ONUG 2020 Working Group Objectives Coming Into Focus

The ONUG Working Groups kicked off 2020 in mid-January. Since then, participants have been meeting weekly to discuss the specific enterprise cloud adoption challenges that each working group will tackle this year. A blend of enterprise users and vendors in the ONUG Community have participated in the weekly calls, with users articulating their issues and concerns, which is critical input for identifying the set of use cases that each working group will tackle.

There is still work to be done on prioritizing use cases, but each working group is now on track to determine the overall scope of objectives for 2020 and the initial set of deliverables leading into the ONUG Spring 2020 conference in early May in Dallas. What follows is a snapshot of where each working group stands as of mid-February. Note that I will be following up with a series of blog posts that will provide more details on the 2020 trajectory for each working group.

Hybrid Multi-Cloud Security

Picking up where it left off in 2019, the Security Working Group will be focused on container security in 2020. The starting point is a document that outlines an approach for developing a reference solution for container-based workloads and what is required for assuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of container objects. One possible objective is to integrate a “minimum viable reference solution” assembled from open source software components. However, vendors are welcome to collaborate on the development of alternative reference solutions. Choice is good, provided the solutions developed are open and software-defined.

SD-WAN 2.0

There will be at least two tracks in the SD-WAN 2.0 Working Group in 2020.

In the first, a subset of participants will be facilitating the ONUG-MEF collaboration, in which ONUG provides input on enterprise use case requirements for MEF’s development of specifications and standards for SD-WAN managed services. The working group is looking for both enterprise users and SD-WAN vendors who can contribute to this effort, which mainly entails putting the finishing touches on work that was done in 2019 and packaging this into the final documents which will be delivered to the relevant MEF committees.

The second track will kick off with the working group further exploring the emerging options and related challenges for SD-WAN multi-cloud edge connectivity. The leading cloud providers have introduced new cloud connectivity services that have direct implications for SD-WAN multi-cloud networking architectures. The starting point for the group is to first identify and prioritize the set of use cases that are most relevant to mainstream enterprise SD-WAN adopters in 2020, and then develop a reference architecture for defining enterprise requirements for each of these use cases.

On the working group calls, another issue that emerged is how to gain visibility into the quality of underlay transport in large-scale SD-WAN overlays and how to ensure that underlay connections meet application performance demands. It seems this problem is particularly acute in global SD-WANs spanning many different underlay network providers. Work in this area could be folded into track two this year, or perhaps spun off as a third track, depending on enterprise user interest. One thing is certain. SD-WAN technology, products and services continue to evolve at a rapid pace, making it difficult for enterprise mainstream adopters to keep pace with a moving target.

Orchestration & Automation

The O&A Working Group was launched last year at ONUG Fall 2019 in New York. Everyone understands that orchestration and automation will be a critical part of managing the full stack of hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure, but the working group is trying to decide where it should concentrate its efforts first. Which use cases are the highest priority? Which will deliver the best ROI in terms of business outcomes? And with respect to these, how can ONUG really help “move the needle” in a way that is impactful and relevant for users in the community?

While working through these questions, the group is starting by defining a taxonomy for O&A within the context of hybrid multi-cloud, including a definition of terms, so there is a common framework within which to proceed. Enterprise users are encouraged to join the working group and share the challenges they are facing in their organization. This input will be valuable for prioritizing the initial set of O&A use cases that the group will tackle in 2020.

AIOps for Hybrid Multi-Cloud

The AIOps Working Group kicked off last year by developing a basic proof-of-concept for an AIOps framework that features a data virtualization layer that simplified access to the monitoring data collected from many touch points across a hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure. The group demonstrated this PoC at ONUG Fall 2019 in New York.The plan for 2020 is to continue working on this PoC, with the following goals:

  • Add more sources of monitoring data for Zoom SaaS application use case
  • Add more AIOps tools that utilize the data accessed via the virtualization layer
  • Drive the demo using real operational data from an enterprise environment

Achieving these goals requires additional participation in the working group from both enterprise users and vendors. Please join the working group if you are able to contribute in any of the areas listed above.

Hybrid Multi-Cloud Observability

In 2020, a subset of participants in the Observability Working Group will be involved in the AIOps PoC, but the working group is exploring other areas to focus on in parallel. One possibility is to map out the observability challenges specific to AIOps for hybrid multi-cloud. How should data be collected across a complex, multi-layer, multi-domain environment? How should data records be tagged for cross-correlation? What types of machine learning algorithms should be applied to extract meaningful and actionable insights from data? Is it possible to construct a framework based on an AIOps taxonomy that spans the entire extent of the hybrid multi-cloud operational environment? Join this working group if you would like to be involved in answering these questions.

Automated Cloud Governance

Last but not least, in addition to each of the working groups described so far, ONUG just kicked off a new Automated Cloud Governance Working Group for 2020. You can learn more about it here.

Finally, I would like to encourage everyone in the community to join the weekly working group calls that are most relevant to your interests and company needs. All participants in the working groups have a full-time “day job,” but it’s more than likely that at least one working group initiative aligns with your organization’s objectives, whether you are an enterprise user migrating IT applications to the cloud or you work for a vendor or service provider offering solutions that facilitate enterprise cloud adoption.

If you are an enterprise user and haven’t yet joined the working groups, please do that now and plan to dial in for one or more of the weekly Zoom conference calls, scheduled on Tuesday afternoons (EST) for 30 minutes each. There are also ONUG Slack channels for each working group to facilitate ongoing discussions and sharing of information between calls.

I’m looking forward to productive, informative and impactful working group collaborations in 2020!

Author's Bio

Stephen Collins

Working Groups CTO, ONUG