Delta Airlines lost millions of dollars this week, according to a Wall Street Journal report, all caused by a single, malfunctioning networking device (reported as a “switchgear problem”). The early estimates of the cost of the outage are not taking into effect the bad publicity and PR this outage created, as well as the bitter taste for passengers who had to miss their flights, and in some cases sleep at the airport overnight. Business continuity, in today’s world, is a not a luxury, but a must-have.
If the business relies on services that are mission critical and can’t afford downtime, a modern management of networking is required. This applies both for the Local Area Network (LAN) of the organization, as well as the connectivity of the organization to the larger Internet, namely, the Wide Area Network (WAN). In today’s connected business world, mission critical applications are no longer limited to a few specialized industry specific services, but rather covers everything from phone systems, to security, to accessing corporate data – in other words, it covers the core components of the business operations. That’s why business continuity cannot be an afterthought but needs to be designed into the architecture proactively.
Data centers are a microcosm of this larger problem, where services and connectivity live within a restricted space. Issues such as downtime, configuration errors, and device management problems have led to a brilliant networking solution known as Software Defined Networking or SDN, whereby software driven management, configuration and monitoring is targeted and optimized, therefore greatly reducing human error from network operations. By overlaying special network functions (known as Virtual Network Functions) one can introduce redundancy, self-healing and auto-recovery aspects into the data-center with relative ease. Virtualization of servers and storage elements have the same design goal, where redundancy and auto failover is designed in proactively, as opposed to a reactive approach when problems arise.
Similarly, for Wide Area Networks, a software driven resiliency approach is possible with SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN), whereby software driven algorithms and functions called Virtual Network Functions (VNF) can be overlaid on top of the real WAN connections, thereby providing redundancy and network self-healing for the utmost business continuity.
Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc.
Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.