Japan’s NTT Ltd. today announced the launch of Edge-as-a-Service, a managed edge compute platform that gives enterprises the ability to deploy quickly, manage and monitor applications closer to the edge.
NTT and VMware, in collaboration with Intel (whose role was not specified), are partnering to innovate on edge-focused solutions and services. NTT uses VMware’s Edge Compute Stack to power its new Edge-as-a-Service offering. Additionally, VMware is adopting NTT’s Private 5G technologies as part of its edge solution. The companies will jointly market the offering through coordinated co-innovation, sales, and business development.
NTT’s Edge-as-a-Service offering is a globally available integrated solution that accelerates business process automation. It delivers near-zero latency for enterprise applications at the network edge, optimizing costs and boosting end-user experiences in a secure environment.
NTT’s Edge-as-a-Service offering, powered by VMware’s Edge Compute Stack, includes Private 5G connectivity and will be delivered by NTT across its global footprint running on Intel network and edge technology. This work is an extension of NTT’s current membership in VMware’s Cloud Partner Program. VMware and NTT will each market their corresponding new services to their respective customer bases.
“Combining Edge and Private 5G is a game changer for our customers and the entire industry, and we are making it available today,” said Shahid Ahmed, Group EVP, New Ventures and Innovation CEO, NTT.
“The combination of NTT and VMware’s Edge Compute Stack and Private 5G delivers a unique solution that will drive powerful outcomes for enterprises eager to optimize the performance and cost efficiencies of critical applications at the network edge. Minimum latency, maximum processing power, and global coverage are exactly what enterprises need to accelerate their unique digital transformation journeys.”
“The whole premise behind it is that many of our customers are looking for an end-to-end solution when they’re buying either edge or private 5G architectures as opposed to buying edge compute from XYZ and then a private 5G from somebody else and an IoT solution from someone else. So we thought we would do a full one-stop solution for our customers, particularly those that are in manufacturing and industrial sectors.” Ahmed also said that NTT will also be able to break these services apart for customers that just want one of the services, but they will all be managed by NTT.
Ahmed added: “We have a very simple pricing structure, which is predictable and tier-based so the customer doesn’t have to put up upfront capex, it’s all opex based. Obviously, some verticals like to purchase or acquire technology as a capex, so we can do that as well.”
As factories increase their reliance on robotics, vehicles become autonomous, and manufacturers move to omnichannel models, there is a greater need for distributed compute processing power and data storage with near-instantaneous response times. VMware’s secure application development, resource management automation, and real-time processing capabilities combined with NTT’s multi-cloud and edge platforms, creates a fully integrated Edge+Private 5G managed service. VMware and NTT’s innovative offering resides closer to where the data is generated or collected, enabling enterprises to access and react to information instantaneously.
This solution, which leverages seamless multi-cloud and multi-tenant connectivity, combined with NTT’s capabilities in network segmentation, and expertise with movement from private to public 5G, provides critical benefits for multiple industries, including manufacturing, retail, logistics, and entertainment.
“Enterprises are increasingly distributed — from the digital architecture they rely on to the human workforce that powers their business daily. This has spurred a sea change across every industry, altering where data is produced, delivered, and consumed,” said Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager, service provider, and edge business unit, VMware. “Bringing VMware’s Edge Compute Stack to NTT’s Edge-as-a-Service will enable our mutual customers to build, run, manage, connect and better protect edge-native applications at the Near and Far Edge while leveraging consistent infrastructure and operations with the power of edge computing.”
NTT’s Edge-as-a-Service platform was developed to help secure, optimize and simplify organizations’ digital transformation journeys. Edge-as-a-Service is part of NTT’s Managed Service portfolio, which includes Network-as-a-Service and Multi-Cloud-as-a-Service, all designed for enterprises to focus on their core business.
According to a recently published report by Dell’Oro Group, the worldwide SD-WAN market grew 45% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior year. Cisco maintained the top position for the revenue share for the quarter and was followed by Fortinet and VMware in the second and third spots.
