Hype or reality: Takeaways from the X-change on software defined networking and NFV, 22 Nov. 2016


It's clear this technology raises interest amongst our members: over 40 people came together for our session on SD-WAN! So, what exactly is software-defined networking about? There are as many definitions as there are people.  The X-change kicked off with one: "SD-WAN delivers the ability for an enterprise to combine dedicated data connections with low-cost broadband links in their WAN, and do so securely."

BELTUG members can see the presentations here:

We are entering the era of digital transformation, Tom De Wit from BT told us. When it comes to professional SD-WAN services, people want to be thoroughly advised on security services and on re-architecting their network. Specifically, they are looking for:

  • Simplicity
  • Time savings
  • Cost-efficient network
  • Application performance
  • Security

When considering a hybrid WAN, Tom advised, make sure the design is right from the start, balancing performance, security, scale, cost, etc. With a structured and visual overview, you can easily choose the path your data needs to follow, to optimize the capacity and performance of your network. The possibilities seem endless: you can combine virtual routing with NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation) and even with physical routing.

Make use of existing tools to measure network and application performance. It's wise to create a baseline and then work on network improvement and optimisation.

As for NFV: Tom De Wit sees it as your front-end to manage the eco-system of cloud-services, internet and WAN.  The benefits for an organisation?

  • Quick deployment and configuration
  • Quick ordering
  • More agility and flexibility
  • Reduced CAPEX
  • Self-service

Diving us deeper into NFV, Patrick Sichien, Manager Solution Consultants at Interoute then explained that it provides an answer to many network concerns and issues.  In a very structured way, he took us through the different network issues an organisation may encounter and how NFV can provide an answer (see slides 2-4 of his presentation).

Are you about to re-design your network? Slide 7 from Patrick Sichien's presentation offers a structured to-do list!

His conclusions rang out loud and clear:

  • SD-WAN and NFV are customer-centric and application-centric, rather than network-centric.
  • Simplification is the key success factor for both!













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