Avaya Introduces Virtual Networking Architecture

VENA, or Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture, includes partnerships with VMWare for virtualization, QLogic for converged networking, Coraid for Ethernet SAN storage and Silver Peak for WAN optimization.

William Gardner

November 11, 2010

3 Min Read
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Avaya has launched a data networking architecture aimed at assisting enterprises utilizing virtualization and other collaborative technologies to meet the growing demand for new content and business collaboration applications in and between data centers and campuses.

Announced Wednesday, Avaya claims that VENA (Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture) reduces costs and improves time to service between application servers and end users by more efficiently optimizing network connections. VENA essentially delivers an end-to-end connection from the desktop to the data center.

"No one else can offer this level of simplicity around virtualization and collaboration," said Steve Bandrowczak, vice president and general manager of Avaya Data Solutions, in a statement. The new architecture draws on an existing partnership with VMware and introduces new solutions into the VENA mix from converged networking pacesetter QLogic as well as Coraid, an industry leader in converged Ethernet SAN storage. Also involved in the VENA mix is Silver Peak Systems, a major player in data center WAN optimization.

By simplifying provisioning and policy configurations, VENA is designed also to reduce risks for CIOs as network re-designs are reduced and new streamlined tools for network management are developed.

Also on Wednesday, Avaya announced that William Seifert, a longtime networking executive and entrepreneur, has been appointed chief technology officer for Avaya Data Solutions. Reporting to Bandrowczak, Seifert most recently was a general partner at Prism VentureWorks where he focused on next-generation technology investments.

Seifert said the Avaya Virtual Services Platform 9000 is shipping this month with "all of the VENA features. The 8600/8800 VENA software released is scheduled to be delivered in February, 2011." Seifert, also the founder of Agile Networks, noted that the VSP 9000 was acquired by Avaya in its acquisition of Nortel Networks' enterprise solutions unit several months ago.

In addition to the new VENA partners announced on Wednesday, Avaya said many additional companies have joined as members of its DevConnect program to participate in the VENA program, which is based on open industry standards.

Avaya noted that VENA can create a private cloud, by delivering always-on content and access to applications. VENA's "Virtual Services Fabric" is able to span an entire network while producing one-touch provisioning for the capabilities and features of Virtual Services Networks. The approach helps defend enterprise core networks from costly failures and human-error issues that often accompany the complicated process of provisioning -- adding, deleting, changing apps -- in a virtualized environment.

"Yankee Group research shows that human error accounts for 37% of all network downtime -- the single biggest factor in network disruption," said Zeus Kerravala, senior research fellow at the market research firm.

Already developing next-generation, top-of-rack solutions for its VSP data center portfolio, Avaya observed that the new portfolio will support high-density 10G with evolutions to 40/100G and FCoE. Avaya's flagship VSP 9000 is designed to provide a seamless evolution to 40/100 Gigabit capacity architected to scale up to 27 Tbps.

The company said a series of campus products are slated to be introduced in 2011; they are aimed at reducing enterprise operating costs and helping eliminate costly forklift upgrades.


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