This is the second in a series of blogs on the topic of the evolving enterprise WAN that is based on a survey that was completed earlier this year by 110 network professionals. The first blog in this series, Main Change Drivers in the WAN, discussed the level of satisfaction that enterprise organizations have with their current WAN architecture and identified the factors that are having the biggest impact on enterprise WANs. This blog will discuss how well the traditional branch office WAN architecture responds to those factors. Subsequent blogs will look at topics such as the factors driving and inhibiting the adoption of SD-WANs, the varying approaches that enterprises are taking to evaluate SD-WANs and the varying implementation and architectural options enterprises are considering.
One of the main drivers of NFV is breaking apart functional networking blocks into their most focused pieces so that customers can pick and choose the ones that are most applicable to their services. That concept also seems to work for trade shows, as this focused show in Denver was well attended by industry professionals interested in focusing on the specific topic of SDN and NFV for communications service providers. In general, the talks and panels were well attended, informative, sometimes controversial, and worthwhile.
In a previous blog, I discussed how equipment providers are facing a lucrative but pitfall-laden path in deciding how to invest in NFV to displace dedicated appliances. CSPs have similar NFV investment decisions to make on the user side of the equation. They need to answer the question: “Where should I start implementing an NFV strategy to deliver network functions and customer services as a means of improving my bottom line and business success?”
Those familiar with France’s Orange and their stated goal to transition to an all-IP network by 2020 might be confused by statements at the Next Generation Optical event in Nice in June about their trials of OTN technology. After all, how can an “all IP” network include OTN? In actuality, OTN can be a very important part of an all IP network, depending on how “all IP” is defined.
In the last post on SDNs, I spent a little time discussing just a bare minimum of some internal router architecture—specifically the difference between the RIB and the FIB, and thinking a little about management. In this post, I want to add one more dividing point to the mix, and then start thinking about how we can classify various “software defined” solutions in a way that makes more sense out of the field of options.
After years in which the WAN was relatively staid, we are now in a period in which there is significant investment in the development and deployment of new WAN products and services, most of which come under the broad umbrella of Software Defined WANs (SD-WANs). The providers of these products and services promise that they offer a number of benefits, including increased agility and reduced cost. While it is difficult to argue that benefits such as these aren’t valuable, a couple of obvious questions emerge. How satisfied are network organizations with their current WAN architecture and what would drive organizations to change its current architecture?