The internet is a huge mesh of interconnected networks and is growing bigger every day.
As a result, the complex interconnections between various network end points are also becoming more convoluted. The total number of Autonomous Systems (AS) has crossed 600,000 and is still growing. Global IP traffic is estimated to cross 2.3 ZB by 2020.
All this has put an increasingly bigger strain on the network. People and devices produce and exchange large amounts of data, which in turn leads to an increased demand for bandwidth. Internet routes become congested, leading to latency, packet loss and jitter.
What is Network Optimization?
Network optimization refers to a set of technologies and techniques that are geared towards improving network performance. Network optimization techniques seek to creatively manage bandwidth utilization, minimize latency, packet loss, congestion and jitter.
Network optimization tools or simply network optimizers allow network engineers to monitor and optimize network performance metrics. Network optimizers provide an unprecedented level of control over performance metrics, and the ability to proactively manage network performance.
Why is Network Optimization Important?
Network performance metrics like latency and packet loss are a crucial factor in determining the performance of online applications. Network engineers are increasingly concerned with monitoring and managing their network performance, to ensure the highest quality of service.
What are Network Performance Metrics?
Network performance metrics are network attributes that point to the health of a network. Network performance metrics like latency, packet loss, jitter, congestion and bandwidth availability are crucial to end user experience. For example, Network latency determines application specific performance metrics like page load times, VoIP call quality, video buffering times and online gaming lag times. Packet loss leads to online games losing frames and jumping around. Jitter results in cutoffs during VoIP calls.
DevOps and Network Optimization
Historically, network optimization has been a one trick pony. Most current network “optimization” tools are that in name only. They can more accurately be defined as network monitoring platforms, which while providing visibility into network performance, do not provide much functionality in the way of optimizing or controlling network performance.
Network optimization tools tend to be reactive in nature and require manual changes to network topology to affect performance.
DevOps was born out of the need to speed up the integration of the software development and operations teams. A key driver in the adoption of the DevOps methodology was the increasing virtualization and programmability of application architectures. Hardware servers, storage and application platforms and local software defined networks could increasingly be managed programmatically. However, this trend stopped at the WAN level for network equipment like switches.
A New Approach to Network Optimization: NetDevOps
Datapath.io pioneered a new NetDevOps approach to network optimization, which seeks to include internet connections at the hosting provider. It allows NetDevOps to programmatically leverage network switches to improve performance. Datapath.io replaces the traditionally reactive and manual procedures of network optimization with a completely automated solution.
Network switches can now be managed remotely through code to re-engineer network routing protocols. It allows network engineers to pro-actively manage and optimize a whole set of network performance metrics.
To learn more download the Network Optimization Whitepaper.