Equinix brings edge to Sydney

Equinix is taking its Australian customers to the edge, providing Network Edge Services via Sydney.

Network Edge Services (NES) provides virtual network services, enabling enterprises to deploy network functions virtualisation from multiple vendors to connect their digital supply chains at Equinix, without a physical data center deployment or hardware requirements.

The Sydney metro availability of Network Edge is the first in Asia Pacific, alongside Singapore, which has also just been announced. NES was launched in the United States and Europe in June.

John Hanahan senior director of interconnections, told Telecom Times: “Customers have been trained by the clouds to consume things as a service and so what we have done here is effectively enabled customers to establish virtual points of presence in our facilities using industry leading network and security branded applications.”

Initial offerings include a Cisco virtual router, Versa SDWan and firewalls from Juniper, Palo Alto and Fortinet among the initial offerings available.

“Customers can select those applications out of our portal or via our APIs, deploy them on Equinix hosted infrastructure and then from there connect in real-time to the various destinations they want,” Hanahan says.

“We will continue to enhance the portfolio of vendors to really enable customers to use the software and hardware vendors their people are trained to use,” Hanahan says. “It’s important for enterprise customers to be able to leverage the same vendors they’re deploying in their branch offices, data centres and even in the cloud.”

Network Edge includes built-in integration to Equinix’s global on-demand, SDN-enabled interconnection service, Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric). The company says by combining Network Edge with ECX Fabric, customers can deploy virtual edge devices and interconnect them to clouds and network providers located in new global markets, extending their reach to new business partners around the world.

Hanahan says Network Edge’s use cases include cloud-to-cloud routing, migrating from one cloud to another, hybrid cloud firewall and branch to cloud SD-Wan.

“In a multicloud arrangement for example you might deploy a virtual router in our facility to be able to connect an application that might be sitting in Amazon Web Services, with the database within Oracle for example.

“Instead of connecting those two over the public internet where the performance might not be consistent and latency might vary, we have the edge presence for both of those customers and can very quickly connect them together via a virtual router the customer places in our facilities.”

Hanahan says one Australian multinational has already done just that, utilising Equinix’s US NES services. NES launched in the US and Europe in June.

“By doing a cloud to cloud application architecture in this fashion they’re able to deliver a much better performance to the end users while taking advantage of the best of breed capabilities of each cloud.”

Hanahan says other use cases include customers extending their reach into new markets to connect to new clouds, using virtual points of presence to enable multicloud connectivity to clouds resident in the another market.

2019 will see enterprises wake up to WAN edge: Silver Peak

By Silver Peak Founder & CEO David Hughes

SD-WAN market/vendor consolidation will continue with a few vendors separating from the pack and leading the way forward. Enterprises will begin to realize that they need more than just basic SD-WAN functionality to address their evolving requirements at the WAN Edge.

Consolidation will force out the vendors that have merely added a handful of rudimentary features in an effort to participate in the SD-WAN market. This will ultimately reduce market noise and confusion and accelerate enterprise SD-WAN deployments globally.

The inability for basic SD-WAN offerings to address evolving customer WAN requirements will lead to disappointment for some early adopters. Enterprises that started with high expectations for their SD-WAN deployments will hit roadblocks across real-world production environments, concluding that basic SD-WAN is not good enough. They will ultimately realize that they must turn to vendors with proven WAN experience and a unified WAN edge platform.

Source: Silver Peak

The market will move toward a business-first networking model. Rather than constraining the business with network limitations, a business-first network model explicitly supports and accelerates new business initiatives. Instead of configuring the network one device at a time, IT will be able to describe the businesses’ needs at a high-level.

A business-first networking model will be powered by a self-driving wide area network platform that uses automation and machine learning to implement high-level business intent, and will continuously learn and adapt to ensure the network “just works”.

Even though most enterprises want to breakout internet traffic locally, they will discover that basic SD-WAN offerings which rely on DPI for application classification fall short of real-world requirements. Advanced classification techniques with automated updates are required to distinguish between white listed traffic for local breakout vs traffic that requires further inspection via next-gen firewall or cloud security services.

Real-time SaaS services such as cloud hosted voice and video will increasingly become a key driver in SD-WAN deployments. As enterprises transition to broadband, they will expect the quality, availability and reliability meets or exceeds their traditional telephony solutions. SD-WAN and UCaaS providers will partner together to deliver robust high-quality voice services over broadband.

As the threat landscape shifts, enterprises will search for ways to improve their security architecture and will more broadly deploy WAN segmentation as part of their overall security strategy. The traditional router-centric WAN allows any application in any branch to talk to any other application or branch meaning that if there is a breach anywhere, it can spread everywhere. Advanced SD-WAN platforms will be deployed to simply and consistently segment network traffic across the wide area network to limit exposure and contain threats.

Cloud security services go mainstream, becoming a simpler and more cost-effective alternative to deploying and continually maintaining complex next-gen firewalls at all branch locations. The SD-WAN edge becomes a natural on-ramp to these services. Advanced SD-WAN edge platforms enable enterprises to fully automate security service chaining and implement a mix of best-of-breed on-premise, data center and cloud security services on an application-by-application basis.

