Another important thread that goes through this architecture is the convergence of system and network management. In the process of working with Service Providers we were able to see two things, one; carriers want to treat general purpose hosts running general purpose operating systems and specific applications as network devices performing specific tasks that use SNMP for events and counters related to the performance of those tasks, two; that there are some obvious problems with an approach to managing systems that doesn’t treat them as systems and leverage what we know about managing systems.
We also discovered pretty early on that security is a critical part of NexGen service assurance, first; because Denial of Service attacks have critical effects on device and system performance, and second, because these are income generating services and revenues that ride on being able to deliver services to paying customers and deny services to those who don’t pay or aren’t customers.
As we face the question of how to converge our systems and network management styles and capabilities, our customers are facing the same challenges. What is exciting for us is that we, as a solutions group, get to participate in the cross product/cross platform/cross customer convergence efforts and if we get it right enough soon enough, we’ll be able to help our customers with the same problems.