Cisco Live: Deploy Your Network At The Speed of Cloud

Andrea Leonhardt

Equinix is proud to be a bronze sponsor of Cisco Live 2019, which explores the latest innovations in networking, security and the cloud for digital business. During next week’s event in San Diego, we will be unveiling Network Edge, a new Platform Equinix® offering that will enable you to deploy vendor-neutral, virtual network services within minutes. Network Edge leverages network functions virtualization (NFV) to untether network resources, such as routers and firewalls, from specialized physical devices, making it easier, faster and more cost-effective than ever before to deploy network services at the edge.

With our partners, World Wide Technology and Cisco, we will be hosting breakout sessions and demos that will show you how to scale IT and networks services virtually, within minutes, at the digital edge. We hope to see you there!

CISCO Live 2019: Decoding the Future

Modernizing and future-proofing your IT infrastructure is a major theme at Cisco Live 2019 for this year. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the tracks that Equinix will be a part of:

Programmability and Orchestration Track: Using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to interact with devices, networks, software and applications to automate, migrate, manage and troubleshoot.

Using Equinix Network Edge Services to Optimize Digital Transformation from Branch to the Cloud Edge

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2:40 -3:10 p.m.
  • Presented by Equinix and World Wide Technology.
  • Learn how to leverage Platform Equinix and the newly announced Network Edge services solution to modernize your network and accelerate digital transformation by deploying digital-ready infrastructure at the Cloud Edge, virtually. Establish a presence at Equinix virtually to reach interconnection, Cloud and SaaS ecosystems on Platform Equinix in a matter of minutes, while managing it all seamlessly via Cisco SD-WAN.

Enterprise Networks Track: How to plan, design, deploy and manage a single network fabric to accelerate and simplify your enterprise network operations-be it for the branch, campus, WAN or data center.

SD-Branch: Say Hello to Virtualization for More Agile, On-Demand Branch Network Services

  • Thursday, June 13, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Presented by Equinix and Cisco.
  • Revive your branch office networks and transform the customer experience. Consolidate hardware network devices into a single software platform that can deploy business-critical services in minutes. Learn about the different options available to you and why customers are making the decision to virtualize.

These two tracks are good picks if you want to focus on modernizing your network for the digital era. However, you won’t get too far into the tracks without hearing a lot about NFV and SDN. Here’s why they are so important.

What’s all the buzz about NFV?

Remember when computers took up entire rooms, cost millions of dollars and required thousands of technicians to run them? Virtualization has made things a whole lot simpler by greatly reducing and simplifying the number of physical servers and devices needed to run IT infrastructures. In addition to dramatically reducing cost, it has also given rise to flexible, agile platforms, such as cloud computing, that are vital to digital transformation.

This is critical because to survive in this digital landscape, businesses must move at the speed of light. Traditional IT infrastructures built with specialized hardware to perform functions such as serving content, processing transactions or managing network traffic are too inflexible to support this kind of business agility. The new path to nimble is virtualization. And, much like cloud services have replaced specific servers tied to a particular function, NFV shifts network functions from specialized hardware to a standard commoditized approach (see Figure 1).

(Figure 1) – Source: ETIS.Org

The benefits of virtualized network functions are similar to the virtualization of other IT functions-reduced CAPEX, greater agility for scaling up or down as needed, and faster time to market. In addition, the ability to tap into multiple clouds, applications, partners and ecosystems on demand fuels digital innovation, today and into the future.

NFV vs. software-defined networking (SDN)

NFV may seem a lot like software-defined networking (SDN), but there are some key differences. SDN enables you to manage your physical network through software. One or more software-based controllers (the network brains or control plane) manage the routing process while the underlying network infrastructure (the network muscle or data plane) forwards the network packets. By contrast, NFV virtualizes all the network resources in software. For example, physical routers are replaced with virtual devices that can be allocated on demand as needed. In practice, however, it’s usually not one versus the other – SDN and NFV technologies are complementary. SDN provides the network brains, while NFV helps optimize the underlying muscle managing the network traffic flow.

Network Edge – the best of both worlds

With Network Edge, organizations can select, configure and connect virtual network services from industry-leading NFV vendors like Cisco, Juniper and Palo Alto Networks without additional space, power, hardware or equipment. It makes it easy to securely deploy and interconnect virtual network services such as routers, firewalls, private network terminators and WAN load-balancers in minutes versus months.

Source: Equinix, Virtualization Slashes Implementation Times and CAPEX Requirements. Note, currently, Network Edge devices include the Cisco® Cloud Services Router 1000v, Cisco Secure SD-WAN, Juniper vSRX Firewall, and Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Firewall.Additional edge devices will soon be added onto Platform Equinix.

Network Edge also includes built-in integration to Equinix’s global on-demand, SDN-enabled interconnection service, Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™). By combining Network Edge with ECX Fabric, businesses can tap into seamless, ultra-low latency network services closer to end users, clouds, partners and ecosystems in more locations around the world. To compete in today’s and tomorrow’s digital economy, that’s the kind of speed and flexibility that businesses need.

Visit us at Cisco Live 2019 (June 9-13), Equinix booth #2815 and the World Wide Technology booth #2705 for Network Edge demos and breakout sessions. Register for our Cisco Live sessions or schedule a meeting with us at the event.

To learn more, read the Network Edge services launch blog. [JY1]


 

Andrea Leonhardt
Andrea Leonhardt Senior Manager, Product Marketing