With company networks powering credit card transactions, internet access, voice calls, email, and unified communications, an unplanned outage or security breach can cost enterprises millions. World-class network monitoring and security represent powerful differentiators in that they help prevent or quickly remedy network and application issues that might otherwise slip by undetected only to wreak devastation later.
Ixia, a Keysight business and market leader in network visibility, prescribes positioning the benefits of network monitoring to customers using three basic steps:
Explain the concept of blind spots; Introduce the visibility architecture; and Demonstrate the impact on security, virtualization, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.
Step 1: Detect Blind Spots
Blind spots in the network are the direct result of not having clear and comprehensive visibility and can lead to performance issues, security threats, and compliances breaches going undetected – and every customer has them. Ask a few simple questions to help identify where:
- Are your security, network IT, and compliance teams sharing data or are silos contributing to blind spots in your network?
- Does your company use virtualization technology? According to Gartner Research, up to 80 percent of virtualized data center traffic is east–west (i.e. inter- and intra-virtual machine traffic) so it never reaches the top of the rack where it can be monitored using traditional approaches
- Is IT grappling with BYOD as employees access the network with their own devices, bypassing security policies and laying the groundwork for security, compliance, and liability issues?
- Have you recently added new network equipment or migrated services to the cloud?
Step 2: Introduce Visibility
A visibility architecture enables customers to see their network, identify and solve potential problems before they impact their business. Visibility consists of:
- Accessing data from the network
- Intelligently filtering and grooming data for use by security and monitoring tools
- Advanced monitoring functions and application intelligence
- Efficient delivery of data to analysis tools
Once implemented, your customer will see a fairly rapid return on investments (ROI) in their visibility architecture, primarily the result of architectural, process, and technical improvements that improve operations to meet high-level goals:
An enhanced end-customer experience; Streamlined network management; and Achieve greater value from existing monitoring and security tools, even while migrating to higher speed data centers.
Step 3: Make it Personal
Every customer faces the same challenges but has their own unique issues. For some, merging a true visibility architecture with their security architecture will improve response times and reduce the attack surface. For others, extending visibility to the cloud and east–west traffic moving between virtual machines (VMs) will help avoid compliance issues. Others are struggling with big data, IoT, and BYOD.
True visibility lets customers realize a wide array of savings and capabilities benefits by getting the right information to the right analysis tool or team at precisely the right time. But rather than let it become an intellectual discussion, make it real and personal for customers by showing them how visibility can solve their network problems, before they impact the business.