Technologies at the Edge Create New Service Assurance Issues for Enterprises
Enterprises around the world continue to make adjustments to their corporate networks in response to the changes wrought by the global pandemic. As we pass the second anniversary of the first U.S. cases of COVID-19, countries throughout Europe have recently closed down for the third or fourth time, forcing enterprises that haven’t already done so to recognize a hybrid workforce model may be a long-term strategy necessary to support their employees, vendors, and customers. Labor economist Adam Ozimek goes so far as to predict that “remote work will transform economies, as companies must revise policies to accommodate remote employees.”
As such, enterprises increasingly are embracing the edge, deploying resources closer to clients, services, and server workloads to build more-responsive and secure networks. Moving resources to the edge enables enterprise IT to monitor users and behaviors closer to where the action takes place, with the added benefit of mitigating risks before they penetrate deeper into networks. As resources are pushed nearer to the clients, more vendors are introduced into the ecosystem, which exponentially increases complexity and makes problem detection and resolution more challenging.
Although edge deployments generally provide for a better user experience, enterprise IT nevertheless loses visibility and control of traffic traversing the network. This is keenly obvious when you examine a couple of key imperatives for most enterprises: unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), unified communications as a service (UCaaS), and anything as a service (XaaS).
Dependence on UC has grown astronomically since the start of the pandemic, enabling enterprises to conduct business with customers via messaging, voice, conferencing, and collaboration solutions. In fact, analyst firm Metrigy revealed that the most utilized communications infrastructure is now UCaaS. Reported in late October 2021, more than 47 percent of businesses globally were using UCaaS, and Metrigy expects that number to grow to 70 percent by 2023. A challenge with such solutions, however, is that they don’t make it easy for IT to understand the genesis of service issues or how to quickly mitigate them.
Like the UC space, XaaS has experienced explosive growth during the pandemic as well. XaaS includes tools, applications, and services that are delivered via the cloud versus on-premises or in a physical format. Enterprises use XaaS services from thousands of vendors to reduce costs and simplify IT deployments. But the sheer number of offerings and growing dependency upon them introduce new challenges in identifying and rectifying performance issues.
Enterprises that are making greater use of these types of technologies at the edge need a service assurance solution that:
- Ensures borderless monitoring, visibility, and performance analysis throughout the enterprise network
- Leverages synthetic testing on a scheduled, consistent basis
- Combines packet data and synthetic test technologies to effectively troubleshoot end-user experience and application performance
- Extends visibility and analysis into any infrastructure environment, including the data center, private and public clouds, and colocations
- Is vendor-independent, able to monitor applications and services no matter the vendor or third-party provider?
- Provides end-through-end visibility that follows the path of a transaction through the ecosystem in order to track, trend, and identify when slowdowns are occurring and where
- Ensures outstanding end-user experience regardless of network, location, or service
- Improves IT troubleshooting
- Implements monitoring visibility to fill in gaps created throughout the process
Learn more about challenges facing IT teams as technologies are pushed to the edge by reading our new white paper “Smoothing Out the Rough Edges: Remote Initiatives Expose Need for Visibility, Continual Monitoring of Edge Computing.”