Network Virtualization Techniques Adopted In WAN Environments
Biztech2 talks with Cyril Doussau de Bazignan, Product Marketing Director for InfoVista and gets his view on network virtualisation.
Virtualisation has become synonymous with good business practices. However, network virtualisation is somewhat of the new kid on the block. In an attempt to further demystify this space, Biztech2 talks with Cyril Doussau de Bazignan, product marketing director, InfoVista and gets his view on the matter.
1. What is the importance of network virtualisation and what are its challenges?
Network virtualisation techniques are now widely used in the WAN (virtual private networks) and in data centers (virtual switches). VPNs enable enterprises to cost-effectively transport various traffic (voice, application-critical data, e-mail, video, etc.,) over a shared infrastructure. Purchasing all of their communications products from one service provider enables enterprises to reduce their WAN costs by negotiating larger volumes of services, by bypassing PSTN tolls, and by increasing their end-user satisfaction through stringent SLAs. Another benefit is the ability to provide effective, new ways to communicate by offering new end-user services such as unified communications or video conferencing.
More recently network virtualisation has been introduced to data centers in order to enable data centers to be scaled in an effective and secure manner. Data center networking virtualisation enables enterprises to provide optimized application services to their end users while reducing their OPEX (as an example, by reducing power usage).
The main challenge with virtualized technology is the increased need for visibility in a virtual and constantly evolving environment. This and other challenges can be overcome, and virtualisation benefits can be assured, by implementing service-level management and performance assurance solutions.
2. How has the convergence of voice, multimedia, and data over shared IP network infrastructure made it more difficult to ensure the performance of enterprise services?
Convergence over a shared IP network can be supported by implementing class of service (CoS) mechanisms. Each CoS is configured with specific characteristics matching various application requirements. Critical real-time business applications, such as voice and video, require fast response time and an acceptable drop rate, while e-mail and data transfers are putting fewer constraints on the network. The main issue with managing CoS is that, when a specific class is overloaded, traffic might be deferred to lower classes which will impact the service quality. To assure the appropriate end-user quality of experience, capacity planning is required not only at the interface level, but at the CoS, CoS queue and application levels. In addition, when traffic is optimized or accelerated, some new management techniques are needed to collect or measure application response time. Last, it takes time to plan upgrades and provision services, so proactive management is mandatory to identify - in advance - bottlenecks that lead to quality degradations.
3. How will monitoring of network applications help an organization?
Enhanced application visibility and response time management brings the means to ascertain service quality and application delivery effectiveness. This allows an enterprise to establish a network and application performance baseline, which can be used to determine QoS requirements and the configuration of specific application acceleration policies. Once application acceleration techniques are employed, the informed response data or reports can provide “before and after” status and act as an ongoing monitoring capability.
Enhanced application visibility provides the capability to detect applications that are good candidates for optimization and can empower users with the information required to make informed decisions before WAN optimization deployment.
Last, application visibility and response time management can be used to confirm that investments are made toward critical business applications and, more importantly, it offers the ability to ensure end users receive the appropriate or contracted quality of service.
4. With companies shifting from IPv4 to IPv6, how will it affect your company’s business, if any way?
The shift to IPv6 has become mandatory to support recent technology trends such as the growing usage of personal communication devices (smartphones) and machine-to-machine communications, as well as to allow everyone to be connected to the Internet. At InfoVista, we are leveraging IPv6 to more easily and effectively collect data that our products can transform into actionable information, enabling large enterprises, managed service providers and their content and application providers to assure and optimize their business-critical applications.
5. A brief about your company.
InfoVista provides proactive service assurance solutions that empower telecom operators and large enterprises to launch and ensure the performance on the services their customers demand, reduce churn, manage risks, invest appropriately and control costs. InfoVista software solutions collect and process large volumes of data in real-time and provide reports on performance issues and service quality. This allows InfoVista customers to optimize capacity and resources and resolve problems before their own customers and end users are impacted. The solutions also help InfoVista customers to build comprehensive solutions that promote best practices and quicker implementation, enabling them to maximize their ROI.
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