As Software-Defined Networking (SDN) evolves, its promise is clear: agility. Enterprises and communication service providers alike have been able to significantly accelerate the time to deliver new applications and services as a direct result of software-defined technology.
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Why don't we have a network, when it's running, it automatically heals itself? You have all the data. It can program itself. You don't need people. You basically focus on an application. You develop an application. You create something innovative, and then the network automatically gives you what you need, reroutes around failure, and as it detects demand, an increase in demand, it automatically scales up.
They wanted to create a service-enablement environment. We had a lot of discussions about what that meant, and it became really apparent that the advent of things like zero touch operations, orchestration, and management was really the goal. They wanted to be able to have a highly automated system where the operations intervention to deploy new services was minimized, their ability to assemble component services, and have new service offerings, and be able to roll that out very rapidly was actually the goal.
Now, what a lot of enterprises have done, they said, "Huh. I don't want to back haul all my traffic over NPLS to my data center to hand off to the internet. I'm paying expensive NPLS prices for that, and I'm adding delay. Okay, what I'll do at my branch office is I'll have a T1 access to an NPLS service, and I'll have some kind of broadband internet access. Some traffic goes here, and some traffic goes there." Well, that kind of static allocation of capacity is an anathema to us these days. One of the definitions of software defined WAN, and we're very early on just in what the definitions are, is to take SDN-type intelligence and functionality to be able to dynamically load-balance over multiple links.