Network Orchestration Smarts Up

In this era of digitization, multimedia and cloud, the network needs to evolve from connectivity to business continuity.

Network orchestration
(Source: Pixabay)

The topic of network evolution is certainly hot right now. It's something the networking industry has been discussing for the better part of two decades. In the past, however, when it came to the network IT leaders had an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude. Even though the network didn't run optimally, it wasn't really hurting the business, so it stayed as it was.

But today in this era of cloud services, mobility and converged networks, traditional networks are no longer adequate. The network architecture currently in place is static in nature and highly under utilized. ZK Research estimates that traditional networks have an average utilization rate of 25 to 35%. What's worse is that it's actually hurting the performance of real-time, cloud and bandwidth intensive applications. If IT is ever to achieve the level of agility and dynamism required to enable businesses to become digital organizations, the network must now evolve.

Sonus Networks has a network-as-a-service product called NaaS IQ -- which came to it through the acquisition of Treq Labs -- that makes the network an agile, tunable resource so businesses can ensure that applications are always performing optimally. The platform simplifies and automates network operations through a policy-driven architecture with centralized control of both resources and orchestration capabilities.

Shifting to a network-as-a-service model enables IT managers to use business policies to control the network. For example, a business may perform backups over the WAN. During the day, NaaS IQ would intelligently orchestrate a policy that limits the amount of bandwidth being used for the backup. Then, after business hours the backup program can run unimpeded.

Using NaaS IQ for video conferencing would be another example. Because of the high performance requirements of video, many businesses nail-up bandwidth to be used only for video purposes. While this helps with performance, it's obviously a huge waste of money as the network sits idle much of the time. NaaS IQ could interface with the video system and create a dedicated pipe for the call, then tearing it down afterwards.

This article first appeared on NoJitter.

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About the Author(s)

Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst with ZK Research

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. He spent 10 years at Yankee Group and prior to that held a number of corporate IT positions. Kerravala is considered one of the top 10 IT analysts in the world by Apollo Research, which evaluated 3,960 technology analysts and their individual press coverage metrics.

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