Network traffic patterns have dramatically changed in the past decade from predictable and point-to-point transaction-oriented activities to bandwidth-hungry, always-on, many-to-many interactions. Virtualization, cloud services, new Web-centric application architectures, video and unstructured data, and big data are the newest entrants to the corporate network. For many organizations, the only way to ensure the stability of the network is to overprovision network infrastructure, standardize equipment, and attempt to cobble together metrics from discrete systems to plan for any upcoming changes. Not only are these practices outdated and insufficient to handle the next generation of network workloads but such “stovepipe” approaches are beginning to drive up costs, threaten reliability, and reduce IT responsiveness to business demands.
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