SD-WAN FEATURED ARTICLE
TELoIP Tells All in Advance of ITEXPO
There’s no question development in software-defined solutions is leading networking into the next generation. Increased bandwidth and performance demands are urging enterprises toward network makeovers, many are leveraging SD-WAN and its sibling solutions to overcome these challenges in today’s SaaS-tastic world.
A preeminent provider of SD-WAN and SD-Internet solutions, TELoIP, will join the mass of industry leaders at next week’s ITEXPO. And, leading up to the event, TELoIP Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Suitor spent some time with TMC (News - Alert) to talk a bit about the year that was, what we can expect in Fort Lauderdale from the SD solution provider and 2017. Suitor’s complete interview is below.
TMC: How have technology changes over the past 12 months helped businesses grow?
KS: The move to software defined and software controlled networks is the largest market shift in 20 years. The Internet really moved to general use in 1991 and MPLS became the defacto standard and backbone beginning in 1996. For the past 20 years there has really been no other backbone network in use by service providers or enterprises. IDC (News - Alert) issued an SD-WAN market estimate last year calling for a $6B market by 2020 with a 90% CAGR. For Communications Service Providers and Resellers it is interesting to note that the two fastest growing sub-segments are Communication Service Provider Managed SD-WAN Services and Cloud Managed SD-WAN Services.
The SDN (Software Defined Networking) market is being driven by two mega trends – Public Cloud and IOT.
Forrester (News - Alert) currently projects the public cloud market to grow to $236 billion in 2020, so the limitations of the traditional WAN model will become increasingly evident as this trend toward the public cloud continues to accelerate.
The recently increased projections of the 2020 public cloud market reflects faster-than-expected growth, especially for cloud platform revenues, whose 2020 total of $64 billion will be 45% higher than Forrester projected as recently as two years ago. The much larger cloud application market will also grow faster, with the current 2020 projection of $155 billion being 17% higher than the 2014 projection.
As a result, many companies are facing a new cloud-based reality where public cloud usage has surpassed internal WAN traffic. This means their network must effectively address both WAN and Internet and MPLS is not a suitable technology for the new reality. The important thing to recognize is that not all SDN solutions are created equal. Any SDN solution that does not address your growing public cloud requirements will be likely outdated before it’s even fully deployed.
The second major mega trend is IOT or Internet of Things. This is significant because the market will move from millions of end-points to billions of end-points.
Last year’s DDoS attack that shut down major portions of the Internet in October due to hackers using off the shelf botnets as the ‘primary source of malicious attack’. Unlike other botnet attacks, which are typically target computers, this one targeted “internet of things” (IoT) devices such as digital cameras and DVR players.
SDN has the potential to solve two key IOT challenges: Providing a network that can support a large number of IOT devices connecting to cloud services and ensuring that IOT devices are placed into a safe, secure, protected route domain and ‘ring-fenced’ from the Internet at large.
This is important because of the sheer volume of devices that are projected to attach to networks over the coming years. BI Intelligence projects that there will be 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, up from 10 billion in 2015. IDC is slightly more conservative – they’re projecting growth to 25 billion attached devices. Between them IDC & BI Intelligence project IOT revenues to be between $4 and $6T by 2020.
TMC: What does the term Collaboration mean to your business?
KS: Most Enterprise Businesses today operate in the Cloud.
Enterprises have already started to move their critical applications to the cloud. Every customer we talk to has some part of their business running in the cloud. The question usually comes down to “What percentage of your business is running in the cloud?”
They most likely started with CRM (like Salesforce), then email and are now in the process of moving other business-related applications like voice and video (Skype for Business) or productivity and collaboration tools (like Office 365 or Google (News - Alert) Apps).
But the fact is – their critical applications, the ones that their business relies on are already in the cloud and there will be more to come.
TMC: Are you using messaging technologies to communicate with your customers? How, or why not?
KS: We are using a variety of messaging technologies. We recently added a tool to our web site called Drift messaging. With Drift web site visitors connect in real time with our sales and support team to get their questions answered in real time. The Drift tool is connected to Slack and SalesForce providing our team with an integrated manner of passing information and requests around the company in a seamless manner for web site visitors. In the near future we expect to leverage Drift’s internal AI engine DriftBot to link to our knowledgebase and even more quickly answer visitors questions.
TMC: Are you leveraging big data/analytics to operate more efficiently?
