WAN automation: Why SD‑WAN is only step one and what’s needed to reach full autonomy
Much like self-driving vehicles, IT networks are well on their way to becoming self-healing and self-optimizing, serving up the right bandwidth at the right time for perfect cloud application performance. At the source of these network breakthroughs is artificial intelligence (AI). AI-based automation technologies will soon transform network management and application performance as we know it, making them an opportunity that cannot be missed.
But before any IT professional can become a strategic leader in this new arena, they must first understand the current state of networking automation, the steps that IT teams need to make in order to arrive at full autonomy, and the truth about what today’s solutions deliver–not to mention how they differ. Here’s what you need to know.
SD-WAN alone is only the first step in WAN automation
Software-defined principles serve as only the first steps in creating a self-driving network. The path to complete autonomy starts with virtualization, and it is here that SD-WAN has made its mark. SD-WAN shifts the network control plane from hardware to software, allowing IT teams to stop manually managing devices and start leveraging programmable functions for WAN management. But SD-WAN is only a partial formula. In fact, it’s what you do after the SD-WAN implementation that can make a far bigger impact on network efficiency and automation. Consider that SD-WAN solutions provide visibility into performance and traffic, but IT teams often revert back to manual processes the minute they need to act on this intelligence. It is here where the next biggest automation opportunity lies.
AIOps: Your guide to autonomous networking
The next step in creating autonomy is to apply AI-based technologies, where behavior analytics and machine learning algorithms can more fully automate network management and application optimization. Gartner refers to this concept as “AIOps,” defining AI for IT operations as the application of machine learning and data science to IT operations problems.
Analysts believe the long-term impact of AIOps will be transformative for IT teams. According to Gartner, “organizations that automate more than 70% of their network change activities will reduce the number of outages by at least 50% and deliver services to their business constituents 50% faster.” With payouts like that, it’s no surprise that analyst Andrew Lerner advises IT executives to prioritize network automation investments.
Applying AIOps to build a self-driving network
AIOps platforms have the power to act as virtual assistants or network engineer “robots” that work 24/7, never sleep, and can ingest and analyze big data at nearly the speed of light. Aggregating real-time network activity, historical traffic, configuration settings, and usage, AIOps platforms generate contextual intelligence and help eliminate human errors that are still the root cause of most service degradations and outages today.
Through behavioral analysis and machine learning, AIOps can identify patterns, processes, and trends, making predictions about bandwidth needs and offering recommendations to solve age-old IT problems. For instance, AIOps can recommend:
- Which path an application should take, based upon performance
- When and where to add bandwidth, including cloud vendors
- Network changes and configuration settings to optimize application performance, based on business needs and service priorities
With coaching, feedback, and maturity, AIOps solutions then reach a critical milestone that allows trust to develop. Using the known rule sets, policies, and playbooks that govern in unmanaged environments that’s when an AIOps tool can become truly autonomous–trusted to act alone. With the right integration and automation tools, the AIOps system can be used to make adjustments to the network itself.
AIOps solutions: Features that make a difference
First, it is important to note that not all IT infrastructures are designed for AI innovation. The underlying network must have a software-defined architectural model that supports real-time flexibility, big data collection, and secure analytics at speed and at scale. Networks that were architected for a previous era will likely never be optimized to support AIOps.
Mature AIOps platforms can make all the difference. Advanced solutions and providers with a library of specialization in network optimization best practices are better suited to create rulesets that can move quickly beyond the initial steps of data aggregation and analysis with the ability to act on recommendations autonomously.
The problem with even mature AIOps solutions today is that they are largely point solutions with their own management portals. This means customers get AI analytics and recommendations in a separate portal that must be integrated into their network and IT environment. Instead, enterprises need a holistic approach that puts all analytics in one place.
The key for technology partners is to ensure their offerings bring AI maturity with years of experience and are seamlessly integrated to avoid the complexities of management. For IT teams, these aspects will amplify the sense of true freedom that network automation is poised to deliver.
Developing AIOps from nearly two decades of experience and expertise in software-defined network management, Masergy AIOps is the network service industry’s first AI-based, digital assistant for network, application, and security optimization. Masergy AIOps is an intelligent assistant that actively serves customers as a network engineer, supporting administration and optimization.
