In today’s fast-paced, interconnected business environment, enterprises across the board are turning to unified communications (UC) to foster productivity and collaboration. According to InformationWeek’s 2014 Unified Communications Survey, 77 percent of 488 respondents have deployed UC or plan to within 24 months. Unfortunately, many UC deployments are dogged by quality and reliability issues that in most cases are caused by the underlying network.
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) believes software-defined networking (SDN) can be the solution to many of these quality challenges. UC SDN allows UC infrastructure to dynamically interact with the network to make sure the network can meet application-level quality and performance requirements. In this video, a panel of telecommunications leaders explains how UC SDN works in practice, and how it’s being used in actual deployments to improve the quality of experience for end users and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).
The demands on UC systems are growing incredibly. Cloud-based UC and cloud-based video conferencing are on the rise, and the sheer numbers of mobile and other end-user devices continue to explode. UC systems must handle more and more sessions from providers and enterprises, yet visibility and control remain limited. The systems’ growing complexity is driving up operating costs accordingly.
UC SDN combines the reach of UC with the power of SDN. In a standard SDN architecture, the SDN Controller has centralized knowledge and global views of the network, but it does not have the analytical logic to piece things together. UC SDN enables applications to not only communicate with networks, but in many cases program them to ensure apps get the support they need.
While UC SDN is still evolving as a technology, use cases have been created and vendors already are using it to lower TCO and improve end-user experience. In this video, Pascal Menezes, principal program manager of Skype for Business at Microsoft and chair of the IMTC UC SDN Task Group, leads a panel of vendors shipping UC SDN solutions to explain the paradigm and how it’s being used today. The video features speakers from:
- HP: HP’s UC Network Optimizer SDN Application for Lync automates provisioning of network policy and provides dynamic QoS. HP Chief Technologist of UC Manfred Arndt explains HP’s hybrid SDN approach and how others can adopt SDN technology without ripping and replacing infrastructure.
- Sonus: Vice President of Engineering Kevin Isacks highlights UC SDN use cases for Sonus’ NaaS IQ platform. Use cases include automated QoS and enhancing branch connectivity with UC SDN.
- Aruba Networks: Director of Product Marketing Christian Gilby explains how UC SDN can help enterprise meet the challenges of proliferating wireless network devices, and ultimately move toward an all-wireless workplace.
- Nectar Services: Nectar’s Unified Communications Management Platform (UCMP) uses SDN as part of a multivendor monitoring solution that provides comprehensive visibility across any UC environment. Nectar UC SDN use cases cover QoS provisioning, dynamic QoS, and traffic modification and admission control.
Watch the video to learn more about how UC SDN is being deployed today to improve user experience and lower TCO. To get involved with defining use cases or defining a UC SDN framework, check out IMTC’s UC SDN Activity Group.
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