Is yours one of the more than 50 percent of enterprises currently “on the road” to deploying cloud? Perhaps you began your cloud experience by introducing one or more private cloud applications, and are now considering adding public or hybrid cloud to the mix.
The movement toward cloud computing in its various forms requires an increase in WAN bandwidth, although this isn’t typically the first thing on data center managers’ priority lists. For data center managers who are responsible for connectivity to multiple remote offices, however, enterprise users who have become accustomed to LAN-like speeds and performance will likely start submitting fix-it tickets if they experience performance or latency issues. Many of today’s applications are interconnected as well, and when they communicate across long distances, such as data center to data center, then slowdowns or outages are inevitable, without sufficient bandwidth to support all the traffic.
So the question becomes: What kind of connectivity do you use at the data center to give the remote offices sufficiently reliable high bandwidth options to connect to the centralized services?
To ensure consistent, high network performance, the majority of today’s enterprises generally utilize the most reliable forms of WAN connectivity, such as MPLS. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost. MPLS, when compared to abundant and inexpensive public links, can be 30-100X more expensive. Yet, public connectivity (such as ADSL, cable, Internet, etc.) lacks the reliability and performance predictability required to ensure enterprise-class performance of applications, cloud or otherwise.
Data center and IT managers should therefore take a look at WAN Virtualization as a method to ensure predictable WAN performance at a reasonable cost. WAN Virtualization addresses private, public and hybrid cloud access, performance, scalability and cost issues by enabling public Internet WAN bandwidth to operate at private WAN reliability levels. Available as both single- and dual-ended appliances that detect packet-based or flow-based traffic, depending on vendor approach, WAN Virtualization combines multiple sources of public and private WAN bandwidth running in parallel into a single virtual WAN. Well-designed solutions constantly monitor for packet loss, latency and jitter across all possible paths and select the best available path, enabling this virtual WAN to deliver the same or better levels of performance and predictability as more expensive, private WAN connectivity.
One of the biggest challenges for IT or network managers to overcome regarding the deployment of WAN Virtualization may be the WAN’s perceived lowly status when compared to “sexier” technologies also competing for budget allocation. It’s like a real estate agent asking you, a prospective home buyer, to check out the electrical wiring as the strongest feature in the house you’re considering. Who thinks about wiring when there are more important considerations like which wall will best house the flat screen, and is there room in the garage for the family’s bicycles, a workbench and two to three cars.
Our enterprise customers’ experiences have proven consistently that the positive results of pilot projects silence skeptics and naysayers. By achieving typical savings between 40-90 percent on their monthly WAN connectivity costs—while at the same time adding substantial bandwidth without sacrificing reliability—the data center manager of the pilot project meets little resistance to expanding deployment across his or her global data centers and remote sites.
Enterprise WAN traffic volume is forecast to increase at an average annual rate of 30 percent or more, according to the 2010 Cloud Networking Report by independent industry analyst, Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler and Associates. This volume is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing deployment of cloud applications. This volume also requires more bandwidth. As many are finding, adding expensive bandwidth to the WAN is not an affordable answer. Because of its ability to aggregate multiple links to ensure expected levels of WAN performance quality and predictability, WAN Virtualization introduces a level of flexibility for data center managers to take advantage of new advancements in technology without having to constantly replace the infrastructure supporting these advancements. Therefore, WAN Virtualization is likely to factor as one of the data center’s higher priorities in 2012.
About Talari Networks, Inc.: Talari Networks’ WAN Virtualization solutions bring Internet economics to corporate WANs by transforming broadband and other affordable Internet links to deliver business-class reliability and performance predictability at consumer prices. Talari delivers a network with 30 to 100 times the bandwidth per dollar, ongoing WAN costs reduced by 40% to 90%, and greater reliability than existing corporate WANs. In 2011, Talari was named a Gartner Cool Vendor and its Mercury T750 won Best of Interop–Performance Optimization. For more information, please visit www.talari.com.