As more enterprises use multiple clouds, SD-WAN will provide a uniform fabric between physical locations and across cloud instances. Automation will make adding new cloud instances easy and fast, despite the inherent complexities and idiosyncrasies of each underlying cloud environment. By utilizing multiple paths between physical locations and each cloud instance, an advanced SD-WAN platform will deliver a more reliable and consistent user experience.

In 2019, we’ll see initial pockets of 5G deployment. To date, 4G access has primarily been used as a backup to higher bandwidth broadband internet connectivity because of its relatively low capacity and high cost per bit.

5G wireless access promises higher throughput rates and if priced appropriately, will become an attractive addition to the portfolio of SD-WAN transport options which today include broadband, DIA and MPLS. 5G could deliver a unique combination of fast deployment, diverse connectivity and high bandwidth that accelerates the adoption of broadband SD-WANs.

Versa driving trend toward secure multi-Cloud/SD-WAN Services: Futuriom

NetEvents EMEA, Portugal, 02 October, 2018 — Versa Networks – the innovator of a next-generation software platform that integrates cloud, networking and security services – is highlighted as a key market driver for its Secure Cloud IP architecture by analyst Futuriom with the launch of its new report Networking the Secure IP Cloud – Trends Driving the Cloud at NetEvents EMEA, in Portugal. Versa Networks has also recently been recognised by NSS Labs, the globally trusted source for independent fact-based cybersecurity guidance, as the only pure-play SD-WAN vendor to achieve a 100% evaluation for security in the first ever NSS Labs group test for SD-WAN. Versa has been awarded a ‘Recommended’ rating in the NSS Labs Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) Group Test.

Cloud, SD-WAN and security are in the midst of an evolution that is quickly growing in importance and will eventually dominate the WAN-edge architecture. The new report by R. Scott Raynovich, Futuriom, makes the important point that: “Cloud networks have entirely different requirements from client/server networks. They need to connect a variety of physical and virtual endpoints, including branches, private data centers, and the Internet.”

R. Scott Raynovich also says: “Advances in commercial silicon and virtualization mean it’s possible to use advanced software to manage networks on a virtual, software-driven platform. These networks can connect internally in data centers, or they can be used to connect the edge of an organization to partners, branches, the cloud an private data centers, using advances in software-defined wide-area-network (SD-WAN) technology.”

The move to a multi-cloud environment is likely to be a long, slow process, even though it’s inevitable. Research from Maverick Research recently indicated that 83 percent of U.S. CIOs estimated more than half of their transactions would be conducted on a cloud infrastructure by 2020. And 79 percent of the respondents predicted that more than half of their transactions would be completed on applications leased using a SaaS platform by 2020.

Versa’s technology is enabled by the Secure Cloud IP architecture – a cloud-native multi-service, multi-tenant software platform that delivers elastic scale, segmentation, programmability and automation. Versa Secure Cloud IP integrates cloud networking, SD-WAN, wireless and mobile connectivity, transport line conditioning and software-defined security services (NGFW/UTM) in a flexible, versatile software stack that displaces multiple legacy branch-office hardware devices.

“Applying Versa’s platform architecture to multi-cloud, enterprise edge and managed security environments results in the ability to deploy software-defined branches with fewer hardware devices and streamline operations (policy and enforcement),” said Atchison Frazer, worldwide head of marketing, Versa Networks. “The new report from Futuriom launched today, building upon the NSS Labs 100% next-gen firewall, evaluation for SD-WAN security confirms our ability to deliver high security effectiveness and performance.”

BT unveils new automation platform to speed up transition to SD-WAN

BT has launched a new Service and Network Automation Platform (SNAP), designed to help customers innovate using the latest software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) technologies.

“The unique platform sits at the heart of BT’s global network. Built with best-in-breed technologies, its flexible architecture allows BT to fully integrate solutions from its partners,” said the UK telco.

Examples of services BT is now able to integrate include SD-WAN controllers from Cisco and Nuage Networks from Nokia, while SNAP also works with Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator. “Together, this allows BT to offer customers a choice of SD-WAN and NFV managed services such as BT Connect Services Platform,” it said.

BT plans to extend orchestration from its core network to major third-party cloud data centres and all the way into customers’ local area networks (LAN) and data centre LANs (DC-LANs). It said this will provide end-to-end applications visibility, control and configuration from customers’ laptops and devices through to servers in the cloud.

BT said SNAP had been devised to achieve full compatibility between technologies and high levels of automation, using the latest open source software as well as industry standard languages. These include YANG for network modelling and TOSCA for service definition and VNF service chaining.

“Control commands can now cascade through BT’s systems taking effect within minutes, something that previously could take weeks,” the firm said.

To help customers navigate their future network roadmaps, BT has pooled its SD-WAN and NFV expertise and key skills into a new Centre of Excellence (CoE). The new CoEs, located across BT’s key development and customer support centres, will be able to uniquely monitor the full extent of a customer’s hybrid network creating a single integrated picture using the latest tools based on AI and machine learning.

