Is WAN Consolidation Part of IT Consolidation?
Enterprises are moving their various applications and services that have been living in unconnected silos into single, consolidated frameworks. A concrete example is data center consolidation where the applications and services that used to live in independent servers within the branch offices, are now all pulled into a single service framework that is deployed into a single data center. This service-level consolidation is unavoidable simply because of its simplified IT infrastructure, which translates into savings on the operating cost, which is usually 70% of the IT budget.
At the application layer, consolidation is also full steam ahead, thanks to the server virtualization architectures that have reached the maturity levels needed for enterprise prime time deployment. This allows IT departments to maintain a smaller set of servers that can cater to more than one type of applications via the virtualized environments. This again translates into simple-to-manage infrastructure and therefore cost savings.
The third leg of IT consolidation is on the WAN connectivity side, namely WAN consolidation. As the application and service consolidation projects move forward, these apps and services are exclusively delivered through the WAN connections that connect the office to the data center that hosts the consolidated IT infrastructure. This creates a newly emergent risk as a function of WAN reliability and WAN performance and therefore highlights the importance of WAN performance and reliability even more.
Managing various office location WAN connectivity at multi-regional or multi-national levels is a very costly operation and is now more important than ever because of the reliance on the WAN by the consolidated apps and services. Technologies that provide easy centralized management of the WAN resources are providing the WAN consolidation piece that adds performance and reliability to the WAN connectivity to complete the IT consolidation puzzle.
Call it Software Defined Networking, WAN Virtualization or Broadband Bonding, these types of emerging technologies facilitate IT consolidation in the true sense of the word. They leverage load balancing, WAN aggregation, WAN bonding, and DSL bonding technologies to add redundancy, failover, and high performance to the networks. Prime examples would be a multi-office network where MPLS failover is provided via bonded DSL, or MPLS is bonded directly with DSL, or even in some cases, bonded DSL can replace the MPLS connectivity for a branch office entirely.
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.