I had a chance to chat with Carl Weinschenk from IT Business Edge about Virtual IP, WAN virtualization and the other WAN management techniques that are shaping the trends in enterprise IT. Here is an excerpt:
Weinschenk: So you are saying that the basic concept of virtualization can be applied to broadband capacity?
Akin: If you have a box that does that for you as an IT manager, you don’t need to go in and try to manage all the networks because the box itself provides the optimized pipe. Basically, you have multiple WAN resources in that box or whatever entity the functionality is in and by virtualization you are combining them into a virtual IP pipe. The end user sees it as a single pipe.
Weinschenk: In what and where is this deployed?
Akin: It’s usually in an appliance form factor. It’s at the gateway point before the WAN modem. It’s a box. On the customer-facing side of the box, there is a network connector, in most cases Ethernet, which goes into the local network on the LAN side. If you think in terms of a single modem connecting to the local LAN, this goes in line between the modem and the existing network. On the WAN side, there is one connection – to the firewall, in most cases, and on the WAN side multiple Broadband lines are aggregated.
Weinschenk: So you have multiple feeds coming in from carriers – wireless and wired – and one pipe coming out. How is the integrity of each stream maintained?
Akin: That is specific to companies. Some would keep the aggregation granularity at the session level, some at the user level, and some at the packet level. You now have a five-lane highway and are trying to push passengers through the highway. You can use long trains, which would be sessions or, if you want it to be more granular, you may split it into smaller cars and push it that way. You might have different technologies in terms of metering into the highway…
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.