Avaya Fabric Networking

2500+ Employees
Networking

Build a path to the future. Avaya’s advanced fabric networking technology takes SDN networking and cloud services to the next level. Reduce network outages, enjoy quicker access to information, and easily integrate new communications channels and applications. If you wish, do it all with your existing infrastructure.

Team Engagement

Team engagement is the magic that happens when everyone in your workforce is connected effortlessly to the mission, to each other and to customers. When it works you feel it in your culture and on your balance sheet—and your customers feel it most. Barriers disappear. Productivity rises. Our team engagement solutions get you there.

“Deploying the latest Avaya fabric-enabled solutions globally allows us to pursue our business goals for efficiency, stability and BYOD initiatives.” 

-Alex Pang, Lead Network Architect

Benefits

Increased Productivity
Network Scalability

AVAYA SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATES OVER 100 LOCATIONS GLOBALLY WITH AVAYA FABRIC CONNECT

Across more than one million locations in dozens of countries, customers turn to Avaya to transform their businesses with next-generation networking, communications and customer experience management technologies. It’s only fitting then that Avaya takes the same approach with its own offices.

With that goal in mind, Avaya recently embarked on an ambitious project to upgrade its entire network infrastructure across 130 offices for greater stability, consistency and easier management across all global locations.

“Deploying the latest Avaya fabric-enabled solutions globally allowed us to better pursue our business goals for efficiency, stability and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives,” says Alex Pang, Lead Network Architect. “The move also allowed us to redeploy some support resources to more strategic areas after eliminating the more complex legacy systems.”

At the same time, the company is taking the opportunity to redesign the network topology for greater flexibility. Using a conventional mix of spanning tree, IP routing and leaf-spine architecture across locations, the previous network took an unacceptable amount of time to reroute.

“Previously, adding locations, devices and applications resulted in more looping, and thus more complexity and instability. In our data center, and at larger sites, outages could take an hour or longer to stabilize,” Pang says.

130 Locations on Fabric

Site by site, Avaya upgraded its offices to the most current networking technology. Data centers and larger sites now run on a foundation of Avaya Fabric Connect, which delivers powerful network virtualization technology based on the Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) standard.

“With Avaya Fabric Connect, we gain a more efficient, stable and easier-to-manage network, which means better business continuity and greater efficiency for our network team,” says Steve Bartholomew, Director, Global Converged Network & Data Center Operations.

The Avaya network uses Virtual Services Platform switches at all data centers and sites, with Ethernet Routing Switches delivering flexible convergence-friendly services at the edge.

For Wi-Fi, Avaya deployed the Wireless LAN 9100 Series products, along with an updated security architecture for BYOD and guest services. Combining hyper-segmentation and Avaya Identity Engines, Avaya can now separate the levels of public and private access to bolster network security.

Avaya applications running on the network are deployed on the Avaya Pod Fx, a full-stack solution with everything needed to run virtualized communications in the data center (compute, storage, networking and applications) delivered pre-integrated, pre-tested and ready for service.

CHALLENGES

  • Maintaining a mix of network technologies globally taxed the network team
  • Previous re-convergence times were 30-60 seconds with leaf-spine and spanning tree
  • The company sought more consistency, stability, flexibility and ease of management

VALUE CREATED

  • Re-convergence now happens in 10-20 milliseconds – delays are no longer noticeable
  • Avaya Fabric Connect supports a more secure, flexible Wi-Fi infrastructure
  • The network team saves hours with simpler management

Eliminating Lag

With the newly designed network, Avaya quadrupled backbone link capacity to 40G, leveraging the new, higher-density switching platforms. And with Fabric Connect, the team can easily add more network nodes as needed. Network re-convergence is now lightning fast, with application traffic automatically re-routed; instead of disruptive 30-60 second delays, it’s now within 10-20 milliseconds – so fast that no one ever notices.

Management, likewise, is simplified. “There’s no VLAN configuration,” explains Pang. “If there are 100 switches in a path, you only touch the two at the very edge, give them service IDs and associate them to a VLAN, and the network automatically makes those connections for you. You don’t need to know anything about what’s in the middle.”

Easier, More Secure Guest Wi-Fi

Avaya’s new network also builds in added security, especially for guest access of the Wi-Fi network. For sites that don’t have a way to securely carry guest Wi-Fi WAN service traffic to Internet hubs, Avaya relies on its Open Networking Adapter (ONA), an appliance the size of a deck of cards that extends Fabric Connect across MPLS or VPN networks.

“In the past, we had to use complicated tunnels for Wi-Fi access,” Bartholomew says. “ONA is an inexpensive, lightweight device that allows us to make that happen more easily. Implementation and configuration are simpler, and management is easier with fewer parts to maintain.”

Using ONA, the team next plans to extend other types of Internet service, such as a DMZ (demilitarized zone) network in a data center or major hub. Additionally, the team can now extend access – securely – to communities of interest (COI) networks. With hyper-segmentation in Fabric Connect, Avaya can offer secure access to those networks even in locations without firewalls.

For example, Avaya can separate COI networks for distinct business units such as training and R & D, or for outsourcing partners, without giving them access to the corporate network.

"The technology we use must meet the demands of our own global organization. We’re constantly feeding our changing requirements and suggestions to the Avaya product team for better products."

—Alex Pang, Lead Network Architect

Any-Vendor Storage Flexibility

Before, the company used a fiber channel network for storage and Ethernet for data. Now, it all flows together on the same fabric. The new storage setup reduces parts counts on the servers, fiber channel adapters, the number of vendors, and the overhead of having to manage separate networks.

The Fabric Connect technology also opens Avaya’s options for the path that storage traverses and type of storage. Now, network attached storage (NAS) is an option, where it was not with the legacy network products from other vendors.

“Fabric Connect gives us the flexibility to bring in any storage vendor, which allows us to choose the solution with the best total cost of ownership,” Bartholomew says. “We can move to any vendor quickly.”

The network team manages it all with the Avaya Fabric Orchestrator, which provides a big-picture as well as a granular view into what’s happening on the network. Thus the team can pinpoint network vulnerabilities or bottlenecks before they become issues. It also automates the configuration, provisioning and orchestration of the network to improve time to service.

Firsthand Experience = Better Product

With the global upgrade, the network team gained hours in its week by simplifying management, and the immeasurable benefit of greater peace of mind with a more stable, secure network. Avaya also decommissioned legacy fiber channel switches, thereby easing maintenance and cost. Beyond that, running its own technology – day-to-day – gives the company firsthand experience that translates to enhanced solutions for customers.

“The technology we use must meet the demands of our own global organization,” Pang says. “We’re constantly feeding our changing requirements and suggestions to the Avaya product team for better products.”

CUSTOMER PROFILE
  • Headquarters:

  • United States

Avaya is a leading provider of solutions that enable customer and team engagement across multiple channels and devices for better customer experience, increased productivity and enhanced financial performance. Its world-class contact center and unified communications technologies and services are available in a wide variety of flexible on-premises and cloud deployment options that seamlessly integrate with non-Avaya applications. The Avaya fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business-critical applications and services.

What our Customers are saying
“Deploying the latest Avaya fabric-enabled solutions globally allowed us to better pursue our business goals for efficiency, stability and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives."

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  • Alex Pang

  • Avaya Inc.