Virtualization and Cloud Computing to the Rescue During Recession

Virtualization Magazine

Subscribe to Virtualization Magazine: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get Virtualization Magazine: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Virtualization Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Virtualization Magazine, SDN Journal

Article

SD-WAN: Symbiosis Without Compromise | @CloudExpo #SDN #Cloud #Storage

Combining the best for enterprise WANs

SD-WAN - Symbiosis Without Compromise

WAN infrastructures are highly persistent due to typically enormous investments in their dedicated hardware and management tools. WAN services like MPLS have undoubtedly been beneficial and enduring, but enterprises and IT departments require more flexible and economical solutions to provide employee access to corporate resources and cloud-based applications. SD-WAN promises to fulfill these needs with software-based, cloud-based solutions - running on commercial off-the-shelf hardware platforms - to connect their various branch offices.

For more than a decade technologies like leased lines, VPNs and MPLS were the dominant architectures connecting enterprise entities. Proven to be highly secure and reliable, they nevertheless lack flexibility and typically entail high costs for limited bandwidth. On the other hand, the ubiquity and ease of using the Internet have influenced users' demands for access to corporate resources and services from wherever they are, and with the devices of their choice. Unfortunately, the Internet is handicapped by a paucity in reliability and security. Predictably, there are many attempts to combine these worlds - one example being the Metro Ethernet Forum's (MEF) concept of the Third Network, launched several years ago, with the exact goal of melding the more desirable characteristics of both Carrier Ethernet services and the Internet.

SD-WAN - A Compelling Alternative
Software-defined networking (SDN) has emerged as a technology to increase agility in enterprise networks through decoupling the control and decision making surrounding network traffic, known as the control plane, from the underlying traffic forwarding methods, the data plane. Organizations like the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) have defined, and driven acceptance of, open protocols within the vendor and provider space.

Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) applies SDN principles to wide area networking for connecting branch offices of medium and large enterprises to headquarters, data centers and the private and public clouds where applications reside.

SD-WAN is gaining considerable momentum. In the Ashton, Metzler & Associates report The need to rethink the WAN, analysts identify three key market developments driving the need for new approaches to Wide Area Networking: the growing number and importance of branch offices, increasing worker mobility, and the accelerating adoption of cloud computing. In addition to these three drivers, organizations must ensure excellent performance for business-critical applications, with special emphasis on real-time applications such as video and voice. At the same time organizations are constrained by the characteristics of current WAN services including high cost, complexity, rigid architectures that inhibit the adoption of cloud applications, and the glacial rollout of private line connectivity in many locations to implement new network services. A recent ZK Research study revealed that it takes an average of four months to implement a new service due to architectural challenges and high complexity in branch deployments.

WAN Reinvented
IT professionals and corporate users are increasingly frustrated by the inability of traditional WAN architectures to support the cloud era. SD-WAN offers a compelling alternative by leveraging and virtualizing multiple types of connections between business locations, data centers and cloud resources. SD-WAN is transport agnostic - using all available links including Internet, MPLS and 4G-LTE - and overlays controls to ensure quality of experience, reliability, predictability, security, manageability, and deliver all these benefits at a reduced cost.

From a technical standpoint SD-WAN is a software control overlay comprised of the following key elements: a management dashboard that provides easy administration by IT professionals with negligible effort by staff in field locations; a highly automated control plane that actively and intelligently manages and routes network traffic using all available transport technologies in accordance with business priorities; a business policy framework that encodes requirements and baselines for security, quality of service, cost controls, user experience and application priorities. SD-WAN controls may be located within a traditional data center, but optimally it runs in the cloud, equally accessible to all business locations, and is managed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to reduce the workload and cost of corporate IT.

Edge devices are deployed at branch offices in either a physical or virtual form factor. Sophisticated edge device functionality recognizes a large number of popular applications (2,500+) and routes traffic over the optimal connection based on business policies and continuous real-time monitoring of link performance. Advanced technologies such as dynamic multi-path optimization steer traffic over the most optimal path on a per-packet basis - using private, public and hybrid connections - and even ensure quality over single links using advanced remediation techniques.

Virtualizing the Network
SD-WAN offers a network-independent overlay to carry application traffic independent from the underlying physical or transport layer. All available links - different technologies, capacities, and connections from different service-providers - constitute a pool of resources in a virtual WAN ensuring high availability and performance. Link utilization is increased and the network is simplified. Links can be readily added as there is no static relationship between a link and an application. Virtualization also provides self-healing as links are experiencing degraded performance.

