Friday, May 4, 2012

Stop micromanaging your network

Are you a micro-manager? I don't mean with your staff, with your network? Everyone knows that micro managing causes a drain on energy and efficiency with teams, but did you know it can do the same to your LAN?

In some networks,  management traffic like SNMP, netflow and ICMP can use 30% of the bandwidth and can actually cause some of the issues you are trying to stop. Partly this is because of the broken paradigm we use to manage networks. We configure and manage  everything separately.

What we really want is a way to communicate with the network and describe the behavior we want, and then let the devices work together to "make it so".

Imagine that you use SAP. (OK many of you do use SAP, so that's not too hard to do right?) SAP runs your company and is obviously very important. Now imagine you could tell your network, the whole network not device by device, that SAP was important so treat it as important.

Now maybe peer to peer traffic isn't important so you don't want to have that take up all of your resources, but if the resources are just sitting there doing nothing but costing you money, let it be used. Some traffic you just may not want on the network ever, either because you don't use it and want to mitigate risks, or it violates a regulation.

As new applications came on that are not classified and start to get used, the network should be smart enough to let you know. "Hey I've seen a lot of traffic using a new application called skype. What do you want me to do with it?"/ and you could communicate back, block it, make it important, make it un-important, and the network would know what that means, and configure itself to do that.

I think this is the future of network management. What do you think? Using things like onefabric, isaac and coreflow2 switches, we are well on the way to this vision of the future being a reality. Learn more by going to, or ask me.

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