Innovating the Future

Enterprise data networks have evolved rapidly over the last few decades, and are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. Today, enterprise networks are rich with complexity and capability. Voice and video have converged with data onto a single IP-over-Ethernet infrastructure. Wireless Ethernet connectivity has become ubiquitous. High levels of security, reliability and manageability are now a basic expectation.

Despite the huge amount of progress made so far, there is no room for complacency. Technical advances are driven by the need to meet challenges, and there are still plenty of problems arising in the realm of enterprise networking. More innovation is needed, and so Enterprise networking continues to innovate to meet everyday challenges such as:

  • Dealing with the mobility, diversity and rapid advancement of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), while maintaining the security, reliability and performance of the network is a unique challenge.
  • The flip-side of BYOD is that mobile users expect to have the ability to check email, update records and examine data—anywhere, anytime.
  • For effective disaster recovery, organizations need real-time mirroring of servers to an offsite location and a process to cut over to running services live from that offsite location.
  • Convergence of real-time services like VoIP, video conferencing, surveillance video, machine control and IoT data onto a single Enterprise network still creates problems to be solved.
  • Private data centers require that Enterprise networks are much more responsive to meet the typical data center requirements of low-latency, high bandwidth data transfer, as well as rapid response to services moving between physical hosts.
  • Cloud-based applications and services put unprecedented pressure on Internet connections, creating another growing bandwidth management headache.

Choose Your SDN

The industry is continually developing new ways of working that will meet these current challenges, and further evolve the operation of Enterprise networking. Frequently, these initiatives are collectively described as Software Defined Networking (SDN). However, as with any umbrella term, SDN means different things to different people.

SDN can mean using the OpenFlow protocol to control traffic flows across a group of network devices from an intelligent software application. Allied Telesis supports this view and has developed a world-leading OpenFlow implementation into most of our X Series switches and our TQ wireless access points. We also have an intelligent software controller, called Secure Enterprise SDN, which enables a powerful security solution at the network edge.

SDN can also mean the ability to take software control of the network devices—either via OpenFlow or by other means. In addition the features described above, Allied Telesis switches support a RESTful API that provides easy access to certain functions and information within the network device. This API enables easy integration with custom applications so that customers can create their own software-driven tools to get increased value from their network.

We believe that SDN means using software to relieve the burden of everyday networking tasks. Therefore we have developed a suite of smart technologies and tools to deliver real and immediate value to Enterprise networks:

  • Our network operating system has many smart and time-saving features built-in, from powerful scripts that can be run automatically by event-driven triggers, to user-friendly tools like FindMe that flash all the lights on a switch to help locate it in a busy server room.
  • Autonomous Management Framework (AMF) is a popular network automation solution for busy networks. It automates many common tasks and simplifies management of large networks.
  • Autonomous Wireless Controller (AWC) reduces management effort by continuously optimizing the configuration of a wireless network for the best coverage. This takes the guesswork out of deploying wireless access points and negates the need for expensive site surveys.
  • Vista Manager EX is our graphical management tool that integrates with AMF and AWC to provide a powerful yet intuitive single-pane-of-glass view of your network. It is the platform that will help us deliver many more intelligent time-saving tools in the future.

Build Tomorrow's Network

SDN and its associated tools are important technologies that will enable organizations to overcome today’s challenges and will continue to evolve to overcome the challenges of tomorrow.