Avaya is introducing a new platform that lets enterprises and midsize businesses deploy and manage their wired and wireless networks through the cloud.
At the IP Expo show in London this week, Avaya officials unveiled the Avaya Cloud Networking Platform, which gives customers a centralized resource to more easily manage and gain visibility into their network infrastructures without having to deal with controller appliances or overlay management software.
The changing nature of the business world—more distributed and more digital—is putting greater demands on network infrastructures to be more dynamic and easier to manage. A cloud-based offering brings more simplicity to an increasingly complex space and enables easier management of both wired and wireless network infrastructures, according to Jean Turgeon, chief technologist at Avaya Networking.
"As the demand for unified access solutions continues to grow, the burden of managing and securing networks has become nearly untenable, especially at a time when there's pressure to reduce IT budgets and resources," Turgeon said in a statement, adding that the company's Cloud Networking Platform is designed to offer both a cost-effective and secure solution.
Businesses not only are giving more attention to cloud-based solutions, but also are looking for more unified offerings that can manage both wired and wireless networks. The demand for more unified wired and wireless infrastructures is helping drive deals in the networking industry, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise's $3 billion acquisition last year of Aruba Networks, Brocade's $1.2 billion deal to buy Ruckus Wireless and Extreme Networks' decision to grab Zebra Technologies' wireless LAN business for $55 million.
The WLAN segment is among the fastest growing in the networking industry. According to IDC analysts, the enterprise WLAN market in the second quarter grew 9.4 percent year-over-year, fueled in large part by the transition by businesses into becoming digital enterprises.
"Recognizing the critical role that WLAN plays in IT's mobility and digital initiatives, enterprises are committing to WLAN upgrades and refreshes," Nolan Greene, senior research analyst for network infrastructure at IDC, said in a statement last month. "Even as global economic indicators are mixed … enterprises will continue to invest in robust WLAN infrastructure in order to compete effectively in the digital economy."
Through the company's cloud-based platform, switches, access points and other hardware installed on-premises can be configured and managed in the cloud, and network services can be added, changed or modified from a dashboard, according to Avaya officials.
The Avaya Cloud Networking Platform offers zero-touch activation of wireless access points and switches, automated software updates and simplified license management, they said. The vendor also has integrated guest and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) on-boarding capabilities. The platform also is a multi-tenant offering for greater data isolation for the various organizations using the cloud and all communication is encrypted.
Other capabilities include the wireless access points running autonomously even when the cloud connection is lost, with traffic and security processed at each access point at the network's edge. The platform can support thousands of network devices, officials said.
Avaya's platform will be available with support for wireless networks in November, and wired support coming at a later date.