Four Critical Network Virtualization Trends for the Next Four Years

Soon, more than 4 million students will go to their first day of high school. By the time these young adults don their caps and gowns, networking technology will have also graduated to the next level.

Take Avaya, for example. At the center of a massive, industry-wide networking transformation, the company is thinking far beyond the now. So how is Avaya positioning itself four years down the road? Here’s how Avaya’s ready for the future of network virtualization…

#1: Mitigating Network Disruptions: The overly-complex, multi-layered protocols that go hand-in-hand with old-fashioned networks bog down companies. A recent Avaya survey showed that 80 percent of companies lose revenue when their network goes down, with companies losing, on average, $140,000 as a result of network outages.

Looking into the future, companies will move away from archaic networks employing idle links, to a fully active model for better recovery and utilization of resources.  When a service is configured across the network, the core switches remain untouched; it requires provisioning only at the edge.

Avaya-commissioned research found that, on average, IT waits 27 days to get a change window. Fabric Connect saves that wait time and minimizes human error. Not only does Fabric Connect route traffic intelligently, it allows customers to completely virtualize their networks, making the physical layout irrelevant, minimizing overhead and simplifying operations.

#2: The Migration to SDN: The Shortest Path Bridging (SPB)-based Avaya Fabric Connect should be the evolutionary foundation fabric for SDN. Avaya Fabric Connect is network virtualization technology that provides the best foundation for SDN around by leveraging a cloud-type infrastructure with a 20-millisecond recovery rate for minimal downtime.

“Today, all vendor switches run a handful of 25-year-old control plane protocols, and, over the last few decades, new functionality is added by adding another layer on top of these protocols. The problem is that the complexity is still there,” explained Jaime Weaver, senior manager, product marketing. “Most operators have just grown accustomed to it. But, with Fabric Connect, we’re telling them, ‘You can run without complexity.’

It’s something nobody really has considered, like telling people you don’t need to keep replacing your tires when they wear down–instead, we can fly your car on air.” Rather than build an SDN plane atop an already-complex infrastructure or wait for a cost-effective solution to implement the complexity onto white boxes, with Fabric Connect, Avaya is taking the first step toward SDN today in an accessible way.

#3: Security: As companies create leaner IT support orgs, network security becomes paramount. Small- and mid-size businesses need enterprise-level security to shield them from a range of threats, whether zero-hour attacks or data interception.

Trends like virtualization, mobility and cloud continue to increase the importance and complexity of security management. There is already an inherent, native ability to create isolated virtual service networks (stealth networks) with a Fabric Connect-based network. Avaya Fabric Connect allows customers to isolate and segment traffic, helping users sleep easy at night.

#4: Scalability: BYOD isn’t a buzzword of the past. As devices increase (the average household with two teenage children is predicted to own roughly 50 Internet-connected devices by 2022, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), networks need to be scalable.

Avaya Fabric Connect is scalable up to 16 million unique services. Avaya’s network at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, for instance, had to scale up from zero users to more than 40,000 in a single day. The network was about 3x that of the last Super Bowl, running back-to-back for 17 consecutive days instead of one.

As multicasting becomes high-priority for businesses, Fabric Connect ensures scalability. Fewer legacy protocols mean fewer limitations to multicasting and an easier run across the network.

With these four trends in mind, it looks like Avaya will graduate Valedictorian!

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