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Application - aware networking emerges but has far to go
This article is part of the IT in Europe issue of November 2011
In a business environment dominated by cloud computing, mobility and Web-based applications, enterprises need smarter, application-aware networks to ensure performance. But while application awareness is emerging on individual Layer 4-7 network components, such as firewalls and WAN optimisation appliances, there’s still a way to go in generating application-intelligent policy across these components. What’s more, application intelligence in Layers 2 and 3, where it could be most crucial, is a way off. Why the need for application-aware networks now? Ten or 15 years ago, Layer 4 visibility was application-aware enough. If a router could see the port destination, it could make a decent guess about the nature of the application and apply quality of service (QoS) policy. With the same information, a firewall could decide whether to allow or deny traffic. If it was headed for Port 80, for example, it was pretty clear that it was HTTP traffic. It was a best-effort affair. But today, best effort isn’t good enough. Hundreds of ...
Features in this issue
Application awareness is emerging on firewalls and WAN optimization devices,but efforts fall short of a network-wide strategy,especially at Layers 2 and 3.
Vendors have long promised that service assurance tools could monitor across IT systems, but they've always fallen short. Are these tools finally growing up?
News in this issue
Where evolving concepts come together
Network and application monitoring tools have helped a London high school control an unwieldy network and avoid going over capacity in a newly virtualised environment.