Nuage Networks, a division of Nokia, was an early innovator in the Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) realm. Originally, Nuage broadened its SDN data center automation technology to include branch coverage, calling the solution SD-VPN. Nuage CEO Sunil Khandekar said, “Our vision of SDN was not only in the data center but also in the wide area.”
Many SD-WAN companies have created their products to optimize application performance at the branch level, but that approach faced bandwidth limitations. As a result, those vendors developed software-managed overlay technologies that treat various transport links at the branch as one link. The Nuage SD-WAN philosophy is to approach the problem from the opposite direction: First be responsive to the needs of more applications, regardless of their location.
“Our premise is that the nature of connectivity itself is changing because of the cloud,” said Khandekar. “Don’t just connect branches together and forget about automating the cloud.” Nuage SD-WAN uses a single network policy framework that distributes business policies and network intelligence across both the data center and the WAN.
Nuage SD-WAN Policy Approach
According to Nokia, Nuage’s Virtualized Service Platform (VSP) provides one framework for policy-based automation across the data center and WAN deployment, which can help telecom operators synchronize their MPLS VPN, hybrid WAN, and hosted-cloud services. The platform also supports cloud orchestration platforms based on open-source standards such as OpenStack and CloudStack.
Nuage VSP promises WAN functionality “on the customer’s terms.” Highlights of the Nuage SD-WAN solution include the following:
- Make your network as dynamic and consumable as compute infrastructure by automating the instantiation of network and security services
- Increase business agility by putting cloud networks, services, and remote sites into production quickly enough to meet immediate business demand
- Make your network flexible and future-proof by leveraging open source and emerging tools to extend a corporate and cloud-wide platform across all technologies
- Scale to meet the demands of thousands of tenants with unique application requirements, distinct security policies, and committed service levels
Nuage Networks VSP includes a cloud service management plane, a data center control plane, and a data center data plane. The platform is made up of three key software-based components: a Virtualized Services Controller (VSC programs the data center network independent of data center networking hardware), a Virtualized Services Directory (VSD is a policy, business logic and analytics engine that supports the abstract definition of network services), and Virtual Routing and Switching (the VRS module serves as a virtual endpoint for network services).
Nuage SD-WAN Positioning
In 2016, IHS Markit cited Nokia as one of the market’s top SDN vendors, based on a survey of global services providers that had deployed or planned to deploy SDN and NFV platforms. The vendor was singled out as having the greatest brand awareness in terms of SDN orchestration software. Nuage was also singled out by Gartner as “Cool Vendor” in enterprise communications strategies in 2014.