Networks Need Context-Awareness for Comprehensive Visibility and Control

In our daily lives, we must understand the context of an issue to clearly grasp what it means, what caused it, and how we are to respond. When someone brings up an issue or idea, the context should help us comprehend and connect with the information and what factors are influencing the issue. Otherwise, we can easily misinterpret what they’re telling us. Context needs to provide us with the facts in a format that is accessible, so we can more accurately engage.

Let’s look at a practical example. A long-time friend is telling you a story that goes back fifteen years, about the good times in their first car. Now, if you had known them back then, and had been on some of those “amazing” road trips, you would remember how the car broke down regularly, even though it was really comfortable. You would recall that “old car smell”, and the great air conditioner that got you through those hot summer days while cruising the boulevard. These are the things that help you to more fully understand what your friend is talking about. This is context. This is what brings personal meaning to the story, and more insights into the real experience.

Context helps us connect the relationships between different, yet interrelated issues, so we can more clearly understand what’s going on, and make appropriate decisions or changes, if required.

Leveraging context-based networking to improve business

Enterprises are embracing a paradigm shift that is ushering in a modern software-defined infrastructure. It consists of multiple inter-dependencies, relationships, and key structural network and security functions that are inherently integrated into a single, cohesive network-wide, and cloud-native platform.

Modern networks rely upon policies to steer traffic based on user, device, location, and application context. Context-aware networking collects and analyzes data that informs and guides decisions and behaviors. It offers a broad window that helps enterprises determine whether or not to grant users access to network-connected resources based upon contextual-based policies.

Rather than only focusing on the network destination and the complexities of the network underpinnings, the emphasis is placed upon the application experience. Application-aware routing supports the business intent and context of how applications are used and need to be served, based on business policies the organization prescribes. It understands the paths applications need to take and provides greater management and control to deliver a quality user experience.

Contextual visibility that is dynamically controlled

Digital transformation moves IT infrastructure from siloed functional capabilities and associated tunnel vision, to one that comprehends and coalesces differentiated functions, along with information on users, locations, applications and other variables. This provides us with comprehensive visibility into the enterprise WAN – end-to-end.