Layer 123 Reunion: Some Key Network Automation Enablers

Following on from our recent post where we looked at the key takeaways from the recent Layer 123 event in Madrid and while there were numerous presentations and discussions regarding network automation enablers, often reflecting the areas of expertise of the particular standardisation body, analyst, consultant, vendor, SI, etc., we identified a few dominant topics that commanded most attention. Inventory Management Inventory management was a constant and recurring theme in presentations, panel discussions and informal conversations at the Layer123 Reunion: Intelligent Network Automation Congress and indeed the most noted change in emphasis from the Hague event in October 2019. This heightened focus on network inventory management recognises that automation requires high data quality inventories to provide a unified view to align all teams and streamline processes for building and operating the network. From physical/ passive to logical/active, network inventory management provides the tools to detect and reconcile data quality issues. An inventory management platform discovers and documents a fragmented, multi-layered and multi-vendor network. By providing a unified view of the network, processes can be streamlined and a true network Digital Twin (a digital replica of the real network) is enabled providing accurate data and optimised workflow support as well as a Network Simulation Engine enabling: Root-Cause-Analysis Single-Point of-Failure prevention Capacity Analysis, Impact Analysis, e.g. of planned maintenance Real-time, federated (a single, unified view of network information) inventory provides a comprehensive view of the hybrid network and is the single source of truth for the network’s state, enabling reproducible automated deployments, monitoring, etc. As indicated above there were quite a few references to inventory management in the context of network... read more

Layer123 Reunion: Intelligent Network Automation Congress – Some Key Takeaways

Iricent attended the Layer123 Reunion: Intelligent Network Automation Congress held week before last in Madrid. It was great to be back at a physical in-person event again and catch up with up customers, partners and industry colleagues.  It was also a great opportunity to take stock of developments in the network automation sector and it was good to see not just significant advances in solution development, maturation in concepts, etc. in the two plus years since The Hague 2019 Layer 123 event but most importantly how business drivers for network automation were front and centre of the presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, breakouts, etc. This post summarises what were our key takeaways from the event and a follow on post will look at some of the dominant topics that commanded most attention. As always, if you would like to learn more or to discuss any of these topics in more detail then feel free to contact us directly at Drivers for Automation Most of the sessions introduced the business, technical and operational drivers for network automation summarised as follows: Domain Expansion and SDN/NFV Disaggregation Domains keep expanding: – Public 5G, Private 5G, Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Edge Cloud, Backbone WAN, Campus / LAN, Branch. Cloud is ubiquitous with virtualization extending from Edge to Core. SDN/NFV disaggregation has delivered Increased choice and technology innovation Service and business model innovation Multi-vendor collaboration But has also increased complexity and coordination costs Digital Transformation and Network Evolution On-Demand – the Digital Transformation foundation is driving network infrastructure changes to support customer self-service ordering, configuration and management via a portal or API and has... read more

Iricent Awarded Solution Plus (Gold) Partner in the Intel® Network Builders Winners’ Circle Program.

We are delighted to announce that Iricent has been awarded Solution Plus (Gold) Partner status in the 2021 cycle of the Intel® Network Builders Winners’ Circle Program. Iricent, a leading SI in the SDN/NFV space, achieved this prestigious recognition for bringing to market the Iricent NFV Cloud platform which utilises Intel centric uCPE HW with NFVI SW, MANO and VNFs from leading vendor partners. The initial Iricent NFV Cloud use case – uCPE and Edge Cloud deployment for SP and Enterprise Customers – typically focused on SD WAN with a strong emphasis on security given developments in and interest around both SASE and Zero Trust Architectures. Developing use cases include Neutral Host for Mobile both for 5G deployment on vRAN addressing the needs of wholesale infrastructure providers and separately for private mobile deployment as interest continues to grow in this space. The Iricent NFV Cloud service is provided today as a managed offering for Data Centre, Edge and on-Premise deployments. Iricent NFV Cloud is very much a multi-vendor solution where Iricent is working with a range of partners, many of whom are also Intel Network Builders program members including VMWare, ADVA, Fortinet, Dell and Silver Peak (HPE Aruba) among others. For more details, contact us... read more

WEBINAR – Secure access from anywhere to everywhere

  Learn how Secure Managed SD-WAN can help your business in a post pandemic world.   Following on from our recent article detailing the Iricent Secure Managed SD-WAN offering (here), we will be hosting a joint webinar with Fortinet to provide further details for interested customers on the 20th April at 10am. To register, please follow this link or contact us directly on for more details.      ... read more

