ONUG Working Groups serve the vital function of addressing top challenges in tech. The six groups within the ONUG community are a vehicle for generating industry change. A recent webinar highlighted four of the Working Groups, describing their objectives, priorities, and future plans. This is a summary of the Elastic Infrastructure SD-WAN Working Group. Presenting their team’s progress was Steve Wood of Cisco, Regis Rogers of Capital Kingdom, Sal Rannazzasi of Global Network Architect, Nuno Ferreira of Volterra, and Ted Turner of Kentik. Watch the entire webinar, and follow along as we highlight each Working Group’s progress.
Rogers launched the discussion by describing the evolution of elastic infrastructure. “We’re coming up on a very important inflection point, going from a collection of orchestrated pipes to fabric connecting, scalable software services. It’s a fundamentally different shift.” Rogers’ graphic showed a convergence between network, security, and application services while emphasizing that the community needs the simplicity of usage and integration.
Rogers also discussed how important it is for the vendor community to provide a programmable way to bring services to the edge, whether it’s the cloud or the CO-LO edge. “Over the last five years, we’ve begged the vendor community for this. They are finally coming around, but there’s still a huge opportunity to improve.” The Working Group is focused on this evolution and how vendors must adapt to meet the needs of all industries.
Wood agreed and added that the biggest change for SD-WAN is going to be in the consumption model. What services do we place in the network? Networks must become more API driven, with the controller becoming the integrated service manager for the enterprise. That includes controlling SD-WAN, underlays, as well as managing security through SaaS. Enterprises must be able to mix and match to meet their needs.
Rannazzasi joined the panel to summarize the big shift to the edge, saying “The bottom line is that we have to become more elastic.” Illustrating the strength of ONUG’s Working Groups, he used his own experience as a case study. “Every day we’re seeing mergers, acquisitions, campuses closing, campuses opening, new sites being set up, etc. We can’t keep up.” These dynamics, along with COVID-19, have forced his company to ask, “Do we really need all these campuses and wired locations?” It’s critical to figure it out because “business suffers when we can’t keep up.” Rannazzasi outlined the main changes that are taking place in traditional WAN.
“Latency is the new currency,” said Rannazzasi. Taking all external connectivity and moving to a CO-LO will help reduce latency. Rannazzasi predicts that most services will move to the CO-LO, enabling companies to build out an entire infrastructure without buying hardware, changing from a capital model to an operational model.
“However, the network must be completely ubiquitous.” Drawing from experience just this morning, Rannazzasi related that a user needed to put a 10 -gig research guide on his desktop. To meet business needs, the network must be API driven. The user should be able to plug in and have an API that automatically gives him the bandwidth he needs.
Rannazzasi outlined services that are moving to CO-LO:
Wood agreed, adding that making a more cloud-like consumption model is important. The infrastructure is already there. “You’re just buying an access point and creating a fabric for yourself over a CO-LO,” he explained. “You’re just setting up services. That’s where elastic infrastructure is heading.”
Ferreira first added his view of the evolution of elastic infrastructure. “Location should not matter anymore. Infrastructure needs to adapt. Most companies now have a plan to move all assets to the cloud within five years, transitioning to a SaaS consumption model and reducing on-prem assets. That shift presents new challenges that he summed up here.
Next, Ferreira outlined three ways to address these challenges.
Turner summed up key needs the group will focus on as they move forward.
This Working Group, as well as others, are looking for IT executives, network operators, and those in the vendor community to help shape the future. Contribute your use cases. Demonstrate your innovation, and share your digitization journey. For more information about ONUG Working Groups, click here. Contact us to learn more about the ONUG community.