Addressing Enterprise Needs with a Software Defined Network Platform

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1 Addressing Enterprise Needs with a Software Defined Network Platform Dynamic, customizable approach meets customer demand Date: December 2015 Author: Mike Sapien

2 Ovum view Enterprise customers have virtualized their IT platforms, adopted agile development techniques, and started to make the transition to cloud-based services within their IT infrastructure. Customers are now looking to find managed network solutions that can integrate and align with this infrastructure, cloud services, SaaS-based applications, and a distributed workforce. Service providers need to adapt their network services portfolio to a more agile service platform to satisfy these emerging customer requirements. Enterprise managed network service expectations have changed Ovum s research has shown that most enterprise customers have moved their IT infrastructure to virtualized platforms and are also moving to more cloud-based services. Customers typically started with data-center infrastructure and then moved on to their compute and storage IT resources. Now that these customers have made this transition, they see that their managed network services are not virtualized, flexible, or agile enough to integrate with their IT infrastructure or interconnect with their various cloud services. Customers are looking for network services that are dynamic and provide consumption service models aligned with cloud-based services. As IT infrastructure has become more virtualized and on-demand, so must network services become more dynamic, flexible, and customizable including allowing real-time visibility and management features. Surveys have shown that customers see current network offers as inflexible and current fixed managed network services as major pain points. This inhibits and complicates their transition to fully managed, virtualized applications and cloud service platforms. IT decision makers are looking for the same attributes in their managed network services. A dynamic, responsive network service platform is a major ingredient Service providers need to move quickly to create a network service platform that provides more dynamic, flexible service offerings. But it is more than just the platform; they also need to adapt to offer agile service creation and have a focus on the customer experience. This is more than just a simple technology transformation; it also requires major cultural changes that can be more challenging than the technology. SDN and NFV are the major elements within the technology transformation that allow the flexibility but service providers also need to be able to speed up the development cycle and have a keen focus on customer service, service transparency, and multivendor alternatives. Product management processes also require agile development and the DevOps methodology to design, build, test, and refine new network services quickly while allowing customer self-service models. Using this new methodology enables more flexibility, integration, and control by customers. The next-gen network service platform is not built for any single service but rather as the foundation for offering both current and new services including many value-added services such as security and routing features. Ovum expects to see many new virtual services added to this list as the platform matures.

3 Enterprise applications and workloads are driving these changes From recent research, Ovum has found that many enterprise customers are seeing network connectivity as a limiting factor in moving to new cloud-based services and the many SaaS-based services. Customers are also realizing that they have a need for both public and private network connectivity which drives the need for hybrid WAN services rather than depending solely on private network services. Customers see the use of Internet-based applications, along with bring your own device (BYOD) policies, driving the need for this hybrid approach to connectivity. Reducing cost and avoiding the use of the corporate network for best-effort Internet applications are behind this demand. Enterprise customers usually start with their major data center interconnection requirements and then quickly move to the corporate network and multisite locations which require the dynamic, flexible connectivity to provide highly reliable, secure access to major applications. These applications are using various cloud resources and multiple vendors, and are distributed globally. End users are also demanding a higher level of application performance that requires flexible and reliable connectivity. Workloads within the enterprise, including critical workspace applications, now require full support from any location at any time for all end users who now have multiple devices. Benefits from dynamic, customizable managed network services Enterprise customers using dynamic, customizable next-gen managed network services (with valueadded services) can transform their IT infrastructures to meet business needs. Having real-time, ondemand options for the network can provide the required scale, bandwidth, and performance required for IT applications and cloud service interconnections. Customer control and programmability are part of this new network platform. New consumption models allow the customers to pay just for the network connectivity that they need while also being able to spin up or spin down the network in a similar way to VMs on other virtualized IT infrastructure. New sites (offices or stores) can be installed much faster and also support standardized configurations to increase new location turn-ups and reduce service interruptions. Masergy innovations in hybrid WAN, SDN, and NFV solutions Masergy owns and operates one of the largest independent global cloud networking platforms, delivering fully managed global hybrid networks, advanced valued-added services including managed security, unified communications, and other cloud-based services. The company has a long history of introducing innovative and disruptive offers for the enterprise market including this global software defined network platform, which has allowed Masergy to inject and launch new services such as advanced analytics, and impressive network visibility and control for its customers. Innovation has become one of Masergy s differentiators that have given its customers a real competitive advantage. Masergy customer case study brief: Global provider of dosage solutions This global provider of dosage solutions in the healthcare industry has 19 offices on five continents and has become an innovator in its space of global manufacturing. The major elements of its

4 innovation leadership position are: the collaboration among its disparate teams that increases its speed to market; the machines that fill capsules; and the sensors within its manufacturing plants that generate large amounts of the capsules. The use of cloud resources within its IT infrastructure is critical to its success in encouraging internal communications and responding to customer needs. Like many customers, Office365, Sharepoint, Skype for Business, Salesforce.com, Amazon (storage), and Microsoft Azure are all part of its IT infrastructure recipe. Challenges This customer s previous service providers had a rigid network infrastructure with no visibility of or integration with applications which made it difficult to deploy and troubleshoot. Change management tools did not exist and customer service was poor. Keeping up with the latest security threats and securing the network infrastructure was taxing the customer s already limited staff. This customer was looking for a fully-managed agile network services platform (and provider) that was more flexible, removed the complexity, and provided visibility and security as part of its basic service portfolio. The network services had to match the agility, reliability, and security as it deployed cloud-based services. The proper solution had to offer private networking as well as Internet services (hybrid WAN) for its global locations. Benefits Masergy s Software Defined Network platform offers hybrid WAN services globally with the availability and scalability required for customers to deploy cloud services and mission-critical business applications. Bandwidth on demand and network visibility via a self-service portal allowed this customer to adjust services as needed. Managed services (firewall, routers, and additional security features) were all part of the service package along with stellar customer support. With this network solution in place, this customer was able to increase its bandwidth by 40% at the same cost. Figure 1: Masergy Software Defined Network platform Source: Masergy

5 Appendix Author Mike Sapien, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Services Practice Ovum Consulting We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at Copyright notice and disclaimer The contents of this product are protected by international copyright laws, database rights and other intellectual property rights. The owner of these rights is Informa Telecoms and Media Limited, our affiliates or other third party licensors. All product and company names and logos contained within or appearing on this product are the trademarks, service marks or trading names of their respective owners, including Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. This product may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information and content of this product was correct as at the date of first publication, neither Informa Telecoms and Media Limited nor any person engaged or employed by Informa Telecoms and Media Limited accepts any liability for any errors, omissions or other inaccuracies. Readers should independently verify any facts and figures as no liability can be accepted in this regard - readers assume full responsibility and risk accordingly for their use of such information and content. Any views and/or opinions expressed in this product by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited.

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