KS: Our TELoIP Portal is built upon a big data engine. This engine inputs all the primitives from the thousands of TELoIP end-points and core devices and via custom queries we present that data in dashboards, reports and alerts to our partner and end user community.
TMC: How can artificial intelligence best be used in business applications?
KS: I think the DriftBot example above is a good use case for AI in business; I see some interesting possibilities for solutions like Amazon’s Alexa that combine AI with automation to simplify repetitive tasks or perhaps to reduce or eliminate keystrokes that could cause errors. It’s early days but this is a promising area for application and solution development.
TMC: Content marketing has become a hot topic recently. Have you defined a content marketing strategy and how has it helped you build your business?
KS: We do have a content marketing strategy. At TELoIP we work to create 6 – 8 new pieces of relevant content per month. These range from short or long form videos, to infographics to blog posts describing how our technology works and how end users can benefit from deploying our technology. We augment this with several ‘live’ events per month usually featuring our founder and CTO where customers and partners can receive unfiltered answers to their questions.
TMC: How have the growing number of high-visibility security breaches impacted your outlook on security? Which breach is of greatest concern?
KS: Last year’s major DDoS attack that shut down major portions of the Internet in October due to hackers using the Mirani botnet as the ‘primary source of malicious attack’. Unlike other botnets, which are typically made up of computers, the Mirai botnet is largely made up of “internet of things” (IoT) devices such as digital cameras and DVR players.
SDN has the potential to solve many key IOT security challenges. We believe that SD-WAN with an embedded Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) security solution will become the obvious choice for most network architects. TELoIP is investing in developing cloud managed firewall capability and a comprehensive SDP solution to lock down and segment networks and prevent reoccurrence of IOT device related DDoS attacks similar to last October’s.
TMC: To what extent are you leveraging APIs to enhance business opportunities?
KS: Our entire product is based upon APIs. As we move forward in time, these will be exposed to business partners to deepen our relationships.
TMC: What percentage of your workforce would you consider mobile? What technology decisions have you made as a result of your mobile workforce, to ensure they have the tools they need to remain productive?
KS: In today’s world we need to consider that 100% of our workforce is ‘mobile’. Therefore, we take advantage of cloud based technologies when and wherever possible to ensure that developers and operations can collaborate on problems 7x24 from wherever they work, live or play.
TMC: How are you handling shadow IT in your business?
KS: The rise in personal apps and Shadow IT is causing a struggle for resources on the typical enterprise network and prevents IT Teams from ensuring full quality of experience for critical applications. There’s only so much bandwidth and resources available. For example, if a group of users decides to start streaming a sporting event or other type of rich media during work hours – this will consume a lot of bandwidth resources and ultimately impact critical applications – like VoIP. If someone needs to make a critical call during this time, you won’t have enough bandwidth to ensure the call runs smoothly or even happens! TELoIP’s SD-WAN solution provides a policy based approach to manage and mitigate the impact of unsanctioned applications on the enterprise and SMB network.
TMC: How has the growth in the managed services market impacted your business?
KS: Our primary channel partners are communications service providers and managed service providers who leverage the TELoIP Cloud to deliver SD-WAN services to their customer community virtually instantly. Therefore, as the community of CSPs/MSPs grow – the number of potential partners for TELoIP grows.
TMC: What emerging technology has the potential to have a disruptive impact on businesses in the coming years?
KS: The Problem – Business Is Moving to Cloud
Network traffic patterns are changing. As recently as 5 years ago, 90% of traffic stayed within the corporate WAN. Access to the Internet was gated through corporate firewalls at key data centers and typically they handled a relatively small percentage of the overall traffic load. The traffic tromboning effect that creates delay and latency variation did not create the impact on the average user when they were performing research tasks or recreational browsing that is seen today the minute enterprises convert to using Office365 in the cloud.
Today, everything is upside down. Internet traffic represents 70% or more of the overall network traffic and the traditional branch to data center corporate traffic represents 30%. It’s not that the traditional traffic load has reduced, in many cases its grown as well albeit at a slower pace, it is that the tsunami of Internet bound traffic has swamped the MPLS backbone. As a result, many public cloud application providers are advocating for direct internet access from each remote site. While this solves the cloud application performance problem, it creates a security nightmare.
Corporate finance has tightened the noose on IT in an attempt to curtail what is perceived as runaway spending and the network is seen as a primary source of savings since it is the last remaining element of IT to be converted to software and virtualized. It is expected that moving to software defined networks will enable organizations to meet the rampant need for bandwidth while curtailing costs and holding the line on overall budgets.