Interested in how SD-WAN can improve your business?
Call us now to arrange a consultation (866) 588-5885.
Or arrange for a consultation through our request form.
How does Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) fit into the SASE paradigm?
CASB serves as of one of SASE’s fundamental purposes. Here’s how it works within a SASE framework to mitigate security risks.
SASE from Masergy: Best-of-breed technologies, broad choices, and security that goes beyond SASE
Here’s a look at Masergy’s approach to SASE, the enhancements we have made, and how we’re leaning into network-security convergence.
Masergy Strengthens Its SD-WAN Secure Solution with Deeper SASE Capabilities
Masergy, the software-defined network and cloud platform for the digital enterprise, announced that it is strengthening its SD-WAN Secure solution to offer Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) capabilities
Masergy Receives Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Managed SD-WAN Solution with AIOps
Masergy Named Most Innovative Managed SD-WAN Service Provider by Frost & Sullivan
What lies beyond SASE?
Do SASE solutions reach far enough? Here’s a look at what’s inside the SASE framework today, and where it could go in the future.
The permanency of remote healthcare calls for UCaaS + SD‑WAN + Security
Healthcare IT leaders are reducing the complexity of digital transformation by addressing UC, the network, and security in one unified strategy.
Can I skip SD-WAN and jump straight to SASE?
Want to switch from SD-WAN to SASE midstream? These RFP questions can help you roll your IT modernization project into a larger investment.
The future of the network is autonomous: WFH strategies prepare for self-driving networks
While IT leaders are enabling the remote workforce, they are also building an autonomous network. Leverage your investments today for innovation tomorrow.
What are the benefits of SASE?
Why do businesses need SASE and more importantly does it help with work from home? Here’s how SASE solutions deliver real value.
Masergy Launches SD-WAN Work From Anywhere Solutions
Masergy Launches SD-WAN Work From Anywhere Solutions, which extend the value of Masergy SD-WAN Secure to Home and Mobile Users
How do you tease out the differences in SASE solutions? Tech stacks set providers apart
Planning a move toward SASE? Here are three ways to make apples-to-apples comparisons, teasing out the differences in solutions.
SASE from Fortinet & Masergy: Converging best-of-breed network and security solutions recognized by Gartner
SASE is consolidating best-of-breed technologies into one cloud service, and it’s here where the Masergy-Fortinet offering stands above the rest.
Is there more than one way to SASE? Cloud separates two strategies, schools of thought
Are firewalls becoming a dividing line between SASE strategies? Why some IT leaders choose a cloud-managed approach over a cloud-native one.
Is SASE real or just a concept?
When it comes to SASE validity, there are lots of opinions. Here’s a look from all sides and tips for how to evaluate SASE architecture.
Masergy Named Most Innovative Managed SD-WAN Service Provider by Frost & Sullivan
Masergy Announces Zenith Partner of the Year Awards
Co-managed SD-WAN: IT decision makers are leaning in but how do you get the best of both worlds?
What’s the difference between a fully managed SD-WAN service and a co-managed service? Here’s how to get the best out of shared responsibilities.
Why are there so many different interpretations of SASE?
Ask people what SASE is and you’ll likely get 10 answers. While the newness of SASE is a factor in the confusion, here’s what SASE is and what it’s not.
Masergy SD-WAN wins Leading Lights 2020 Award for Most Innovative SD-WAN Service
Masergy releases 2020 SD-WAN Market Trends Report
IDG study finds SD-WAN as key enabler for working from anywhere
Data shows remote work has triggered a modernization of business operations and the network. Explore the highlights from the new IDG study.
The business case for Masergy’s new SD-WAN Secure solutions
Masergy’s new SD-WAN portfolio gives companies of every size unrivaled application performance along with more flexibility and choice.
Masergy launches new Partner Program for accelerated SD-WAN market
Masergy launches SD-WAN enhancements: More options and trailblazing SLAs meet the needs of any transforming business
Masergy expands its SD-WAN portfolio offering the broadest choice, flexibility, and built-in SASE
Masergy announces the SD‑WAN industry’s most competitive Service Level Agreements
Work-from-Anywhere Study: ZK Research webinar explores IT trends and SD-WAN urgency
ZK Research data shows IT spending is up, and the value of the network has increased. Don’t miss the latest SD-WAN strategies in this online event.