“Enterprises are upgrading network infrastructures at accelerated rates compared to pre-pandemic times, and our research finds that the SD-WAN market is growing at strong double-digit rates in all regions of the world,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Because SD-WAN is software-based technology, the global supply chain disruptions have had less of an effect compared to hardware-based networking products,” added Umeda.
Additional highlights from the 3Q 2021 SD-WAN Report:
- The SD-WAN market continues to consolidate around a small number of vendors with the top six vendors accounting for 69 percent market share in 3Q 2021.
- Cisco’s quarterly SD-WAN revenue nearly doubled in 3Q 2021 with especially strong growth in the North America region.
- The market for hardware-based Access Routers grew quarterly revenues for the first time in almost two years.
The Dell’Oro Group SD-WAN & Enterprise Router Quarterly Report offers complete, in-depth coverage of the SD-WAN and Enterprise Router markets for future current and historical periods. The report includes qualitative analysis and detailed statistics for manufacture revenue by regions, customer types, and use cases, average selling prices, and unit and port shipments. To purchase these reports, please contact us by email at [email protected].
Dell’Oro Group is a market research firm that specializes in strategic competitive analysis in the telecommunications, networks, and data center IT markets. Our firm provides in-depth quantitative data and qualitative analysis to facilitate critical, fact-based business decisions. For more information, contact Dell’Oro Group at +1.650.622.9400 or visit www.delloro.com.
Separately, Frost & Sullivan recently analyzed the global SD-WAN vendor market, and recognized Fortinet with the 2021 Global SD-WAN Vendor Product Leadership Award for transforming and securing the WAN. Fortinet’s Security-driven Networking approach to SD-WAN enables a wide range of use cases including secure and optimized connections to cloud-based applications. The company’s Secure SD-WAN solution integrates SD-WAN capabilities, advanced routing functions, next-generation firewall (NGFW), and zero trust network access (ZTNA) proxy on a single appliance or a single virtual machine (VM) to deliver secure networking capability. The solution can be deployed in a virtual or physical format on-premise or as a VM in the cloud, with a throughput of 20 Gbps, the highest available in the industry.
Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution, powered by the industry’s first SOC4 SD-WAN ASIC [1.] for accelerated performance, features an unrestricted WAN bandwidth consumption model on appliances that is unique in the industry. Cloud adoption continues to grow, but enterprises have generally struggled to implement and maintain a secure, high-performing WAN that allows for efficient access to cloud-based applications across their user base. With the rise in remote working and with distributed users accessing cloud-hosted applications, the enterprise perimeter is no longer limited to users within the company site. Fortinet’s solution securely connects users to cloud-based applications delivering consistent policies off- and on-network.
Note 1. On Apr 9, 2019 John Maddison, EVP of product and solutions, Fortinet said:
“The WAN edge is now a part of digital attack surfaces, but the edge of your network must never be a bottleneck. For branch offices, the ability to provide best-of-breed WAN Edge — including SD-WAN, WAN optimization, security and orchestration — with optimal performance and security is critical to enable the digital experience. Fortinet’s SoC4 SD-WAN ASIC allows organizations to realize security-driven networking whether they have 100 or 10,000 branch offices.”
Roopa Honnachari, VP of Research, Network Services & Edge, explained that “Fortinet has been a long-time leader in the network security market, which has enabled them to deliver a solution that tightly knits advanced security features with SD-WAN. Though Fortinet is best known as a security company, they have shown their strength and innovation in networking as one of the top SD-WAN solutions on the market capable of supporting enterprise digital transformation.”
To break the perception that it is a security vendor that also does SD-WAN and to eliminate the risk of not appealing to enterprise infrastructure or network decision makers, the company has consciously focused on highlighting its routing and networking capabilities in marketing activities and proofs of concept.”
With its focus on SD-WAN with integrated advanced security and ability to deliver multiple functions in a single hardware appliance or VM, Fortinet has experienced significant growth in the last three years. The company sells 100% through channel partners, including large telcos, such as AT&T, Verizon, British Telecom, Masergy, GTT, KDDI, Orange, and Windstream, that are looking to add secure SD-WAN to their portfolios. As a result, Fortinet has nearly doubled its revenue.
