Internet Solutions has launched CloudWAN, its first virtual wide area network (WAN) solution for next-generation enterprise networking.
Using software-defined networking (SDN) technology and network function virtualisation, CloudWAN links public and private clouds into a seamless virtual network that is smart, responsive, and endlessly elastic.
By delivering cloud-based, centralised network provision and management, CloudWAN overcomes the biggest drawbacks of legacy network technologies.
“Enterprises usually invest in private network services based on MPLS, which has been an industry standard for decades,” says Greg Montjoie, executive head: SDN/Internet at Internet Solutions. “But data traffic and network complexity between business sites is more and more substantial.
“As multitudes of devices in numerous sites are added to an enterprise WAN, existing network technologies are increasingly restrictive, prohibitively expensive, and can no longer guarantee quick and reliable network connections.”
Enterprise WANs today require network hardware such as hubs, routers, switches, proxy servers and firewalls, as well as network architects and engineers to install, then connect, configure, and test the hardware manually.
CloudWAN turns an enterprise network into a programmable entity for traditional network device deployment and upgrades, simplifying management and automating control of the network. By giving the network cloud-like adaptability and elasticity, each enterprise will have a network for its exact needs – perfectly customised, whatever the bandwidth or geographic demand.
When an already-complex network requires additional capability, instead of investing in additional equipment, cumbersome installation, and costly support, CloudWAN virtualises network functions such as firewalls or WAN accelerators.
“Software-defined networking is leading to open communication protocols and APIs that are device-agnostic but still offer the same security, reliability and resiliency of vendor-proprietary hardware and appliances. This will lead to significant cost-savings for enterprises as they scale their networks,” says Montjoie.
Using CloudWAN, deploying virtualised functions onto the core virtual network is fast, and there is central control of setup and configuration.
“Today’s networks are strained by the business demand for more bandwidth, more optimisation, more dynamism, and more value,” says Montjoie.
“CloudWAN responds to this demand by enabling enterprises to use its optimisable features when there is a need to deliver applications to users on the network or to increase bandwidth.”
For example, when an additional site such as a new warehouse, branch or outlet needs to be added to an enterprise network, the configurations and appropriate application rule sets are instantly deployed to that site. The configuration profiles are pre-set according to the client’s grouping structure.
“Traditional networks are bottlenecks that hamper business growth, but we’re well on the way to changing that,” says Montjoie. “I anticipate that software-defined networking will disrupt business ICT as dramatically as the cloud did.”
CloudWAN was developed through a close partnership between NTT, the NTT Innovation Institute, a prominent Silicon Valley innovation centre for the NTT Group, and Internet Solutions.