Oldcastle infrastructure selects Masergy SD-WAN to build high-availability network for digital transformation
SD-orchestration: SD-WAN and application performance management
SD-WAN has redefined network management, and how you deploy it can impact success. Get the six elements of SD-orchestration and key considerations.
Elements of SD-WAN & SASE platforms: Differentiators, characteristics and the hidden secret
SD-WAN solutions are now platforms, but what does that mean? Moreover, what differentiates platforms from solution sets? Here’s the hidden secret.
5G and fixed wireless: Where does it fit in your SD-WAN connectivity strategy?
With SD-WAN’s many connectivity options, when do you deploy 4G and 5G links and when should you avoid them? Here’s how Masergy advises its clients.
COVID-19 is changing how IT thinks about MPLS: What networks and leaders need now
The idea of converting all your private network connections into public ones is being challenged. Attitudes are shifting. Here’s what it shows us.
What digital transformation looks like now: Omdia webinar has the outlook for Europe
Research from European enterprises surveyed as the pandemic lockdown began helps IT leaders identify new trends and what businesses need now.
Extending secure SD-WAN to secure SD-Branch: The convergence of WAN and LAN at the edge
SD-WAN is giving way for terms like SD-Branch. Understand the benefits and how SD-Branch is addressing security challenges at the network edge.
Network security and automation: Why you need user identity analytics now
Here’s a guide to understanding the value of user identity analytics and why these details are increasingly important for security today and network automation tomorrow.
Advancing SD-WAN security and control, Masergy introduces identity-based WAN analytics
SD-WAN management portals typically track only IP traffic for entire sites, but Masergy’s SD-WAN gives you per-user analytics as a standard offering.
The autonomous enterprise: Building your digital vision
Masergy's CTO, Chris MacFarland, teaches you how to reach the milestone of true autonomy. This article originally appeared in Forbes.
The impact of COVID-19 on corporate networks: VPN connections skyrocket, increasing by 676%
See how Masergy’s network is changing in light of Coronavirus. Get tips for fast VPNs and understand shifts in digital transformation priorities.
COVID-19: Prioritizing health & safety
Learn how Masergy is acting with urgency to protect employees, clients, and business continuity. We explain how Masergy helps clients respond and how he virtualized the company.
Masergy wins Stevie® award for Sales & Customer Service
20 things you didn’t know about Masergy
With 20 years of history, Masergy is full of fun factoids. Explore the pioneering moments, pivotal transformations, and tales from the startup days.
4-time Visionary: Gartner positions Masergy as Visionary in 2020 Magic Quadrant for Network Services, Global
Get a free copy of Gartner's report. Learn how Masergy pioneered software-defined networks and is building the autonomous networks of tomorrow.
How SD-WAN is converging network, security and AI
Many technologies are uniting under SD-WAN. Learn what’s changed and why new additions are starting to look like autonomous networking.
Masergy celebrates 20 years of success marked by service excellence and early SD-WAN innovation
Masergy’s biggest innovation milestones
2020 marks Masergy’s 20th anniversary. The celebration starts with our top innovation landmarks and where we’re going next.
Small beginnings, big impact: Terry Traina reflects on Masergy’s legacy
In celebration of Masergy’s 20th anniversary, we’re honoring our greatest leaders and key players. Here’s the story of Terry Traina, Masergy’s Chief Digital Officer.
Scrappy startup delivers leading network performance: Mark McCann explains Masergy’s early innovation
Masergy AIOps wins 2020 BIG Innovation award
Harnessing the power of AIOps: Paving the way to autonomous networking
AIOps puts a virtual network engineer on your team, but it’s also paving the way for autonomous networking. Get the requirements and four next steps.
Fortinet & Masergy: The security-driven approach to SD-WAN
Here’s a fully managed SD-WAN solution that helps organizations truly transform the WAN edge with a security-driven approach.
Shadow IT: Getting the visibility you need
Think you only have 30-40 apps running on your network? It’s probably more like 900+. Here’s a quick guide to handling the blind spots of shadow IT.