IBM – Network at the Speed of Life

Three Business Blog Team
On: 6 Oct 2015
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By guest blogger: Steven Teitzel, Global Solution Executive – Network Transformation, IBM

The business decisions have been made, the plan for expansion is a go, and now is the time to move… But the time to deploy the new branch locations or to expand services is delayed due to a simple need for connectivity, a new network capacity, or a network reconfiguration. Business often needs to change at the speed of life and so does your network.

Today, to make changes to the network often requires shipping new boxes, manually reconfiguring network components, and waiting. Tomorrow, those changes and expansions will happen at the speed of life as the network shifts from physical boxes to virtual ones, built automatically without manual intervention from order to operation, and for less as it leverages the power of the cloud.

There is a whole new set of acronyms erupting on the technology scene with technology shifts of network function virtualisation and software defined networks, with terms like NFV, SDN, VIM, vCPE, MANO, and more. As businesses seek to take advantage of new technology shifts they can very easily get lost in a maze of new acronyms that have emerged. But what they mean is that business will be able to now move at the speed of the decisions it makes to seize new opportunities or move with market shifts.

Networks have often been a gating factor of business change even though they have increased with speed and mobility, they have remained built on physical boxes and purpose built appliances. In the past few years, service providers and equipment manufacturers have been shifting to move from a physical to a virtual implementation and shifting to apply the economics of Moore’s Law, the speed of the cloud, and enable a world of network innovation not seen before.

Service providers will soon be implementing software defined networks and network function virtualization (SDN and NFV) capabilities that will help the network world take advantage of the cloud. Instead of shipping new boxes, software will be deployed on a cloud platform speeding up time to value. The cloud will allow for the automation of previously manual processes so the network can change at the speed of the machine instead of waiting for a manual reconfiguration taking days to sometimes weeks that can delay expansion of business capacity. New ideas can be implemented, tested, and then deployed to allow new business capability.

SDN will enable deploying a fabric of communication within and between technology centers to connect applications and network functions. NFV allows cost of deployment and operation of a network environment to be lower cost and more automated. Together with the world of IT in the cloud the speed of network innovation will change to an agile DevOps world to meet the speed of life.

But let’s face it, technology is nice but communication is better. Bottom line, business seeks communication today to provide a seamless experience as users go through their world today with what they want, when they want it and where they want it. SDN and NFV will enable this. Network at the speed of life. Business at the speed of life.