“The CoE supports the full life cycle of customers’ SD-WAN or NFV services, collaborating across design and deployment to operations,” said BT. “The integrated team is backed with a programme of investment in training and tools in areas such as YANG, Netconf and TOSCA — new skills that are in very short supply.”

Why SD-WAN is the next big thing in unified communications: Zeus Kerravala

rrA common theme at the recent UC Expo show in London and the Enterprise Connect show in Orlando, Florida, was SD-WAN. Both events are dedicated to Unified Communications and all the supporting technologies surrounding it.

There were a few expected marquee themes, such as cloud, mobility, management, and team collaboration. However, the increasingly popular.

Both events have been around for years, and network-focused sessions have never been all that well attended. With VoIP and video being so network dependent, one would think topics surrounding network design and capacity planning would be of high interest, but they’ve never seemed to garner excitement or attendance.

However, SD-WANs appear to be different, with strong interest from both vendors and end users alike. So what has spurred the growing UC interest in SD-WAN, and why is SD-WAN different? The rise in interest in SD-WANs as they relate to UC has coincided with the growth of UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service.                                                                                                                                                                                                             There has been an explosion in the number vendors offering cloud-based UC. These include pure plays such as Ring Central, Vonage and 8×8; traditional telcos including Verizon and AT&T; competitive service providers like West, Comcast and Time Warner; and even the on-premise technology vendors including Cisco, Microsoft, Mitel and Avaya. Everyone seems to have jumped on the UCaaS train.

If you need more proof that UCaaS is the way, just check out Wall Street’s valuation of the premises versus cloud vendors. So UCaaS is where the growth is and it’s going to pull SD-WAN along for the ride. One reason why there wasn’t much interest in networking by the UC audience before is that VoIP and video were primarily LAN-based technologies, where bandwidth was abundant.

In many cases, organisations would replicate their older TDM architectures when they moved to IP. All locations with a large number of users had their own call control platform, making it easy to control quality on the network.

With UCaaS, voice and video come from the cloud. The inefficiencies of hub-and-spoke are magnified with real time traffic. Consider trying to migrate to UCaaS without evolving the WAN. Traffic from a UCaaS provider to a branch worker would enter into the organisation at its single point of ingress with every other user’s traffic, travel across the WAN to the branch, then hairpin in the branch, head down the same WAN path and back out where it entered.

This is the most inefficient network design possible for the cloud. With non-real time traffic, like email or document sharing, the latency this architecture introduces might be annoying, but it doesn’t impair worker productivity in any dramatic way — although it is a waste of bandwidth.

Don’t let cloud UC migration backfire

With real-time traffic, network inefficiencies can cause voice to be choppy and unintelligible, and video to be unusable. Companies spend a significant amount of time, money and energy migrating from a legacy, on-premise solution to the cloud, and not having the right network underneath it can obviate much of the ROI that businesses are hoping to achieve.

I’ve talked to many organisations that migrated their UC to the cloud without changing the underlying network, and they wound up quickly reverting to an on-premise solution. While this is certainly a choice, it’s the wrong one.

The future of UC lies in artificial intelligence, mobility and predictive communications, and that’s best done in the cloud since most organisations don’t have either the data or the compute capacity to fuel initiatives like AI.

The better choice would have been to transition to an SD-WAN designed to support the next generation communications solution. With an SD-WAN, businesses can easily move to a split tunnel architecture with local internet breakout, enabling users to access UCaaS services directly from the branch in a single hop. This is dramatically more efficient than having to traverse the corporate WAN multiple times.

The reduction of WAN traffic also means that branch-to-branch calls that need to cross the company network won’t be competing with external calls, improving those calls’ performance as well. Also, the direct-to-branch approach means businesses with a large number of branch offices won’t require as large an internet pipe as they did previously.

UCaaS is certainly the way of the future, and businesses of all sizes should be aggressive in executing their migration plans. However, it’s important to understand the role of the network — particularly the WAN — and migrate to an SD-WAN in conjunction with any cloud-planned UC deployment.

By Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, for Silver Peak

Australian telcos need to act on managed SD-WAN to offset slipping revenue: GlobalData

Driven by the accelerated adoption of new technologies such as software-defined networking, as well as intense competition and price erosion, the Australian data and IP market revenue is forecast to decline at a CAGR of 1.3% over the period 2017-2022, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. Continue reading “Australian telcos need to act on managed SD-WAN to offset slipping revenue: GlobalData”

Macquarie Telecom rolls out SD-WAN tech to Australian aged care provider Hall & Prior

Sydney, 28 March 2018 – Macquarie Telecom (ASX: MAQ) today announced Hall & Prior Aged Care has deployed SD-WAN services to a number of its facilities in Western Australia and New South Wales, enabling new audio and video conferencing services for care providers to communicate more effectively and trial extra services to care recipients.

Continue reading “Macquarie Telecom rolls out SD-WAN tech to Australian aged care provider Hall & Prior”