Optimize User and IT Experience by Adding AIOps and DEM to SD-WAN

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According to a recent Dell’Oro Group report, the SD-WAN market expanded by 35% in 2021, exceeding industry predictions. And that trend is expected to continue as SD-WAN continues to prove itself a vital technology for enabling reliable and consistent on-demand connectivity. Its ability to provide rapid cloud on-ramp, accelerate access to applications, monitor and resolve connectivity issues, and maintain optimal user experience enables organizations to compete effectively in today’s digital marketplace. And as SD-WAN usage matures, more and more organizations are using SD-WAN to interconnect clouds and data centers so applications and services can move more efficiently across today’s distributed hybrid networks.

But as connections between hybrid networks, users, and devices grow more complex, many IT teams struggle to monitor and manage them effectively. Part of the challenge is that connectivity and transactions now happen so fast that it is impossible to keep up, especially when multiple consoles and configurations must be coordinated and troubleshooting issues require human intervention.

To address these challenges, new AIOps (Artificial Intelligence Operations) and DEM (digital experience monitoring) technologies have been developed to help organizations optimize their increasingly complex SD-WAN operation. These advanced technologies provide NOC teams with the tools they need to effectively pinpoint network issues faster and accelerate troubleshooting, optimize network performance and resiliency, enhance operational efficiency and reduce tickets, and improve business outcomes for their on-going SD-WAN operation.

AIOps and DEM are essential for maintaining and optimizing user experience

User experience has become a board-level concern for many organizations. That’s because research from Forrester shows that, on average, every $1 invested in user experience brings $100 in return. Customers often judge the value of a company based solely on their personal experience. And because today’s businesses run on applications, an optimal user experience for employees can increase job satisfaction, productivity, and profitability. SD-WAN helps ensure that users have rapid and reliable access to the tools they need to do their jobs.

However, connectivity and technology challenges can seriously impact SD-WAN performance. Fortunately, AIOps solutions can help reduce the time needed for IT teams to detect and resolve emerging SD-WAN issues. That’s why, according to Gartner, 40% of enterprises with SD-WAN deployments will soon be relying on AIOps to automate Day 2 SD-WAN operations, up from fewer than 5% in 2021. IT teams will also depend on AIOps to identify and resolve potential component failures before they occur.

Managing user experience can be even more challenging than managing SD-WAN connections. Many of today’s IT teams simply do not have the time or resources to adequately monitor and resolve emerging user experience issues. Gartner also predicts that nearly two-thirds of IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will soon rely on DEM to monitor and measure application, endpoint, and services performance. By monitoring SD-WAN and other network components and connections, they can detect and address challenges before they impact the business.

Adding DEM and AIOps to SD-WAN benefits both the business and IT sides of an organization. In addition to providing end users with a seamless, optimized experience, IT teams can quickly pinpoint and troubleshoot challenges and optimize network performance and resiliency to maintain and improve operational efficiency. And organizations enjoy increased business uptime and the productivity and competitive advnatages that come with improved user experience.

DEM and AIOps also enable IT teams to avoid potential problems in the WAN. AIOps empowers network admins to focus on the source of SD-WAN issues, quickly addressing the cause—including proactively addressing issues like performance degradation before they impact users—of an outage or performance issue. It can also provide guidance to avoid those issues in the future.

And by adding DEM to SD-WAN, IT teams can more effectively address troubleshooting challenges by pinpointing an issue, whether the root cause is a network component, the Wi-Fi connection, an application server, the end-user device, or something in the service provider domain. It can even provide guidance on steps to remediate the problem.

And as a result, organizations enjoy increased business uptime and the productivity and competitive advantages that come with improved user experience.

Use Cases

DEM: Collaborative tools are among the most common applications used by businesses. They are also problematic because they can include multiple users in different environments, making troubleshooting a bad experience quite challenging.

By continuously monitoring multiple SD-WAN connections and testing everything in the path of traffic starting from user device all the way to the application, DEM can proactively identify where the issue is coming from. If the issue is network, IT teams can then reroute traffic through that connection to optimize employee digital experience.

AIOPs: Maintaining performance is critical for ensuring a consistent user experience for users connected over a WAN. By having SLA data adaptively monitored by AIOps, IT teams can ensure that the WAN looks healthy, and performance metrics for specific users being monitored are trending toward a potential issue.

Numerous network components play into overall user experience, and AIOps can help to determine whether SD-WAN performance and SLA settings are the issue or determine that proactive LAN remediation is necessary to improve performance. This enables IT teams to address user issues across both LAN & WAN before an application performance ticket is registered.

Staying ahead of challenges is key to maintaining user experience

Adding AIOps and DEM to SD-WAN creates a dynamic network capable of proactively identifying and addressing issues before users and systems are impacted. They can automatically monitor and optimize user experience, pinpoint performance issues, and even provide guidance on how to troubleshoot a problem once it has been identified. By proactively identifying potential risks and reducing the risk of downtime, organizations can effectively maintain productivity and user experience, enabling organizations to compete more effectively in today’s rapidly evolving digital marketplace.

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