Cloud, SDN demand real-time tracking and monitoring of network resources and demand a close alignment between fulfillment and assurance function. Real-time changes to the network need to be monitored and tracked on per application and per subscriber level. Advanced analytics will play a pivotal role in this context as beyond real-time understanding of utilization of network resources "what if" type of analysis needs to be conducted which would help operators assess the future behavior of the network based on future service trends. Service providers will have to make sure they find a service assurance solution that will help to view all layers of the cloud operation (content, network and session layers) in real time so that any issues are reported quickly to the customer and contribute to customer satisfaction.
An assurance solution that has the capability to assure real-time interactive services by analyzing network, media and service layers and automatically correlating network events to individual sessions in the network -- thereby bringing together session, media and path information into a single platform -- is what is needed right now. This correlation also breaks down the silo views that each management group or multi-vendor network has, without the use of intrusive and expensive probes. Service assurance solutions that can handle interactive real-time services effectively will be able to handle the dynamic requirements of both cloud-based services and support assurance requirements of application running on a SDN infrastructure.
Few key highlights from the report are:
- Service assurance for SDN will need close alignment with real-time operations support system (OSS) and best practice business processes. Close alignment between assurance and real-time OSS plus alignment with ITIL concepts will be important for service assurance solutions supporting cloud services and SDN.
- Cloud success will depend on subscriber quality of experience (QoE). Cloud service providers must know that understanding the demands and apprehensions of cloud customers, whose primary concern is about quality of the overall experience, will be key to the success of cloud services.
- Cloud service management will depend on intelligence, tools and capabilities that allow application monitoring, workload mobility and link services to provide security and improve application performance. With the constant evolution of workloads, compliance protocols and application requirements, it is critical to maintain high service levels to uphold customer relationships.
- Operators need granular network-facing application awareness, as well as subscriber-facing service awareness. This means real-time visibility into sessions and visibility into session paths and performance parameters. With a comprehensive view of all the sessions in the network, network operators can see those sessions that are impacted from various network events.
- For a cloud service assurance solution to be effective, it is important that it has an end-to-end view of the entire network. Because communication impairments can occur at any point along the path through the network, monitoring at a single point in the network or at the edge of a network cannot accurately identify the source of session-quality degradation.