In recent years, there has been a significant shift from traditional physical networking to cloud-native networking. While this shift has brought about many benefits, including increased agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency, one of the aspects that remains critical is network discovery and reconciliation.
Discovery and Reconciliation is considered a crucial functionality in cloud-native network environments because they are dynamic and complex, spanning across multiple cloud providers and network infrastructures. As a result, it can be extremely challenging to gain visibility into the relationships between different resources and services. Discovery and Reconciliation help overcome these challenges by providing a single source of truth for network and service inventory data.
In this article, we will explore the importance of network discovery and reconciliation in cloud-native (and hybrid) networking and how NetACE TONAS™ Inventory Data Integrity Assurance (DIA) solution can help.
Importance of Network Discovery and Reconciliation in Cloud-Native Networking
Network discovery and reconciliation are essential for organizations that want to manage their cloud-native networks efficiently. The following are some of the reasons why network discovery and reconciliation are as important in cloud-native network operations as they were in traditional physical network operations.
Understand Network Topology and Connectivity
Cloud-native networks are highly complex and dynamic, making it challenging for organizations to gain visibility into the relationships between various resources such as virtual machines, containers, and services that span across multiple cloud and infrastructure providers. This also makes it difficult to understand how the virtual world is integrated with the traditional physical world of networking. Network discovery and reconciliation play a crucial role in enabling organizations to understand the topology and connectivity of their networks. By using federated network discovery and reconciliation, organizations can create a real-time network view across domains, analyze inconsistencies, and resolve configuration errors.
Manage Complex Multi-Cloud Environments
In cloud-native networking, organizations often use multiple clouds from different vendors, which can create complex network architectures. With network discovery and reconciliation, organizations can gain visibility into these complex architectures and ensure that they are optimized for performance, security, and compliance.
Establish Reliable Baseline for Service Assurance Use Cases
Discovery and reconciliation are essential components of service assurance use cases as they offer visibility into the network infrastructure, including physical, virtual, and cloud-native technologies, and help to establish the relationships between them. This understanding is vital in maintaining the health and performance of the network and enabling service assurance.
Cloud-native environments can be challenging to navigate due to their dynamic and complex nature, spanning across multiple cloud providers and network infrastructures. In such scenarios, discovery and reconciliation are especially helpful as they provide a single source of truth for network and service inventory data. This ensures that data is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date across the entire infrastructure, enabling assurance and analytics applications to perform effectively.
Enable Errorless Service Fulfillment and Eliminate Order Fallouts
In cloud-native networking, discovery and reconciliation are essential for ensuring a smooth service fulfillment process and eliminating order fallouts. By utilizing network discovery and reconciliation tools, organizations can gain real-time visibility into their network topology, resources, and services. This visibility enables accurate and timely fulfillment of customer orders by ensuring that the required resources and services are available and correctly configured.
Additionally, discovery and reconciliation tools help organizations identify any discrepancies between the service order and the network’s actual state, which eliminates order fallouts due to misconfigured resources or services. Overall, discovery and reconciliation enable organizations to provide a flawless service fulfillment experience, enhancing customer satisfaction, and reducing operational costs.
Optimize Network Performance
Network performance is critical to ensuring that applications run smoothly and meet the demands of users. With network discovery and reconciliation, organizations can identify bottlenecks and optimize their networks to ensure that they are running at peak performance.
Reduce the Risk of Network Downtime
Downtime can have a significant impact on business operations, leading to lost revenue and customer dissatisfaction. With network discovery and reconciliation, organizations can identify potential issues before they become critical, enabling them to take proactive measures to prevent downtime.
Ensure Compliance with Industry Regulations and Security Policies
In cloud-native networking, security is a top concern, and organizations need to ensure that their networks are secure and compliant. Network discovery and reconciliation can help organizations identify security vulnerabilities and non-compliant configurations, enabling them to take corrective action before an issue arises.
How TONAS™ Inventory Data Integrity Assurance (DIA) Solution Helps Network Operators Maintain Accurate Inventory Data in Cloud-Native and Hybrid Network Environments
TONAS™ Inventory Data Integrity Assurance (DIA) is a cloud-native solution with Open TM Forum APIs that addresses the challenges of discovery and reconciliation in cloud and hybrid multi-vendor and multi-technology environments. DIA utilizes an open design and microservices-based architecture to provide real-time network visibility and data accuracy throughout the cloud-native and hybrid network infrastructure. Here are some key ways in which TONAS™ DIA meets the requirements of discovery and reconciliation in cloud-native and hybrid networking:
Federated auto-discovery is a technology that allows for the automatic discovery of new resources and capturing of key metadata about each asset in a cloud-native and hybrid environments. This technology works by continuously scanning the environment to identify any new resources that are added, and capturing important information such as virtual machines, containers, load balancers, firewalls, IP addresses, MAC addresses, VLANs, infrastructure, and more.