This move to direct internet access has driven the emergence of hybrid WANs with a mix of MPLS and broadband services to support the cloud. This has created a more complex network environment as teams deal with the emerging threats posed by the expanded security environment as the corporate WAN moves from a handful of entry and exit points to hundreds if not thousands of points that need security controls enforced.
The emergence of unified communications and collaboration suites such as Skype for Business has created an absolute requirement for a network which can provide a low latency, low jitter environment suitable for voice and video sessions.
In summary, today’s rigid MPLS network is too costly for today’s network needs and moving to hybrid network designs with a large number of exposure points will create unwarranted stress on IT teams that are budget and resource constrained. Today, IT teams hate their WANs and the SD-WAN ROI is really compelling.
This leads to the promise of SD-WAN.
What if, SD-WAN packets took the best path every time? A dynamic, resilient network is possible utilizing an SD-WAN architecture.
What if, your business-critical apps ran better? With simple access using a commercial internet connections, enterprises can rely on a fast, secure network without having to build out heavy infrastructure. Enterprises can add branch offices or move locations as they please, with agility versus legacy-based MPLS rigid management & infrastructure. SD-WAN layered with WAN optimization ensures that every employee has consistent and seamless access to the enterprises business-critical applications. End users can access apps behind the firewall or SaaS apps in the cloud as if they're working where the applications reside.
What if, SD-WAN made the transition to the cloud simple, cost-effective, and fast? Legacy MPLS typically relies on incumbent global providers to connect branch offices, and when MPLS designs use multiple providers, they cannot inherently provide full transparency. With SD-WAN, every SaaS app becomes faster and more consistent over the Internet. Enterprises can build WANs using broadband connecting users directly to apps. By empowering customers to use broadband connections to augment or replace their current MPLS networks, SD-WAN improves customer responsiveness, increases cloud application performance, significantly reduces capital expense, and reduces operational expenses. SD-WAN provides a single, cohesive, agile centrally managed network, enabling end-to-end, real-time transparency. IT teams get a full view into network and application performance, supporting the business's execution objectives.
What if every connection was encrypted and secure? Protect sensitive data from being stolen and make your applications faster. With MPLS services, inherent protection is provided, but no such assurances are available for the public Cloud when using broadband Internet. Any enterprise data moving to and from cloud services should be encrypted.
What if you could have a dead-simple install? What if your project lead time went from three to six months' obtaining a new MPLS link, to ordering a new commercial internet service from your local cable co. or broadband provider, having that installed in less than a week, and then having an site install that takes minutes versus days. SD-WAN makes that promise a reality.
All of the above, is possible. Let’s look at a real customer case for a moment.
A financial services customer wanted to reduce their WAN cost and simplify the complexity of their network. Their current environment had legacy branch routing technology and firewall technology from a variety of vendors, an MPLS backbone, and they had a desire to use broadband Internet as the WAN in place of MPLS. They also suffered from several low-quality links that connected various branch offices and the core network.
The solution was to use TELoIP’s SD-WAN technology at each branch location, use the SDN Overlays generated as the MPLS backbone replacement. This resulted in a secure network with 10 times the performance, at 70% of the cost, simple to manage, and fast to install.
This is truly disruptive.
KS: I am participating in two sessions in the 5G Summit. The first is The 5G Trios: Small Cells on Wednesday morning at 9:00am. In this session I’ll address six key topics: What is a small cell; I will review a small cell taxonomy; look at key use cases; breakout what the backhaul problems are and examine small cell viability and outlook. The second session is also part of the 5G Summit; it is titled ‘In the End It’s SDN’. This one hour session will focus on software defined networking technologies as a key enabler for 5G. I will look at the technologies involved; what mega-trends are driving the need for SDN with a wireless network; the key 5G use cases and the impact of these use cases on architecture and design. We’ll also evaluate the requirements and service attributes demanded by this use cases and conclude by looking at the integrated 5G RAN / SDN backbone model and outlook.
TMC: What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO 2017?
KS: I am looking forward to meeting potential partners and end users. If you want to meet onsite during the conference DM me at @kevinsuitor
ITEXPO is an industry must for those in communications and networking, as it brings together the crème de la crème of industry thought leadership, and enthusiastically enters the next generation of solutions. Tickets are still available – who doesn’t want to be in sunny South Florida in the middle of February?
Edited by Stefania Viscusi