With the recent hot trend around automation and converged data center systems, which feature increased functionality in smaller, tighter boxes, not much has followed suit in the wide-area network sector. Until now, that is.
At the Open Networking User Group (ONUG) Fall 2015 event Nov. 3 in New York City, Glue Networks unveiled new proof-of-concept support for multivendor automation across routers, switches, WAN optimization and controllers, including Citrix Cloudbridge and Cisco IWAN.
This much network cross-pollination may be a first in the WAN optimization business. Glue Networks offers network admins the automated ability to detect and remediate configuration errors in near real time, which can mean the difference between the enterprise making or losing millions of dollars a day.
Gartner Research has estimated that mid- to large-size enterprises can lose an average of $42,000 or more per hour to downed IT networks.
"Every network is different, so how do you automate something that's different every time?" Jeff Gray, founder and CEO of Glue Networks, told eWEEK. "Typically, with automation you have a known process which is repeatable. So, if it's different, how do you accomplish that?
"The second piece is multivendor. The user community has been clamoring for this. How do you create a unified management plane where you have these different islands of vendors, while one vendor on its own is hard enough to manage? Finally, what about interoperability? That's what the user community is asking for."
Those are the problems Glue Networks solves with its Gluware 2.0 platform, Gray said. "We've opened up the platform [in v2.0] with Gluware Lab, where we've opened up the rapid-development environment to release all the customers' best practices to the community," he said. "They all go into Gluware Control, where all the dynamic modeling, provisioning, and life cycle management takes place."
Gluware 2.0—yes, the company spells the product name this way—showed its multivendor proof of concept at ONUG, highlighting the following benefits:
-- Vendor-agnostic platform: Eliminates the need for network engineers to learn specific syntax and semantic rules for the command-line interface (CLI) of supported device features.
-- Single graphical user interface: Gluware Control allows for the management of multivendor devices in a single, easy-to-use interface for better organization, asset control, tracking and life cycle management of network appliances at remote sites or branches.
-- Unified policy orchestration: Provides a single platform for orchestrating security, compliance and control policies on supported devices across the network.
-- Extensibility: Gluware Lab allows for custom configuration of additional devices not already supported in Gluware Control.
"Glue Networks' network-aware, customizable SD-WAN orchestration platform is built around the DevOps principles of designing, validating, deploying and managing SD-WAN, now for multiple vendor environments," Nick Lippis, co-founder and vice chairman of the Open Networking User Group, said.
"This simplifies network deployment through the reduction of manual processes and automating many process tasks, which boosts network agility and enables control of network evolution, which is what the ONUG community has been advocating."