VMWare’s acquisition of Nyansa underscores the importance of data and recognizes that analytics must be end to end.
Analytics and visibility are crucial It is not all about network and application performance. Application popularity and User behavior and experience is valuable information. It is very useful to diagnosis and fix issues across the Application, Network divide. But it is also useful to just capture what users are doing. I remember the surprise of one marketing director to learn his team was using 90 web based applications.
WAN focused site solution is not sufficient. Most SD WAN vendors started with the traditional WAN demarcation and ignored the Lan and devices. There is surprising little thought on how to integrate the mobile users. Enterprise solutions must have visibility of users and devices not just one segment of the network.
It doesn’t mean the SD WAN vendor should try to provide everything – VMWare is not saying you need to buy the LAN from them, it is just integrating device and lan telemetry into its analytics and AI. Another alternative would be feeding the SD WAN’s information into a broader analytic package.
What are the platform vendors and SPs going to do with all that data? Huge sets of data are being collected and suppliers have done remarkably little to use it beyond performance management and machine learning to improve the specifics of their solution. There is endless use for the data – Nyansa points to one: Benchmarking – how does my enterprises user experience compare to my peers. SD WAN market leaders can provide a wide variety of industry wide benchmarking: how do the various access networks stack up? Which SaaS providers perform well, which have consistent issues? Which Apps are gaining in usage, which are declining….
Security as always is a key driver…The information gathered can be very useful to enhancing security – which is increasingly focused on user behavior and role rather than perimeter defense. But there is of course the flip side – you don’t want this data to be misused either by the suppliers or by a malicious third party.