Honnachari added that “Fortinet has emerged as a formidable competitor in the enterprise secure networking space. While the company has always served as a leading competitor in the network security space, the transformation to adding SD-WAN, NGFW, ZTNA access proxy, and advanced routing capabilities on a single operating system and managed by a single console is highly commendable.”
Cisco is a leader in this Magic Quadrant. It has two branded offerings: Cisco SD-WAN powered by Viptela and Cisco SD-WAN powered by Meraki. Both include hardware and software appliances, and associated orchestration and management. Cisco also provides optional additional security via the Cisco Umbrella Security Internet Gateway (SIG) platform. Cisco is based in California, U.S., and has more than 40,000 WAN edge customers. The vendor operates globally and addresses customers of all sizes, in all verticals. We expect the vendor to continue to invest in this market, particularly in the areas of improved self-healing capabilities, new consumption-based pricing models and integrated security to enable a single-vendor SASE offering.
Fortinet is a leader in this Magic Quadrant. Its offering is the FortiGate Secure SD-WAN product, which includes physical, virtual appliances and cloud-based services managed with FortiManager orchestrator. Fortinet is based in Sunnyvale, California, U.S., and Gartner estimates that it has more than 34,000 WAN edge customers with more than 10,000 SD-WAN customers. FortiOS v.7.0 combines ZTNA to its broad WAN and network security functionalities to deliver a capable SASE offering. It has a wide global presence, addressing customers across multiple verticals and sizes. We expect the vendor to continue investing in SASE, artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) and 5G functionality.
VMware is a leader in this Magic Quadrant. Its offering is branded as VMware SD-WAN, and is part of VMware SASE. The offering includes edge appliances (hardware and software), gateways — VMware points of presence (POPs) offering various services — and an orchestrator and its Edge Network Intelligence. VMware provides additional optional security via VMware Cloud Web Security and VMware Secure Access. Based in California, U.S., it has more than 14,000 SD-WAN customers. The vendor operates globally and addresses customers of all sizes, and in all verticals. Gartner expects the vendor to continue investments in this market, including enhancing options for remote workers and building out its SASE offering.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid market acceptance. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.
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VMware has announced new advancements for VMware Cloud on AWS [1.], a multi-cloud computing infrastructure. The new innovations include a new portfolio of managed Kubernetes services to modernize apps on VMware Cloud. The new functions will make it simpler and safer to run enterprise apps in VMware Cloud. This new VMware initiative supports the need for customers to run their IT software in sovereign clouds, as well as technology previews that showcase the future of VMware Cloud.
Note 1. VMware Cloud on AWS is the preferred service for AWS for all vSphere-based workloads [2.]. VMware Cloud on AWS brings VMware’s enterprise-class SDDC (Software Defined Data Center) [3.] software to the AWS Cloud with optimized access to native AWS services. Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware Cloud on AWS integrates VMware’s compute, storage, and network virtualization products (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, and VMware NSX [4.]) along with VMware vCenter Server management, optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure.
VMware Cloud on AWS uses NSX-T to create and manage internal SDDC (Software Defined Data Center) networks and provide endpoints for VPN connections from the customer’s on-premises network infrastructure. This subnet is used by the vCenter, NSX, and HCX appliances in the SDDC.
Note 2. vSphere is a server virtualization software application from VMware. It debuted in 2009 as the successor to the company’s flagship VMware Infrastructure solution and serves as a complete platform for implementing and managing virtual machine (VM) infrastructure on a large scale.
Note 3. A SDDC network has two notional tiers:
- Tier 0 handles north-south traffic (traffic leaving or entering the SDDC, or between the
Management and Compute gateways).
- Tier 1 handles east-west traffic (traffic between routed network segments within the SDDC).
Note 4. NSX is a network virtualization and security platform that enables the virtual cloud network, a software-defined approach to networking that extends across data centers, clouds and application frameworks.
The company said that together, the innovations will give VMware Cloud customers more tools to accelerate modernization of their enterprise apps, increase business agility and resiliency, and significantly reduce costs compared to existing approaches.
