SaaS Apps and Modern Networks Need Strong Management
Here’s a philosophical question for network engineers everywhere: What does stability mean, anyway? The inimitable Ethan Banks offers some time-tested, practical tips on what makes for lasting network stability today. One important piece of advice is to control your impulses to play around with network features and functionality. Don’t experiment in a production environment, and don’t go rogue just for fun. Stick to what the business needs from the network. Other essential tips: Fix bad design when you encounter it, and monitor capacity to prevent bottlenecks. (Yes, that’s our favorite tip of them all.)
Now that we’ve got SaaS applications firmly entrenched in the enterprise, how will we manage them? Some prioritizing is likely in order. Not every SaaS app is critical to your business in the same way, and SaaS sprawl is already creeping into many businesses. IT teams can work toward having all the necessary information about each app running in their organization, like who owns the app, why it was bought, whether it overlaps with other apps and more. Naturally, there are vendors emerging to do this type of work for businesses.
On-premises software is dead; long live on-premises software? One Gartner analyst predicts that by 2019, many of the largest software vendors will have moved their products to cloud-only, instead of the cloud-first model many have been using. For IT teams, watch out for attempts at SaaS vendor lock-in and subsequent price hikes, not unlike the old software monopolies that cloud and SaaS broke apart. For remaining data centers, Gartner says AI and machine learning will be key to keeping them running in the years ahead.
These cloud-run applications and services produce a ton of data. There’s no end to terminology to describe various types of data repositories in this cloud era. Data lakes or swamps give way here to data catalogs, which are an element of the data lake that makes sure data is organized and governed correctly. A data catalog can take some of the human element out of managing data by bringing standardization around data governance policies. There are other benefits too, like a common metadata repository, a business glossary and a way to see the history of any data set. With any data management project, though, it’s important to plan ahead of time so you don’t get in over your head, and to choose any vendor carefully.