im­mi­nent and likely to trans­form the pace of busi­ness op­er­a­tions, it will bring scal­a­bil­ity chal­lenges along with changes to networking ar­chi­tec­tures.

CHAL­LENGES THAT THIS CHANGE WILL IN­TRO­DUCE

Growth in tech­nol­ogy leads to an in­crease in the num­ber of trans­mit­ters and re­ceivers re­quired for ef­fec­tive con­nec­tiv­ity, mean­ing a prob­lem in any of these de­vices would not only af­fect con­nec­tiv­ity, but also all other de­pen­dent pro­cesses.

SOFT­WARE-DE­FINED NETWORKING

Soft­ware- de­fined networking (SDN) con­trollers, which man­age flow con­trol for im­proved net­work man­age­ment and ap­pli­ca­tion per­for­mance, will kick in to con­trol net­work traf­fic as net­work de­pen­dency will be more soft­ware ori­ented than hard­ware ori­ented.

Many soft­ware- de­fined net­works can track when and who makes changes, but busi­nesses must care­fully mon­i­tor who has ac­cess to the con­troller and keep ac­cess to it se­cure. Also, any con­fig­u­ra­tion or pro­gram­ming er­ror can re­sult in the fail­ure of SDN con­trollers, which will

lead to chaos in con­trol­ling traf­fic in net­works and sub net­works.

NET­WORK FUNC­TIONS VIR­TU­AL­I­SA­TION

With net­work func­tions vir­tu­al­i­sa­tion (NFV), com­mon func­tions like rout­ing, load bal­anc­ing, and se­cur­ing fire­walls will be re­placed on tra­di­tional net­work de­vices with vir­tual ma­chines per­form­ing the same func­tion.

As NFV en­vi­ron­ments are more dy­namic than tra­di­tional ones, they re­quire a com­plete over­haul of the ex­ist­ing pro­cesses, and both the tra­di­tional and vir­tual in­fra­struc­tures should be man­aged si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Any down de­vice, be it tra­di­tional or vir­tual, could in­ad­ver­tently crip­ple the sta­bil­ity and func­tion­al­ity of a net­work.

SO­LU­TIONS FOR BUSI­NESSES TO EM­BRACE

Ma­jor in­dus­tries and busi­ness or­gan­i­sa­tions fol­low the sim­ple pol­icy of mon­i­tor­ing ev­ery­thing in or­der to pre­vent any mishaps in their net­works. To ob­tain a com­plete pic­ture of what’s hap­pen­ing in a net­work, an ef­fec­tive mon­i­tor­ing so­lu­tion is in­dis­pens­able.

In ad­di­tion to mon­i­tor­ing key pa­ram­e­ters like sta­tus, per­for­mance met­rics, and traf­fic, the mon­i­tor­ing tool should also be equipped with new ca­pa­bil­i­ties that can cope with 5G tech­nol­ogy. With 5G, wire­less wide area net­works (WANS) could serve as a pri­mary con­nec­tiv­ity method, so mea­sur­ing per­for­mance across these con­nec­tions will be­come crit­i­cal for en­ter­prises to en­sure ef­fec­tive in­te­gra­tion of 5G net­works. The tool should be ca­pa­ble of han­dling any band­width speed with­out com­pro­mis­ing on per­for­mance.

NEED FOR A NET­WORK MAP

The mon­i­tor­ing so­lu­tion should also pro­vide a net­work map of ba­sic informatio­n that dis­plays an over­view of the whole net­work at a glance.

It should show the sta­tus of a net­work de­vice and the ac­tual traf­fic that flows through each de­vice. Ad­di­tion­ally, it should pro­vide var­i­ous per­for­mance met­rics that will help track the over­all per­for­mance of all de­vices in the net­work and should be quick enough to de­tect changes.

TACK­LING SOFT­WARE-DE­FINED NETWORKING

The tool should have a tightly mon­i­tored se­cu­rity sys­tem so that ac­cess to the SDN con­troller is re­stricted. It should be able to ef­fi­ciently back up the con­fig­u­ra­tion and re­store it when there is a fail­ure in the SDN con­trollers.

THE SO­LU­TION FOR NFV

The mon­i­tor­ing tool should also en­sure that the per­for­mance met­rics of in­di­vid­ual vir­tual net­work func­tion (VNF) en­ti­ties that re­late to a ser­vice are as­so­ci­ated cor­rectly.

For in­stance, the tool should be able to cap­ture if a vir­tual do­main name sys­tem (VDNS) is per­form­ing its func­tions cor­rectly, and mea­sure the re­quest and re­sponse time taken by the VDNS.

NEED FOR AN ALERT­ING SYS­TEM

Above all, the so­lu­tion should send alerts when de­vices go down, when con­fig­ured thresh­olds are breached, and when the con­fig­u­ra­tion of any de­vice changes along with the de­tails of the net­work ad­min­is­tra­tor who made the change.

Alerts should also be gen­er­ated when the VNF as­so­ci­a­tion breaks, when there’s a breach in the SDN con­trollers’ se­cu­rity, or when the con­trollers fail. Last but not the least, the tool you choose should of­fer all these so­lu­tions in one place.

To sum up, a cloud-based, scal­able mon­i­tor­ing so­lu­tion that pro­vides ac­cess to data from any lo­ca­tion is im­per­a­tive for busi­nesses to man­age any grow­ing net­work suc­cess­fully.

Si­vara­makr­ish­nan M R, prod­uct con­sul­tant at Site24x7.

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