VMware Cloud on AWS is an integrated cloud offering jointly developed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware.
VMware Cloud with Tanzu services (see illustration below) is a new portfolio of managed Kubernetes services that will be available at no additional charge as part of VMware Cloud on AWS (see illustration above), for enterprise-grade Kubernetes on a fully managed, hybrid-cloud ready Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for all enterprise applications.
IT admins will be able to use the VMware vCenter interface to unify VM and container management on a common platform and provision Kubernetes clusters within minutes. Platform operators or SREs will be able to manage Kubernetes clusters consistently across clouds using Tanzu services as a multi-cloud Kubernetes management plane.
VMware Cloud with Tanzu services
Tanzu services include the following capabilities:
- Managed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service: ision Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes using a simple, fast, and self-service experience in the VMware Cloud console. The underlying SDDC infrastructure and capacity required for Kubernetes workloads is fully managed by VMware. Use vCenter Server for managing Kubernetes workloads by deploying Kubernetes clusters, provisioning role-based access and allocating capacity for Developer teams. Manage multiple TKG clusters as namespaces with observability, troubleshooting and resiliency in vCenter Server.
- Built in support for Tanzu Mission Control Essentials: Attach upstream compliant Kubernetes clusters including Amazon EKS and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters. Manage lifecycle for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters and centralize platform operations for Kubernetes clusters using the Kubernetes management plane offered by Tanzu Mission Control. Tanzu Mission Control provides a global visibility across clusters and clouds and increases security and governance by automating operational tasks such as access and security management at scale.
Tanzu services on the VMware Cloud on AWS platform brings together the three personas working on modern applications. vSphere Administrators manage virtual machines on-premises and in the cloud and allocate resources for platform operators to deploy workloads. The operators use Tanzu Mission Control to manage and maintain clusters across environments. Developers can create code using a flexible platform for container and virtual machine-based workloads.
The managed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service, which is one of the Tanzu services, will enable admins to provision Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes using a simple, fast, and self-service experience in the VMware Cloud console.
- The underlying SDDC (Software Defined Data Center) infrastructure and capacity required for Kubernetes workloads is fully managed by VMware. Use vCenter Server for managing containerized workloads by deploying Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters, provisioning role-based access and allocating capacity for Developer teams.
- One can manage multiple TKG clusters as namespaces with observability, troubleshooting and resiliency in vCenter Server.
Dell Technologies announced it has started offering a co-branded SD-WAN service with its affiliate VMware, based on the latter’s VeloCloud platform. Previewed at Dell Technologies World in May, the new service is now globally available and supported.
This Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution combines VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud with modern appliances in multiple configuration options. The service is backed by Dell EMC support, supply chains, and services.
“Dell EMC and VMware are rebuilding the network for the cloud era – with everything open, automated and software-defined,” said Tom Burns, senior vice president & general manager, Dell EMC Networking & Solutions. “New SD-WAN solutions powered by VMware and network fabric management delivered by SmartFabric Director raise the stakes when it comes to network virtualization and security in today’s highly-distributed software-defined enterprise. We’re just getting started on our combined innovation.”
Collaboration between Dell EMC and VMware to:
- Re-define the network for the cloud era with tighter integration and combined development efforts
- Modernize network operations and reduce WAN costs with new Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution – one-stop solution combining VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, Dell EMC managed infrastructure
- Simplify data center fabric deployment, operations through enhanced visibility across virtual and physical networks with new Dell EMC SmartFabric Director
Customers have a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. Software subscription options can be upgraded to accommodate changing business requirements for features, duration and bandwidth.
The Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution has three key components:
- SD-WAN Edge powered by VMware – networking specific, purpose-built appliances designed for high efficiency and reliability
- SD-WAN Orchestrator – cloud-based management and orchestration software services from VMware, managed by Dell EMC
- SD-WAN Gateways – a global network of more secure, application-focused access gateways from VMware to handle WAN traffic
At VMworld, Dell EMC and VMware also announced SmartFabric Director, for software-defined networking that enables the physical switch underlay infrastructure to keep pace with the changing demands of virtualized and software-defined networks. Dell EMC SmartFabric Director enables data center operators to build, operate and monitor an open network underlay fabric based on Dell EMC PowerSwitch Series switches.
