& cplSiteName &

RG CTO: App-Aware Services Coming Soon

Carol Wilson
3/23/2010
50%
50%

Technology, cost, and customer interest are converging to make application-aware network services a viable and popular option, according to one long-time backer of such services -- Kamran Sistanizadeh, CTO of Global Cloud Xchange .

But there are key industry-standard technologies that must be deployed to support end-to-end delivery of an application-aware service on a global basis, he says.

"I have been talking about this for almost 15 years now," says Sistanizadeh, who will be a panelist at Light Reading's Ethernet Expo Europe 2010 in April. (See Ethernet Europe Lineup Announced.)

"I would say within the next nine to 18 months, there will be an upsurge of demand on application awareness in the sense that providers like us of Layer 2 and Layer 3 service offerings have to be able to differentiate applications and prioritize them on a global basis," he says.

The goal is to give multinational corporations the ability to control headquarters and branch office connections from a centralized point, regardless of the means of access, and deliver a consistent performance of applications over that end-to-end network, Sistanizadeh says.

"This is very different from what we used to do on a metro basis," he says. "It requires understanding applications on a global basis and insuring, for example, that a branch office in Asia talking to a main headquarters in Seattle is in synch with different Citrix applications or Exchange applications -- or any kind of CRM [customer relationship management] or ERP [enterprise resource planning] applications."

Starting small
Reliance Globalcom is doing this today with some customers, although not yet at scale. While declining to name vendors, Sistanizadeh says RG's application awareness platform combines technologies such as Deep Packet Inspection with network optimization, both in software and in appliances, to create a platform for global connectivity and application optimization.

"What is very important is that it is not just the network provider's view, but also the customer's view via a dashboard that operates in real time," he said. "You can define what the real time means separately, but that can allow the customer to manage applications and to view the application SLAs [service level agreements] based on the contract that he has with the service provider."

The application-aware platform takes into account any form of access from DSL up through native Ethernet interfaces and optical access, to accommodate different technologies in use in different countries, and mask the complexities of managing compression, acceleration, and prioritization in a single bundled service package, according to Sistanizadeh.

Reliance Globalcom is offering its dashboard to customers today, often initially selling the service for limited deployment in a headquarters and a sample set of branch offices. In that way, the capabilities of the service can be proved before they go corporation-wide.

"Once they feel comfortable, then on a graduated basis, we roll it out to other locations," Sistanizadeh said

That comfort level includes getting the configuration management of the specific applications aligned with the business needs so the customer's dashboard can accurately reflect business priorities, Sistanizadeh said.

Interfacing for the future
One major challenge to delivering application-aware networks is the need to have external network-to-network interfaces that enable service providers to offer application awareness on an end-to-end basis, recognizing that no single network goes everywhere in the world and there is always need to buy terminating facilities from other service providers.

While the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) and the MEF have worked to develop standards, deployment varies from equipment vendor to equipment vendor, and therefore from service provider to service provider.

"When you are connecting two networks together, we need to make sure that configuration management, provisioning, isolation of trouble, surveillance... are standard at the operational level, that we have a common view across these clouds, so to speak," Sistanizadeh says. "If we can do that on a global basis with service providers that are our partners, then we can do this end-to-end management of application in a seamless manner."

The industry's challenge is to see how quickly standards can be adopted and implemented to bring those capabilities to customers, he adds.

"So if we can do ENNI in a global manner and adopt more resilient feature functionality across the networks, I would say that would solve probably 80 percent of the problems," Sistanizadeh says. "In general, the industry has embraced that [idea], but it may be 12 to 18 months before we see that happen."

Service providers would then differentiate based on service delivery, service management, and the intelligence they deliver at the end points, he adds.

In general, Reliance Globalcom is happy with what its vendors are delivering today, recognizing that there is "an iterative process" for adding functionality through which a service provider and its vendors must work, Sistanizadeh says.

He admits, however, that consolidation within the vendor community and the tighter economy have led to less innovation in the networking industry than existed at the height of the telecom bubble, in the late '90s, when Sistanizadeh co-founded Yipes! and brought Gigabit Ethernet to the market. (See Reliance Bags Yipes for $300M.)

Both today's era and that of the telecom boom have their pros and cons, he says. There was greater innovation happening much faster in those days, Sistanizadeh says, but more "scalability, robustness resiliency as well as consistency across suppliers" today.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
What Does Automation Mean to You?
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives