Network functions virtualization (NFV) benefits networking in several ways, particularly when it comes to the cloud hosting environment. By decoupling network functions into separate elements, NFV delivers flexibility and scalability into a network. However, increased reliance on NFV for computing necessitates the need for advanced performance management solutions.
Performance management is the process of monitoring performance. Two of the most common performance management tools are application performance management (APM) and network performance management (NPM). Another tool that is expected to be used more is unified performance management (UPM), which combines both APM and NPM tools into one single pane of glass for admins to monitor. These tools collect and analyze data to determine any issues that might cause hiccups or roadblocks in performance.
As with all network solutions, performance management is vital to a solution’s success. As IEEE Communications Magazine points out when it comes to NFV performance, one of the critical challenges is “ensuring that network performance remains at least as good as that of purpose-built hardware implementations.” View more challenges with NFV performance management in the list below.
NFV Performance Management Challenges
- Gaps in visibility during software-defined networking (SDN) or NFV deployments occur because NPM tools run discovery operations periodically. The CA Technologies and SDxCentral special report, “Network Performance Management (NPM) in the Cloud Era,” lists this performance management obstacle, “changes to one component in an SDN or NFV environment can affect many other components; performance management tools need to provide visibility into these interdependencies.”
- Another challenge reported by SevOne is that performance management tools will need to adapt to the flexible, scalable infrastructure that NFV provides. The tools also need to start “interacting with the digital infrastructure and orchestrating change based on intelligence gathered.”
- Performance solutions need constant, real-time tracking.
- Solutions need to provide granular insight into the environments so that IT admins have a clear view of performance metrics.