Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>

Gary Audin | July 02, 2015 |


The Network Impact of Big Data

The Network Impact of Big Data Big data promises to deliver more insight, but the network must be ready to support the higher traffic levels that come with it.

Big data promises to deliver more insight, but the network must be ready to support the higher traffic levels that come with it.

Big data is a big deal. You read about it and its promises of insight. But you will need a network to collect and distribute big data connected to processing locations. Many big data applications require real-time communications. Plan for big data on your network now; don't wait until issues arrive. Catch-up costs money and results in delayed implementations.

Big Data Impact

The only sure predictions around big data's impact are that the network will be busier, need more capacity, and probably cost more. How much capacity will be needed is only an estimate. It could wind up being far more than estimated if the big data applications are very successful. Educated predictions on traffic may look good now, but conditions can change and render them inaccurate.

Real-time processing of big data will require real-time data delivery. Without real-time delivery, data will already be old and historical. One of the advantages of big data, especially in regard to the Internet of Things (IoT), is its enabling of a rapid response to changing business functions and conditions such as security alerts, building automation, location tracking, etc. Big data collected quickly fosters just-in-time decisions.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe predicts that data growth will be 350% higher in 2019 than it is in 2015. Such volume of data means a corresponding 350% growth in network traffic, which may be carried over private LANs (wired and wireless) and WANs, the Internet, and cellular networks.

Chart is from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The problem with predictions is that a number of business conditions are assumed to be known. The predicted 350% data growth is across the board, not for an individual organization.

One of the IoT drivers is the operations department of an organization. Operations may be planning its own rollout of technology without the knowledge of IT, which may impact the network or bypass it entirely via a cellular connection. If it is bypassed then IT does not need to support that IoT traffic. Further, the success of IoT may be underestimated or the frequency of data transmissions may be increased without the knowledge of IT. These sort of scenarios will impact the accuracy of traffic predictions. Therefore, monitoring network traffic conditions in real time with rapid traffic analysis becomes mandatory.

Taxing Network Resources

Big data transmission will occur on the premises network and may affect the enterprise WAN. If the cloud is used, Internet access will be taxed for its capacity. The network's capability to absorb and transfer big data traffic is made up of six elements:

  1. Bandwidth -- You will always need more. As big data is analyzed, users may want to collect even more data as they learn how to better analyze it. Don't forget that data about the networks adds to the traffic load, and therefore more bandwidth may be required. Bandwidth should be scalable in response to traffic that can increase rapidly. You need to relate bandwidth utilization to the application used.
  2. Network Delay/Latency -- Real-time delivery with real-time responses based on analysis means that network delay can cause the data and responses to be created and delivered too late. Predictable consistent latency needs to be delivered.
  3. Security -- This is important for both access to and transmission of the data. It is very likely that the data is sensitive for both the organizations and its customers.
  4. Delivery Accuracy -- Data can sometimes be lost or delivered with errors. No network is perfect, but knowing that there has been data corruption can help minimize the impacts.
  5. Availability -- The loss of networks can be highly disruptive. An availability of 99.99+% is a good goal. Make sure you know what events or conditions are not included in the availability calculation, as you may actually be experiencing only 99% availability.
  6. Resiliency -- Failures will occur; they always do. How fast those failures can be resolved leads to either confidence in the network and its management or skepticism of the value of data collection and analysis.
Network Monitoring is Mandatory

Network monitoring has been part of operations for a long time. Most monitoring systems deal with major changes, failures, configuration data, and traffic reporting. The monitoring function itself is a producer of big data. Therefore, the network data needs to be analyzed with big data applications. Traffic trends, where apps are located, what caused the traffic, and what network resources are available to effectively carry the traffic are all part of the network big data information.

Monitoring Strategies
  1. Ensure that your monitoring tools collect the network information with enough granularity to produce detailed statistical representations.
  2. You will need a dashboard that continuously provides alerts and alarms when traffic changes occur that are outside acceptable.
  3. Create long- and short-term reports rapidly so that traffic changes that could impair the network operation can be discovered as soon as possible.
  4. If a cloud service is employed, do you have the traffic data from the cloud delivered in real time so you can make decisions before a problem worsens?
  5. Ensure that the network performance measurements and SLAs are reported in increments of 15 minutes, not over a day or month.

Many big data applications require real-time communications so that data can be delivered and analyzed properly. But real-time communications requires real-time monitoring, and this must be incorporated when predicting traffic levels and the impact on the network.


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.