Avaya has introduced a framework to help enterprises manage networks across campuses. The framework includes the Pivot platform for distributing virtual network functions (VNFs), the Arc orchestration system, and a new switch optimized for this architecture.
The company is referring to the architecture as the “everywhere data center.” The phrase appears to come from the application of networking techniques developed specifically for traffic within data centers to now also include traffic generated at the edge.
New business applications and second-generation Internet of Things (IoT) devices generate traffic at the edge that gets sent back to centralized data centers to pick up security and network services, then on to another segment at the edge, Avaya explained. That path increases latency and cost, while adding what Avaya contends is an unnecessary burden on both software and hardware resources along the way.
Deploying additional, dedicated appliances closer to the edge for cross segment communication seems like a solution, but would instead be counterproductive, Avaya said, because it would significantly increase network complexity, expense, and risk while negatively impacting scalability.
Avaya’s alternative is based on the introduction of its new Pivot operating platform, which creates the ability to deploy VNFs anywhere in the network. The Arc orchestration engine is used to automatically chain these VNFs into services using centralized policy-based tools. Individual functions could include network virtualization, firewall, and specialized gateways, which are selected based upon the unique requirements of a particular application, the company explained.
Complementing the Avaya Pivot operating platform is the new Avaya VSP 8600 Modular Switch with purpose-built hardware to address Everywhere Data Center requirements. The VSP 8600 incorporates an architecture with control processors on every interface card which, when used in combination with Avaya Pivot, can provide ample load balanced processing power to deliver network functions virtualization (NFV), according to the company.
Avaya Vice President of Fabric Networking Liam Kiely, said in a statement, “With new challenges from traffic at the campus edge, Avaya is leveraging proven models taken from the data center ‘clean room’ applying them to the more fragmented environment of the campus. The Avaya Pivot operating platform provides native NFV support on virtual machines or containers, including support for virtualized network operating systems. As the complementary orchestration component, Avaya Arc provides a means to automate service deployment and create intent-based service chains. Ultimately, the Everywhere Data Center can reduce latency, cost, and risk while preserving or enhancing scalability.”