The last two newsletters discussed some of the traditional and emerging management challenges that are associated with the fact that there is not a single repository of routing information and that the path that traffic takes to go from point A to point B may change on a regular basis. In this newsletter we will discuss a technology, route analytics, which mitigates those management challenges.
The goal of route analytics is to provide visibility, analysis and diagnosis of the issues that occur at the routing layer. A route analytics solution achieves this goal by providing an understanding of precisely how IP networks deliver application traffic. This requires the creation and maintenance of a map of network-wide routes and of all of the IP traffic flows that traverse these routes. This in turn means that a route analytics solution must be able to record every change in the traffic paths as controlled and notified by IP routing protocols.
The IT manager that we referenced in the last two newsletters said that when something goes wrong and a business critical application slows down that "It gets very hectic around here and everyone points to the network." He added that troubleshooting a routing issue had been an intense manual process that required them to go "router to router", but that by using route analytics they can monitor the network end-to-end and see when changes occur.
The senior director that we referenced in the last two newsletters stated that route analytics provides value to his organization in two different ways. One of those ways is that similar to the situation with the IT manager, route analytics helps his organization to troubleshoot problems faster. While that is always important, it is particularly important to the senior director because his company has to pay penalties if the SLAs they provide are not met. The second way that route analytics adds value to the senior director is that it is one of the "industry leading tools" that his company makes their potential customers aware of in an effort to convince those customers that the company has the expertise required to meet the SLAs.