SDN for the Global Enterprise

NetBondheadIconFor many in the enterprise, their relationship with their WAN carriers has been an opaque, long lead time, inflexible experience, looking at the WAN as a big, dumb pipe.  With the advent of NetBond, AT&T has taken a bold step in putting the enterprise “user” in control of their own, private channel between two points on the MPLS cloud.  In effect, turning what is often a set of static MPLS configurations, into a fully dynamic and user controlled extension of their software defined “control plane”.

The CSC / AT&T partnership continues to look for new ways to enable the global enterprise with capabilities to reduce costs/complexity, to increase capability while maintaining security and to enhance agility.  In effect, NetBond does all three of these, and CSC recognizes that there is a key value proposition for the global enterprise.

  • As enterprises emerge their “outside in” strategies, they will naturally connect to a multitude of Cloud and XaaS providers.  AT&T is announcing a steady stream of NetBond participants beyond CSC BizCloud (both private and virtual-private): Microsoft Azure as well as now SalesForce.com.  The ability to exploit a single MPLS endpoint, and establish dynamic “direct connection” virtual private channels via software control will enable provisioning or configuration in minutes not months.
  • The provisioning of a NetBond channel controls membership and offers elastic (up/down) bandwidth allocation in the control of the customer.  CSC is making NetBond control an integral part of ServiceMesh, so that applications can define their WAN scalability needs and define elements such as “high water marks” or “clock time rules” to orchestrate scalability within the NetBond channel.  Further as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) emerges into the WAN we will see additional features emerge into the service chain to enable everything from DDoS (today) to IDS/IDP, path engineering and even WAN accelerators to emerge as on demand network services.

These e2e SDN services become exceedingly important in the aaS/Hybrid Cloud world.  Here are just a few use-cases that we’ve thought about:

  1. priority/capacity driven migration to a public cloud provider (align capital with highest priority workloads)
  2. capacity driven migration from a public cloud provider (maximize internal cloud utilization/minimize spend)
  3. hybrid applications with data channels back into the enterprise for regulatory guarantee (even things like o365)
  4. enterprise service integration with aaS vendors for lumpy data movement (batch enrollment, report generation and download)…
  5. DR site re-sync window shortening & BCDR in general
  6. The one I really long for is slow drain (background) data transfer at very cheap rates in other words “fill in work” serviced out of a deep queue/volume for things like CDN distribution (content or analytic cubes/rules) or bulk ingress from IoT.

CSC and AT&T are partnered to emerge the end-to-end Software Defined Network, Service->Core, Core->WAN, WAN->Core, Core->Service to help customers improve agility, reduce cost and complexity, while improving security and audit-ability within their operations.  We are really excited to see the eco-system expanding.

Some notes from a friend, Steve Caniano on NetBond

4 thoughts on “SDN for the Global Enterprise

  1. Hey Dan! Question–AT&T is changing with the times, and migrating to mobile, IP and cloud services company. For me to tranform my skills in line with this transition, what skills should I persue/obtain to help me keep a position here? CCNA certification? MSCE?

    1. Brian,

      Great questions, for me I’d really think about extending your software development skills, whether basic perl/python/ruby or deeper into the Scala, Go side. If everything is software controlled, the new administrators will be authoring apps, scripts, policies, manifests versus Switch internals from a day-to-day productivity world.

      This really means that most switches are pretty dumb (maybe 2x L2 for mgt + work) routers are similarly less complicated as the complication comes into the SDN controlled channel overlay. This is not to say that you don’t need a strong understanding of routing protocols and strategies and higher order network architectures, but many will begin to look more like a service provider than like a traditional enterprise IMO.

  2. Excellent commentary Dan! I work for Steve Caniano as the AT&T CSC Alliance Sales Director covering Australia and Asia Pacific. We met briefly in Dallas at the kick-off. We have a number of opportunities developing in Australia that will be reliant on NetBond coming down to this region. One of my FY2015 goals is to build qualified pipeline that dirves the investment necessary for this to happen.

    Regards
    Guy

    1. Thanks Guy, right there with you. I think that ANZ is an under appreciated and invested market with a ton of opportunity! Let me know how I can help, we’re ready to jump in with you!

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