Secure access from anywhere to everywhere

Iricent recently featured in the Sunday Business Post (28 March 2021) with details of our Secure Managed SD-WAN service using Fortinet Secure SD-WAN. A copy of the article is below and the original can be found here.   With digital transformation under way across every industry sector, secure access to data has become more important than ever. However, given a shifting threat landscape and continued remote-working, traditional security is no longer adequate and not enough to secure networks. The pandemic has driven huge change in working practices, but cloud computing was already making traditional perimeter-based endpoint security redundant. Iricent is leading Irish companies to greater security by deploying Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) and cloud-based Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) infrastructure. Partnering with leading global cybersecurity vendor Fortinet, Iricent’s SD-WAN and SASE solutions deliver the networking capability that keeps businesses running while dealing with the fact that, given data is no longer confined to the office, traditional network security is no longer enough. In a world that has been turned inside out and is seeing more user work performed off the enterprise network than on it, along with more traffic from branch sites and remote offices heading to public clouds than to the centre of enterprise, this new approach is needed more than ever. SD-WAN has emerged as the go-to solution for re-architecting the enterprise network and facilitating digital transformation objectives such as cloud migration. Key reasons for adopting SD-WAN include application visibility and prioritisation, traffic flow control, policy setting, resilience, bandwidth usage reporting and encryption. SASE, meanwhile, recognises that businesses are increasingly reliant on cloud-based applications to run... read more

SD-WAN & SASE Virtual Summit 2020 – Some Key Takeaways

SD-WAN & SASE Virtual Summit 2020 Iricent attended the virtual version of the annual SD-WAN Summit held over three days last week (Nov 24-26). This year’s event expanded on the key topics of previous years: – Branch Access, Multi-Cloud, Edge / IoT and Mobile (5G) with very significant attention to WFH and SASE. SASE even got incorporated into the new event title – “SD-WAN & SASE Virtual Summit 2020”. In this blog we give our take on the key messages delivered in relation to what for us were the main themes at this years event: SD-WAN, SASE, Security / ZTNA, WFH and uCPE. SD-WAN SD-WAN continues its success story, has passed the tipping point and the market is maturing with one major SP reporting that only 3% of organisations have no plans to implement SD-WAN. Another SP declared that: Today, the average SD-WAN project serves about 3 in 10 company sites In 2-3 years, SD-WAN will grow on average to serve more than 6 in 10 company sites It’s not just hype – business leaders are satisfied SD-WAN is a critical technology in supporting the ambition of digital transformation and is seeing an acceleration of demand through the pandemic.             Cloud connectivity and advanced security functions are key decision criteria with increasing diversity in product and solution choices. Main use cases / target markets are Multi-cloud, IoT / Mobile and increasingly Branch at Home. SD-WAN key benefits described variously as bringing network access quality, reliability, security, scalability, ensuring application performance / visibility, automated integration with Azure, AWS, etc. SASE Business everywhere requires security everywhere. As the network boundaries expand... read more

Iricent recognised as a Solution Plus Partner in the Intel® Network Builders annual Winners’ Circle Awards.

We are delighted to announce that once again Iricent has been recognised, this year as a Solution Plus Partner, in the Intel® Network Builders annual Winners’ Circle Awards. The award was achieved for bringing to market the Iricent NFV Cloud platform utilizing Intel® centric uCPE HW with NFVI SW, MANO and VNFs from leading vendor partners. Initial use case is uCPE and Edge Cloud deployment for Service Provider and Enterprise Customers – typically focussed on SD WAN, with other evolving use cases around Neutral Host for Mobile – specifically 5G deployment on vRAN and also IoT. “Iricent will be recognized as a member of the Solution Plus Partner in the Intel® Network Builders annual Winners’ Circle Awards, a program that celebrates outstanding innovation and business acumen that members of our ecosystem are bringing to the networking industry”. We are looking forward to even closer collaboration with Intel® and with our customers as we head into 2021. About Iricent Managed SD-WAN: The Iricent solution for Managed SD-WAN provides both vendor specific based options and a uCPE based option which leverages Iricent’s own Telco Cloud platform. With new cloud applications, mushrooming data and associated workloads, enterprises need a fast, flexible and high-geared network solution coupled with unparalleled application performance. To meet this demand, Iricent’s Managed SD-WAN service empowers our customers to facilitate their cloud migration and digital transformation journeys with choice, flexibility, security and resiliency. Iricent’s Managed SD-WAN offering enables both new and existing customers to leverage the benefits of SD-WAN in a cost effective and flexible manner. For more details, contact us at... read more