The Dell EMC SmartFabric Director is a network orchestration solution jointly developed with VMware that enables organizations to synchronize the deployment of a physical switch fabric with the virtual network and gain comprehensive visibility at both the physical and virtual network layers. Organizations can then potentially configure the network fabric in significantly less time than traditional methods. When integrating the SmartFabric Director with VMware vCenter or NSX/NSX-T, organizations can achieve end-to-end visibility of the physical network and all supported virtual overlays. To help organizations continuously monitor fabric health, SmartFabric employs telemetry to collect switch operational data and display metrics graphically at both the network fabric and switch levels. SmartFabric Director extends the two related companies’ shared vision of a software-defined data center by simplifying the definition, creation and deployment of data center fabrics with intent-based auto-provisioning and enhanced visibility and management between virtual and physical network environments.
Key features include:
- VMware vSphere and VMware NSX-T Data Center Integration – Tight integration with VMware vCenter and NSX-T enables the physical underlay/fabric to be correctly provisioned for the smooth functioning of application workloads in a VMware software-defined data center
- Leaf/Spine Fabric Automation – SmartFabric Director uses a declarative model that allows the user to express intent with a set of three well-defined fabric types. Fabric discovery is an ongoing process and ensures that the wiring is consistent with the user-defined intent and removes guesswork for rapid auto-provisioning
- Fabric Visibility – SmartFabric Director supports highly scalable and flexible streaming telemetry to gather key operational data and statistics from the fabric switches. Comprehensive, highly-intuitive visualization of the time-series data and other information greatly simplifies day-to-day fabric operations
- Fabric Lifecycle Management – Upgrading switch images is a critical operation in a data center. SmartFabric Director automates the download, install and verification process and ensures that switches are upgraded with the correct images
Dell said that this new service is important for organizations that are using the network virtualization version of SDN [1.] and need to help make sure their physical underlay networks are finely tuned for their overlay network environment. A lack of visibility between the two layers can lead to provisioning and configuration errors, hampering network performance. The new product will be available worldwide in September.
Note 1. The classical version of SDN, with a centralized controller and packet forwarding engines replacing hop by hop IP routers never really gained critical market mass, despite claims by Guru Parulkar, PhD, that everything else was “SDN WASHING.”
“Our customers today expect us to deliver the best and most advanced network solutions to solve their business needs,” said QOS Networks CEO, Frank Cittadino. “As a trusted partner to Dell EMC, we’re excited to do that with an SD-WAN solution that marries cost effective hardware with a dedicated orchestrator and VMware gateway. We combine that with our 5-Tool monitoring and management platform.”
“ESG was impressed with how the Dell EMC SmartFabric Director can help organizations to gain comprehensive visibility into the physical and virtual layers of their core networks and ensure that they are synchronized,” said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG Research. “We see how the SmartFabric Director can significantly ease the time-consuming process of creating and deploying a network fabric, while simultaneously verifying it will operate as intended.”
“VMware and Dell EMC are driving public cloud simplicity and utility across the entire network,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit, VMware. “With this new SD-WAN solution, Dell EMC customers will be able to leverage the industry’s only hyperscale architecture for SD-WAN deployed at thousands of customers and more than 150,000 locations globally. Our joint engineering on SmartFabric Director will offer customers a tightly-integrated solution for physical to virtual networking visibility, further simplifying network operations and troubleshooting.”
- Dell EMC Networking
- ESG Research Lab: SmartFabric Director First Look report: Read how it can help build simple, efficient and open fabrics for VMware virtual network deployments
- ESG Research Lab video: Watch Bob Laliberte from ESG discuss the reasons why customers will want to use SmartFabric Director
- Dell Technologies video: A quick conversation about SD-WAN solutions with networking leaders Tom Burns (Dell EMC) & Tom Gillis (VMware)