Big Data looks inwards to transform network management and application delivery

We’ve all heard of the business applications touted by big data advocates – data-driven purchasing decisions, enhanced market insights and actionable customer feedback. These are undoubtedly of great value to businesses, yet organisations only have to look inwards to find further untapped potential. Here Manish Sablok, Head of Field Marketing NWE at ALE explains the two major internal IT processes that can benefit greatly from embracing big data: network management and application delivery.

SNS Research estimated Big Data investments reached $40 billion worldwide this year. Industry awareness and reception is equally impressive – ‘89% of business leaders believe big data will revolutionise business operations in the same way the Internet did.’ But big data is no longer simply large volumes of unstructured data or just for refining external business practices – the applications continue to evolve. The advent of big data analytics has paved the way for smarter network and application management. Big data can ultimately be leveraged internally to deliver cost saving efficiencies, optimisation of network management and application delivery.

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Achieving complete network visibility has been a primary concern of CIOs in recent years – and now the arrival of tools to exploit big data provides a lifeline. Predictive analytics techniques enable a transition from a reactive to proactive approach to network management. By allowing IT departments visibility of devices – and crucially applications – across the network, the rise of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend can be safely controlled.

The newest generation of switch technology has advanced to the stage where application visibility capability can now be directly embedded within the most advanced switches. These switches, such as the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise OmniSwitch 6860, are capable of providing an advanced degree of predictive analytics. The benefits of these predictive analytics are varied – IT departments can establish patterns of routine daily traffic in order to swiftly identify anomalies hindering the network. Put simply, the ability to detect what is ‘trending’ – be it backup activities, heavy bandwidth usage or popular application deployment – has now arrived.

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