Working from Home with SD-WAN …. for less than the cost of a coffee a day

Remote working or working from home (WFH) has become the new normal and for many companies and their staff it is likely to remain a permanent feature of employment for the foreseeable future. As the network perimeter has moved from the branch office to the home office there is a pressing need for enterprises to apply the same policies (security, application prioritisation, etc.) regardless of the employee location or network device. Traditional VPN solutions, while providing security in the form of encryption, do not offer any solutions for application prioritisation or Quality of Service and in some cases can cause further problems by requiring traffic to be directed to a location that might not otherwise be suitable given the traffic type, SaaS applications for example. While SD-WAN has in recent years become the go to solution for enterprise WAN connectivity, deployment complexities and in particular the cost of SD-WAN hardware and licenses has meant that WFH with the benefits that SD-WAN brings has been reserved for larger enterprises and even then for key personnel. Not anymore. As a result of SD-WAN solution design and deployment advances in areas such as Cloud native economies of scale and Zero Touch Provisioning, SD-WAN can now be deployed in the home office for less than the cost* of a coffee a day subject as you would expect to some minimum term commitments. Remote Working (WFH) SD-WAN Use Case We have covered SD-WAN features and benefits in some detail in previous blogs. Key features for Remote Working / WFH scenarios are: Cloud Native Management Zero Touch Provisioning Intent Driven Business Policy Cloud Scale Visibility... read more

SASE (and the role of SD-WAN)

Our series to date has looked at the various features and benefits of SD-WAN and related considerations with adoption, deployment and operation. Increasingly however, many if not all SD-WAN discussions include a significant security element which in itself has taken on a new dynamic with recent changes to how we work and how we deploy network services. This focus on security can be seen across the industry as more and more partnerships and integrations between respective vendors and platforms are announced. Recognising this trend early, Gartner, in 2019, defined the Secure Access Service Edge and coined the term SASE (pronounced sassy) tying together SD-WAN, managed security and edge compute in a single architecture. The motivation for this as outlined by Gartner is straightforward: Digital transformation and adoption of mobile, cloud and edge deployment models fundamentally change network traffic patterns, rendering existing network and security models obsolete The change in network traffic patterns is essentially the inversion of network access requirements with more users, devices, applications, services and data now located outside of the enterprise than inside. Legacy networking and network security architectures were designed for a world that has been turned inside out with more user work performed off the enterprise network than on the enterprise network and more traffic from branch sites and remote offices heading to public clouds than to the enterprise HQ. The requirement to reduce both complexity and latency is driving the need to decrypt and inspect encrypted traffic once only. In turn this is increasing demand for consolidation of networking and security-as-a-service capabilities into a cloud-delivered secure access service edge. Secure access service edge... read more

Reasons to Use a Managed SD-WAN Service

In this  series to date we have talked about the drivers for SD-WAN, the main features and related benefits and also looked at how to overcome some of the more common obstacles with adoption and deployment. This week we will delve a little deeper into one of the main choices to be made when looking at SD-WAN deployment – whether to build and run the network in house (Self Managed) or if it is better to have a third party provide this on behalf of your company (Managed SD-WAN). But first a quick Recap: Digital transformation and the repositioning of business-critical applications to the cloud brings with it many network challenges for enterprises. As a result, the nature of the network is growing more complex for all enterprises. Among the biggest networking complaints is Quality of Service/Quality of Experience (QoS/QoE) with poorly performing applications such as UC disrupting business and giving rise to application performance and prioritisation requirements. SD-WAN has emerged as the go-to solution for re-architecting the enterprise network to overcome these challenges and  facilitate digital transformation objectives such as cloud migration. Key reasons for adopting SD-WAN include: Visibility of which applications, users or devices are consuming bandwidth Control over how application traffic flows are routed Applying policies to suit specific requirements and demands of the respective applications Resilience on an active-active basis across multiple links on a per application priority basis Secure sophisticated encryption to ensure the integrity of data on the network SD-WAN Deployment Choices There are many SD-WAN solutions and many go-to-market models. This had led many organisations to focus too heavily on trying to... read more