Getting From ‘Could’ To ‘Cloud’

In a recent email, an esteemed co-worker* typed ‘could era,’ when he/she intended to write ‘cloud era.’ Or perhaps they were the victim of another one of those unfortunate spell-check autocorrects like ‘covfefemay have been – or not. It’s best to leave that to the political pundits to try to decipher.

But that coworker’s innocent typo is food for thought. How many IT managers out there are still wrestling with maximizing the potential of private, public or hybrid clouds? What is keeping them from getting from a best-effort ‘could’ to a fully optimized, powerhouse ‘cloud’ that supports critical business initiatives while streamlining the network?

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) has been identified as an important step in full cloud optimization. However, a recent survey found several factors inhibiting the adoption of NFV. The leading factor cited was the lack of a compelling business case. Certainly it is hard to quantify the return on investment (ROI) of ‘soft’ benefits like reducing the time needed to deploy new services, achieve greater flexibility in network management, and to improve the end-user experience. However, many of these variables can be recast into pure CAPEX and OPEX numbers that will help prove the case.

We’ve also heard from numerous IT managers that implementing NFV, and SR-IOV in particular, is difficult to the point of hair-pulling frustration. On this and the previously mentioned concern, Array can help.

Array’s AVX Series Network Functions Platform is the first product of its kind to fully address the problems of deploying network functions virtualization, specifically in the realm of networking, security and application delivery virtual appliances (VAs) and virtualized network functions (VNFs).

In terms of building the business case, the AVX Series offers several capabilities that can be directly tied to CAPEX, OPEX and ROI. For example:

  • Consolidate the functions of multiple (and expensive) physical/dedicated appliances (such as next-gen firewalls, SSL VPNs, load balancers and WAFs) into a single, one- to two-RU platform – saving rack space, power, cooling and other costs
  • Deploy best-of-breed VAs or VNFs on the fly, with a streamlined configuration and the ability to service chain functions (more on that later)
  • Pay-as-you-grow – rather than investing all at once and up front, you can purchase Array licenses singly, or in 4, 8, 16 or 32-packs. (Depending on the model and instance sizes, the AVX Series supports up to eight, 16 or 32 instances.) So if you need just a few instances of networking or security functions now, you can easily upgrade later to support more instances
  • Choose the size instance that meets your needs, and receive guaranteed performance per instance. For example, you might select a small instance size for an SSL VPN VA that receives fairly light usage (like IT staff remoting in to a management console), but choose a large instance size for a NGFW function that is a main security measure protecting multiple servers and other assets
  • Select best-of-breed technologies. While there are a number of “combo” products available that combine two or more functions on a single dedicated appliance, typically two key issues arise: First, the manufacturer may specialize in one function, while others are afterthoughts that cannot really be seen as best of breed. Second, every physical appliances has limits on the amount of resources (compute, I/O, etc.) available. It’s not uncommon to see performance issues for the ‘afterthought’ technologies that can impact user experience, due to resource contention

Demystifying and streamlining NFV and SR-IOV deployment is another area where Array’s Network Functions Platform shines. As mentioned above, one of the factors that have slowed NFV adoption is the sheer complexity of deployment. Adding to the problem is that IT staff retraining and reskilling are costly and time-consuming.

The AVX Series abstracts and streamlines the complexity of NFV deployment and management, and offers an easy-to-use WebUI to further simplify set-up and deployment. VA/VNF licenses for Array and other best-of-breed products (such as Fortinet FortiGate NGFW and Positive Technologies’ WAF at present) can be ordered directly from the interface.

Instances can be created or modified size-wise on the fly. Set-up of SR-IOV for instances is similarly simplified. All required configurations are accomplished with just a click or two. Service chains or topologies can also be set up with just a few clicks. For example, traffic could first be routed through a next-gen firewall VA, then to one or more application delivery controller VAs for load balancing across multiple servers, all within the AVX Series.

NFV is a goal for many organizations worldwide. With the AVX Series Network Functions Platform, getting from ‘could’ to ‘cloud’ has never been easier.

