Software Defined Networking - "The Biggest Thing Since Ethernet"

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A Software-Defined Service Provider Network Improves Profitability and Delivers Competitive Advantage

A new software-defined network spanning the globe also offers the ability to lower operational overhead

At Plexxi we're building a simply better network for public and private cloud environments and next generation service providers. The next era of IT requires support for data center agility, scale-out applications, converged infrastructure, Big Data analytics and integrated security over networks that are both local and global in scale.  In a prior blog I reviewed the case study of a large enterprise that deployed a next generation data center network achieving agility through integration with VMware, data and application workload awareness and a dynamic, single-tier fabric optimized for east/west and north/south data center traffic.  In this installment of my blog, I review the case study of Perseus.  They have built the world's largest SDN-based on demand services network allowing them to quickly offer new products and services while enabling new deployments at a rapid pace.

Perseus had an existing international network to transport high-speed, high-precision and high-performance applications across the globe for their managed service clients.  That network was built on similar platforms to those of competitors, leveraging traditional architectures and a DWDM backbone for multi-tenancy and differentiated services.

They were planning to expand global operations to a new continent and across dozens of new countries where they did not yet have a complete offering.   As they evaluated technology solutions for the expansion, they had several desired outcomes in mind.

  • Increase speed of deployment
  • Offer new differentiated services and products
  • Improve the client experience
  • Expand quickly into new geographies
  • Centralize software-defined control and management
  • Improve ease of use and ease of deployment
  • Reduce change management risks
  • Lower operational overhead and lower costs

They evaluated solutions from several vendors and, based on their success criteria and desired outcomes, chose to partner with Plexxi.  They deployed a next generation network system consisting of Plexxi Control, Plexxi Switches and Plexxi Connect.   The Plexxi offering unlocked the ability to take a brand new approach to delivering managed services.

The new international points of presence (PoPs) were deployed with Plexxi Switches, interconnected to create a resilient and dynamic backbone, which was then connected to their existing infrastructure.

With Plexxi Control they were able to centralize management, control and visualization of both the physical and logical network, leading to faster service provisioning.  Control's network topology awareness and its ability to, in real time, alter traffic flows based on the needs of client applications led to a network with better resiliency, reliability and ultimately one that delivered a better user experience.

The Plexxi infrastructure has allowed Perseus to recently release a new low-latency multipoint Ethernet service.  This service allows them to offer multi-point and any-to-any solutions in addition to its core ultra-low-latency point-to-point services. While Perseus has historically focused its core product set on the ultra low latency and financial client base, this product opens up their target audience to any global firm, across industries that require global connectivity between its sites. Specifically as it relates to financial audiences, this provides additional market data and connectivity services that may allow them to eliminate or reduce additional vendors (simplicity of operations, billing, etc.)

Perseus is also planning to offer self-provisioning and bandwidth on demand for its clients.  Empowering clients in this way will significantly disrupt the status quo in the managed service provider space and will enable the provisioning of new services to be reduced from weeks/months to just hours and minutes.

A new software-defined network spanning the globe also offers the ability to lower operational overhead and reduce the intensive manual labor and complexity inherent with a traditional service provider network.  Traditional industry approaches to handling adds, moves and changes have been based on manual configuration of dozens to hundreds of devices, leading to change management risks.   Reduced labor and complexity translates to faster response times for client requests and a better end user experience.

Perseus set out to find a software-defined solution allowing them to deploy new differentiated services quickly and respond rapidly to client requests.  They wanted to leverage a single infrastructure to meet the diverse needs of enterprise and financial market clients.  They wanted to be more agile and scalable, while centralizing the management and control of their global network.  They wanted an infrastructure that was easier and less costly to deploy, maintain and provision than a traditional environment.  In Plexxi, they found a solution that accommodated their requirements of today as well as those of the future.

The post A Software-Defined Service Provider Network Improves Profitability and Delivers Competitive Advantage appeared first on Plexxi.

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More Stories By Richard Napolitano

Successfully leading a technology company requires a strong sense of what the market needs and an uncanny ability to build it. Plexxi CEO Rich Napolitano combines the vision required to disrupt with the experience necessary to succeed. He has spent more than 30 years in the IT industry, most recently as the head of EMC’s Unified Storage Division, where he was responsible for more than $4 billion in annual revenue and 2,000 employees.

Prior to EMC, Rich has led both sales and engineering, and acted as both founder and venture capitalist across companies like Sun Microsystems, Pirus Networks, and Alchemy Angels. Rich holds a BS degree in Computer Science from the State University, Stony Brook, NY, and owns two U.S. patents.