According to a survey by PwC, 32% of customers move away from a brand after encountering just one bad experience. To maintain the loyal customer base, and eliminate the chances of serious disruption in the services, organizations need to ensure that they provide the best customer-experience. As the majority of businesses are digital in nature, uninterrupted services need to be assured across all the digital channels to consistently provide a great customer-experience. The businesses and organizations are now getting completely application-driven, so for the uninterrupted services all the applications need to be performing at their peak, without any glitches.
This thing can only be guaranteed with an efficient management of the network infrastructure objects. Out of the other networking objects, application delivery controllers are at the heart of application performance, and therefore are needed to be managed with utmost efficiency and accuracy.
Easy said but hard done! Emphasizing more on the philosophy of working smarter (not harder), let’s delve into the problems of large enterprises and how a powerful self-serviceable ADC automation solution can digitally transform the IT infrastructure, simplifying network operations.
The Big Picture:
Managing the IT infrastructure of an organization is hard enough but managing the infrastructure of a large MNC having several units and networking objects spread over various continents, is an arduous task. The situation gets more intimidating when there is no centralized management and businesses need to invest in multiple platforms to control different networking objects.
The networking team supporting business-critical applications of telecommunication, financial services, and insurance companies need to be in ‘active mode’ all the time as a minor network issue can cause application downtime, making their clients land into serious troubles.
In today’s digital economy, all the applications across multiple verticals need to be available round the clock. After all, a single blip is what all it takes to drop the region into chaos. The current pandemic crisis has heightened the need for an ‘always-active’ digital network to provide users with uninterrupted services from healthcare, education and e-commerce sectors through digital-channels. Moreover, emergency response units are seeing a surge in requests, calling forth an improved GPS and VoIP performance.
All the aforementioned requirements, in the context of availability and performance, demands the IT infrastructure to be highly robust, amply agile, and perfectly orchestrated.
The network infrastructure is complex and the networking team works extended hours to keep the network and applications always up and running. Any application-related operation whether it be monitoring performance or enabling/disabling traffic or rolling out the updates needs to be manually executed by the already over-loaded NetOps team. All this results in inundation of service request tickets and the application teams need to wait long for their requests to be executed. Such delays detrimentally impact the application performance.
Next comes the issues arising due to lack of centralized monitoring. Businesses lack the comprehensive app-centric visibility to networking infrastructure. Applications are deployed over multiple environments and the networking objects like ADCs are sourced through different providers. This creates the need of logging into different devices to manage and monitor each of them individually. Collating, organizing and then analyzing the metrics in such a situation are an excruciatingly slow process.
The escalating end-user traffic, coupled with the addition of new services and updates require applications to be constantly upgraded and instances to be developed on a daily basis. Managing the traffic during blue-green deployments, and creating ad-hoc virtual servers and VIPs are other challenges.
Whenever a new ADC is added to the existing troop, the venor-led management platform needs to connect to it and for the same to happen, the device needs to be restarted. Such restarting of devices each time lands the organization into the serious issue of service interruption.
Another important though little underestimated issue is the difficulty in imposing the compliances as each team has its own set of tools and technologies, sourced through different vendors. Lack of network integrity and weak policy compliance give rise to several security concerns and problems during audits.
Countering Challenges with ADC+
American author Tim Ferris once remarked that focus must be on being productive rather than being busy. Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before. ADC+ comes as a panacea to all the aforementioned networking problems.
Let’s individually look into the solutions rendered by ADC+.
A single pane for app-centric view into infrastructure:
While the single-pane GUI-based all-inclusive dashboard helps businesses monitor metrics such as performance, traffic flows, and CPU usage, the topology map views from the ‘Control Center’ and reports display the relationship between various objects like load-balancers, firewalls and others related to the application and its services.
This enables the NetOps teams to detect and rectify anomalies themselves quickly as there is no need of individual log-in into all the devices to gain metrics. As the task execution is through a GUI-Based dashboard, abstracting the technical nitty-gritty, there is no dependency on skilled network engineers thus anyone with required access control can use this self-serviceable platform for ADC automation.
Zero-touch virtual server provisioning with workflow automation:
ADC+ facilitates the creation of automation workflows through its drag-and-drop visual builder, which can then be shared with the application owners with appropriate permissions. The app owners can self-service these workflows to run application-centric tasks such as virtual server provisioning, traffic management during updates, simple load balancer configuration changes, etc. Automation drastically brings down errors and the time spent on manual configuration changes and helps make the infrastructure agile.
With granular RBAC, administrators can grant application users device-level and object-level permissions to access topology maps, dashboards, and enable them to execute workflows. The granular RBAC feature facilitated by ADC+ also ensures that application owners can access or edit the attributes related to their applications only. This protects the network and applications against unauthorized access, both accidental and intentional.
Centralized Device Management:
ADC+ does away with the need to restart devices for adding them to the management platform. Leveraging ADC+ as a centralized management and automation platform, NetOps team can easily add the new ADC devices to the inventory and start managing them right away for a seamless functionality. Such uber-easy management of the devices puts an end to service disruptions under any condition.
Policy-driven compliance and standardization:
Network and application teams could ensure configuration compliance and standardization by using the Diff Checker module of ADC+ to detect and remediate configuration drifts. AppViewX provides enhanced governance through policy-based automation across vendors, tools, and environments. It provides pre- and post-validation checks, and allows users to back-up configurations and restore them in case of failure. It also maintains detailed logs of configuration changes of all the devices in its inventory, greatly aiding auditing and governance.
Great Customer Experiences with Uninterrupted Services
The results that organizations witness with ADC+ can be summed up in a few words as – a sharp reduction in network tickets, zero wait-times, superlatively high application availability and performance, and uninterrupted services. This ultimately assures great customer experiences.