VMworld 2015 Preview: Avaya Collaboration Pods Take Center Stage

Next week, nearly 25,000 people will descend on San Francisco for one of the tech industry’s hottest events. You guessed it… VMworld 2015 is upon us.

VMworld offers its attendees more than 400 sessions, covering the latest virtualization innovations in the data center for storage, networking, security, management, workforce mobility and hybrid cloud services. As a side note, it also offers a great party! It’s one of the only events I’ve been to with a full-blown carnival–complete with rides, games and live music–filling AT&T Park to capacity.

This represents the fourth year Avaya will be participating at VMworld. Our showcase product at this year’s event is the Avaya Collaboration Pod. Collaboration Pods are pre-integrated, full-stack solutions for deploying VMware-based UC/CC within the data center. They are being adopted by enterprises and cloud service providers as a simplified, risk-free way to deploy virtualized communications internally or as a service.

In June, we expanded the market reach for Collaboration Pods by introducing a smaller form factor product called the Collaboration Pod 2400. This product is well-suited for UC environments supporting between 500 to 5,000 end points and contact center environments with fewer than 500 contact center agents. We’re demonstrating Collaboration Pod 2400 live at VMworld.

Collaboration Pods are embedded with components of Avaya’s recently-announced SDN FxTM Architecture. Every Collaboration Pod contains Avaya networking, and incorporates our unique fabric networking technology. Also embedded is VMware-based virtualization. Today, this is based on VMware’s ESXi technology; however, at the event we will also be showcasing VMware’s NSX technology.

What does this combination of Avaya SDN Fx and VMware NSX bring to our Collaboration Pod customers? One of the key values of the SDN Fx architecture is the ability to very easily segment the network into secure zones for multi-tenant support, improved security and enhanced application control and visibility.

By leveraging micro-segmentation capabilities inside VMware NSX, we can extend segmentation into the VM environment to provide an end-to-end secure environment that is easier to provision, easier to manage and inherently more secure than legacy networking technologies.

This is applicable for cloud service providers delivering secure communications-as-a-service to multiple customers from the same Collaboration Pod, as well as enterprises that want to isolate some of their critical UC and CC applications from other traffic on their Pod:

Avaya Collaboration Pod Security Zones

As high-profile security breaches continue to make headlines, companies across every industry are looking for simpler ways to segment their networks to better protect confidential information. Segmentation also helps ensure that if portions of the network do happen to get compromised, the threat won’t propagate across the entire data center.

Collaboration Pod with SDN Fx offers a new way of doing segmentation that is more secure (services are set up with Ethernet, as opposed to IP, without reachability in or out) and are much easier to implement and manage, compared to the cumbersome, error-prone techniques of the past (isolated virtualized networks are implemented within the fabric-enabled cloud at the network edges only).

If you’re attending VMworld, visit us at booth #541 or connect with me on Twitter to set up a meeting with our executive team at the show. On Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Avaya’s Mohan Gopalakrishna who will speak about extending unified communications and contact center rollouts with hybrid cloud at the event.