SD-WAN architecture is differentiated from other technologies attempting to improve traditional WAN performance: it is not a conventional WAN optimization technology only applicable to private MPLS links; it is not merely multilink bonding with path control; it is not just a last mile solution with a cloud gateway to provide caching and acceleration technologies.

Instead, SD-WAN virtualizes the network, enables a secure overlay, simplifies service delivery and provides real interoperability. Sophisticated SD-WAN technologies leverage cost-effective off-the-shelf hardware, and support significant automation within business policy frameworks and open networking. It enables managed services and continuously monitors usage and performance metrics to support heterogeneous networks including dual Internet and broadband links, wired and wireless links as well as public and private links. Individual links can have a great variation in performance characteristics based on type or time. To maximize the benefits of multiple connections, SD-WAN measures the performance of upstream and downstream links separately to allow independent steering decisions for each direction.

Paths of Adoption
Given the benefits, SD-WAN is an appealing alternative to improve the performance, reliability, manageability and cost of traditional enterprise WAN infrastructures. Happily, complete replacement of the existing infrastructure is not the only path of adoption. The whitepaper SD-WAN Business Value by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) describes several ways to transition a network depending on the current infrastructure, business needs or existing contracts. The benefit of SD-WAN is that it works with what organizations already have today. The deployment does not require a complete network conversion - existing links and contracts can continue while alternatives are introduced step-by-step.

ESG details four different paths of adoption: First, if the company and its branches are already migrating applications to SaaS, it is a good opportunity to re-architect the branches to optimize cloud access. Second, organizations looking to add new branches can simply purchase two broadband connections from different Internet providers instead of purchasing an MPLS link and deploy a router. Third, organizations wanting to augment an existing branch network can install an SD-WAN edge device and broadband connection alongside the existing MPLS router and link. And finally, the expiry of an MPLS network contract is a perfect time to switch to SD-WAN.

Choosing the Appropriate SD-WAN
For IT professionals and budget decision makers a compelling new technology is only one side of the coin. The other is to make the correct choice regarding the best solution and partner. The ZK Research whitepaper WAN is a business Imperative establishes several key requirements to satisfy when seeking the appropriate SD-WAN solution provider. In this report, the most important criterion cited is the ability to enable a transport-independent overlay for a hybrid network consisting of private, wired broadband and wireless circuits, ideally with dynamic steering and optimization techniques. The SD-WAN provider should offer flexibility by supporting either physical or virtual appliances within the branch offices. Furthermore, the ability to provision an SD-WAN from the cloud ensures that the complexity of integrating the various technologies can be masked from the customer.

Another requirement is that the provisioning of new locations should be easy and not require a local IT person, and a scalable pay-as-you grow pricing model must be available. One of the key benefits of SD-WAN is reduced cost, therefore the solution of choice should offer minimal initial investment with incremental cost commensurate with scaling the infrastructure.

The SD-WAN service of choice must connect to all major IaaS and SaaS providers to ensure optimized performance of cloud services. The portal for administration must offer rich functionality with a complete and cohesive view of network and application performance. Finally, the SD-WAN solution must automatically recognize applications, classify them and prioritize traffic appropriately.

Frost & Sullivan stated - in a comment accompanying the recent product leadership award given to VeloCloud - that an SD-WAN solution gives enterprises a much-needed control mechanism to deploy, run and manage WANs to help improve operational efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership.

DevOps at Cloud Expo taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

DevOps at Cloud Expo will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality. Sponsors of DevOps at Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on DevOps Journal
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

@DevOpsSummit  2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@DevOpsSummit 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. Enterprise Cloud | Cloud-Native
Track 2.
Big Data | Analytics
Track 3. Internet of Things | IIoT | Smart Cities

Track 4. DevOps | Digital Transformation (DX)

Track 5. APIs | Cloud Security | Mobility

Track 6.
AI | ML | DL | Cognitive
Track 7.
Containers | Microservices | Serverless
Track 8. FinTech | InsurTech | Token Economy

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.  

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Cloud Expo is the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Delegates to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 21st International Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley, and June 12-14, 2018, in New York City.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 21st International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Mike Wood

As vice president for VeloCloud Networks, Mike Wood is responsible for worldwide marketing, revenue generation, channel and sales enablement and communications. He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the networking industry. Prior to VeloCloud, he was vice president of product management and marketing for Akamai Technologies’ Cloud Networking Business Unit.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.