For almost any enterprise, the time to adopt software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) was probably yesterday. The old way of managing network services involves proprietary and rigid hardware tightly coupled with singular network functions from the same vendor — traditional carrier-grade networks could take months or years to respond to evolving traffic types and service innovation requirements, which does not mesh with the time constraints of the modern digital enterprise.
This is where network virtualization can help Communication Service Providers (CSPs) streamline their network infrastructure and offer new services-on-demand to enterprises beyond just connectivity. Now CSPs can also offer “PoP-based” or “cloud-based” branch services to enterprises who are increasingly looking to streamline branch office network “clutter.”
InfoVista recently announced full compatibility with WindRiver's Titanium Server for our application visibility, guarantee and path control technologies, together with other ecosystem partners Brocade and Check Point. With this, CSPs can ensure easier and wider acceptability of dynamic hybrid WAN selection, WAN optimization and application control on third party commercial server hardware on the premise or at the PoP.
Network Virtualization Is Key to Delivering Service Agility
Dynamic WAN selection (DWS) goes hand-in-hand with application control and WAN optimization by identifying the best network paths for applications to use. DWS automates the process by dynamically routing the traffic for each application across the best path based upon preset policies, network traffic, capacity and real-time network performance. This helps to maximize application performance and continuity while also maximizing the usage of each available connection.
Thanks to InfoVista's industry-leading hybrid WAN support, enterprises using InfoVista's VNF can adopt hybrid WAN services from CSPs with the confidence that user experience for their most critical applications (private or cloud-based) will always be preserved using real-time intelligent path control. More importantly, through service agility, network virtualization allows more enterprises to “try out” these advanced services easily without having to deploy yet another hardware device.
This all leads to a more agile and reliable enterprise network for users, but also whittles down costs by reducing a number of operational redundancies, fostering a best-of-breed vendor environment and drastically decreasing “time to service”.
Services Facilitate Unparalleled CAPEX and OPEX efficiencies
When it comes to capital expenses, adopting NFV and SDN can, for starters, significantly lower hardware costs. CSPs can help Enterprises transition away from expensive specialty hardware and purpose-built equipment to high-volume servers with carrier grade NFVI middleware like WindRiver's that meet or exceed industry standards.
This will, in turn, help to consolidate network equipment by combining multiple network functions onto a single server, reduce the monetary and physical footprint a traditional carrier-grade network needs to occupy, lower system count, power cable routing requirements and enable multi-tenancy.
Operational efficiencies also abound as a result, since the de-coupled hardware can now more quickly create production, test and development cycles — not to mention reduce energy consumption because of less network equipment.
In all, services can be deployed much faster once NFV and SDN are introduced to older enterprise networks. CSPs who offered managed branch access networking can save weeks or months by simply spinning up a virtual machine (VM) rather than shipping an entirely new network appliance to implement services.
To learn more about how WAN optimization and application performance can help enterprises better operate their networks, read our blog post Beyond WAN Optimization: Making the Case for Application Performance Guarantee by InfoVista's Product Marketing Manager Oscar Olvera Irigoyen.