The benefit of this technology is that it can significantly reduce the amount of manual effort required to keep track of resources. Without federated auto-discovery, administrators would need to manually track each resource as it is added to the environment, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. With federated auto-discovery, this process is automated, freeing up administrators to focus on more strategic tasks.
TONAS™ Inventory DIA provides automatic and/or manual reconciliation in real-time by comparing discovered resources against the expected inventory based on a predefined set of rules and metadata models. Any discrepancies are flagged and reported in real-time, allowing network administrators to quickly take corrective action. The solution also supports automated rule-based resolution of discrepancies.
Real-time reconciliation is critical in cloud-native networking because of the dynamic and complex nature of the cloud-native environment. In cloud-native networking, network resources and services are constantly changing, and new resources and services are added or removed from the network infrastructure. Without real-time reconciliation, it can be challenging to keep track of all these changes and ensure that network inventory data is accurate and up-to-date. This can lead to discrepancies between the service order and the actual state of the network, resulting in order fallouts, delays, and increased operational costs.
100% Accurate Inventory Data
TONAS™ DIA addresses the challenge of inaccurate data by providing a single source of truth for network inventory data, ensuring that the data is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent across the entire infrastructure, which may span different cloud providers and traditional network domains and technologies.
TONAS™ DIA provides real-time visibility by continuously monitoring the network infrastructure and notifying inventory systems (and administrators) to any changes in real-time. This enables network administrators to take proactive steps to address any issues before they escalate and impact service delivery. TONAS™ DIA also provides a single source of truth for network and service inventory data, ensuring that data is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date across the entire infrastructure.
No-Code Design of Reconciliation Rules and Models
The no-code design of the reconciliation models is a significant advantage of TONAS™ DIA. With this feature, users can design and configure various reconciliation models without writing any code. The process is simplified and requires minimal technical expertise, enabling a broader range of users to leverage the platform.
By eliminating the need for coding skills, TONAS™ DIA significantly reduces the time and resources required for implementation and ongoing maintenance of the platform. It allows users to focus on designing the reconciliation model that best fits their specific requirements, rather than being limited by their coding abilities.
Moreover, the no-code design feature allows for greater flexibility and agility in adapting to changing network environments. As network infrastructures evolve, users can easily modify the reconciliation model to accommodate new systems or technologies, without requiring extensive code changes.
TONAS™ DIA provides the flexibility to interface with multiple network resource inventories from various vendors. This enables network administrators to discover and reconcile data from and to multiple sources simultaneously, providing a complete view of the network infrastructure. With the ability to support use cases that involve more than one network resource inventory, TONAS™ DIA enables organizations to manage their networks more efficiently and effectively.
The benefits of TONAS™ DIA’s support for multiple resource inventories include improved network visibility, faster troubleshooting and issue resolution, and reduced operational costs. By centralizing data from multiple sources, organizations can eliminate data silos and inconsistencies, enabling more accurate and timely decision-making. Additionally, TONAS™ DIA’s ability to discover and reconcile data in real-time allows organizations to proactively identify and address network issues, minimizing downtime and reducing the risk of service disruptions.
Seamless Integration with Network and Cloud Technologies
TONAS™ DIA is designed to seamlessly integrate with cloud-native such as Kubernetes and OpenShift, and also with the legacy systems, providing network administrators with a complete view of the network infrastructure and services. This integration ensures that all data is accurate and consistent across the entire network and cloud environments.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
The CI/CD pipeline for TONAS™ DIA involves several stages, including building, testing, and deploying the solution. The build stage involves compiling the source code and creating a deployable artifact. The test stage involves running unit tests, integration tests, and system tests to ensure that the solution is functioning as expected. The deployment stage involves deploying the solution to the target environment, whether it be on-premises or in the cloud.
The benefits of CI/CD for TONAS™ DIA are numerous. By automating the deployment process, organizations can significantly reduce the time and effort required to deploy the solution, allowing them to quickly respond to changes in the network environment.
Overall, TONAS™ DIA provides network operators with the tools they need to discover, reconcile, and maintain accurate inventory data in cloud-native and hybrid environments. Its automated discovery, real-time reconciliation and visibility capabilities ensure that network operator have complete visibility into network resources, allowing them to take proactive steps to address issues and maintain optimal network performance. Its seamless integration with other cloud-native solutions makes it an ideal solution for traditional and next generation cloud-native networking environments.