For a brief overview of the AVX Series, see our corporate video. For a more in-depth discussion, see one of our recent webinars titled Consolidating ADCs on Next Gen Network Functions Platforms.



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Exclusive Group Acquires US VAD – Fine Tec

Latest deal enriches global partner value, accelerates access to US markets and creates bridgehead for future Americas expansion

PARIS, FRANCE & SAN JOSE, UNITED STATES – July 10th 2017 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today advanced its global distribution partner offering with the acquisition of leading Silicon Valley-headquartered cyber security VAD, Fine Tec.  The move places Exclusive Group at the heart of the world’s largest cyber security market; complementing its existing global presence throughout the EMEA and APAC regions.  Global systems integrators, service providers and vendors, as well as large North American reseller partners, will be the chief beneficiaries as Exclusive Group extends its unique, highly successful ‘Disruptive Distribution’ blueprint with an established local player that already shares similar DNA and value-adding culture.    
“This will be a major step forward for our global proposition as we harness US-based skills, resources and relationships to support the execution of worldwide deals with large systems integrator partners and to advance our unique formula into the domestic market,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group.  “Fine Tec is as an operationally excellent business with a strong services capability and successful reputation for delivering value in a highly competitive environment.  It represents a great opportunity to integrate a culturally-aligned business into our global family, and we look forward to working with Fine Tec CEO James Shen and his team to build on their success and accelerate growth throughout the region.”
“This is great news for everyone connected with Fine Tec family as it validates the approach we’ve taken to value-added distribution in the US for nearly 20 years,” said James Shen, Fine Tec President & CEO.  “The Exclusive Group story is well known and we’ve admired it from afar, but now with the Group’s global reach and resources it opens up many new opportunities for our partners.  It really is an exciting time as there is true opportunity to extend the disruptive distribution model to the US, whilst the ambition for us to grow internationally is finally released.”
Fine Tec is a value-added distributor in network security, data integrity and storage solutions, with significant services and training capabilities.  The move follows Exclusive Group’s recent appointment of Patrick Huth as VP Alliances Americas, who will be instrumental in enabling new partner and vendor opportunities alongside Fine Tec’s existing leadership team.  The successful integration of the Fine Tec business is set to increase Exclusive Group’s forecast revenues for the full year 2017 to 1.8bn€ ($2bn).
About Exclusive Group
Exclusive Group is the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group accelerating the growth of disruptive and innovative technologies around the world.  Its people are committed to the high-growth imperatives of ambitious IT vendors and fueled by a strong culture of ambition, entrepreneurialism and sustainable growth.
With 50+ offices across five continents and presence in over 100 countries, Exclusive Group brings all the essential elements of a proven winning strategy for market entry and growth.  Redefining value and enabling new market opportunities through “Disruptive Distribution” is at the heart of the Exclusive Group proposition through its cybersecurity brand, Exclusive Networks, and datacentre transformation division, BigTec.  This is complemented by the extensive and innovative capabilities of PASSport Global Services, and the comprehensive, integrated commercial leasing offerings delivered by Exclusive Capital.
About Fine Tec
Starting as a value-added distributor (VAD) in the year 2000, Fine Tec has become the heart of an ecosystem comprised of leading and emerging technology vendors who provide network-security and data-integrity solutions for our broad network of resellers across North America. We’ve done this by maximizing sales opportunities for our partners while removing the hurdles that impede business transactions from before the sale to after the deployment.
For more information contact:
Avani Gala
(408) 459-6766

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Learn about Fortinet’s Secures SD-WAN Solution

July 12th, 2017

In this webinar you will learn how to:

• Reduce Costs and Complexity in Distributed Enterprise Environments with SD-WAN.
• Consolidate and simplify security and networking deployments while gaining visibility throughout your distributed enterprise.
• Deploy agile security to keep up with advanced threats, including those hiding in SSL-encrypted traffic.

Download the presentation here     View the webcast recording