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Communications Reimagined.

Expand the Intelligent Edge with Cloud for Better Performance and Security

Eric McMurry
Director of CTO Office, Oracle Communications

Edge computing is on the rise globally, as business-critical cloud traffic exponentially increases and as 5G communications, AI applications and IoT implementations come to fruition. IT professionals will have to determine how edge and cloud complement each other. While cloud brings the benefit of enormous resource pools, sophisticated operations, and evolving business models, there are many use cases where compute, networking, and handling of data needs to take place closer to end users, providing greater value and enabling services that would otherwise be impossible.

The true benefits of edge are realized when combined with the cloud. Each is part of a broader universe of offerings that combine multiple edges and edges with multicloud services. This combination brings the advantages of cloud and edge to where they make the most business sense. For example, security and policy management can be handled effectively at the edge—next to the traffic— but centralized cloud capabilities bring increased functionality and lower cost.

One of the key areas where the hybrid edge-cloud approach shines is SD-WAN. With corporate WANs increasingly core to business, there will be little tolerance for any downtime—which has proven to be extremely expensive—to the tune of US$5,600/minute by some estimates, and as astounding as US$1 million annually for midsize firms.

Performance Enhancements

SD-WAN architecture relies on centralized application-based policy controllers for both intelligent path selection and sophisticated routing, so cloud management is critical to supercharging orchestration processing at the network edge. In fact, calling on cloud resources for the heavy lifting of analytics and powerful AI and ML algorithms, while relying on computed policy-based enforcement at the edge, brings the best of both worlds to enterprise networking and IT teams.

SD-WAN also is essential to other edge and hybrid services. High quality interconnection is a requirement, and integration of SD-WAN with cloud and edge services is the best way to ensure reliability and efficient operations across all the parts of the overall service. This integration, as well as synergies at the edge, were important for driving our recent announcement about acquiring SD-WAN innovator Talari, which adds reliability and predictability to SD-WAN implementations.

Security and Reliability Enhancements

Most enterprises are starting to see that session border controllers (SBCs) and firewalls are not enough on their own to meet all of their security and reliability needs. Combining SBC and SD-WAN addresses this in ways that also bring the strengths of hybrid and edge networks into play. In Oracle's case, the SBC voice gateway acts as a firewall at the edge of a network, and the Failsafe SD- WAN intelligently complements it with the best possible links for meeting SLAs as any latency sensitive traffic (eg. Voice) speeds through the WAN.

This SBC and SD-WAN combo will ensure better voice quality and security overall, with Failsafe providing predictable application performance for both TCP-based apps and real-time apps like VoIP and video conferencing, regardless of whether they were built on a hybrid MPLS plus Internet WAN fabric or a WAN made up only of Internet connections.

At the edge of networks, session border controllers (SBCs) and firewalls are no longer enough on their own. With the SBC voice gateway acting as a firewall at the edge of a network, the Failsafe SD-WAN intelligently complements it by providing the best possible links for meeting SLAs as any latency-sensitive traffic (e.g., voice) speeds through the WAN. This will ensure better voice quality and security overall. Failsafe innovation ensures predictable application performance for both TCP-based apps and real-time apps like VoIP and video conferencing, whether built on a hybrid MPLS plus Internet WAN fabric, or a WAN made up only of Internet connections.  The combination of SD-WAN is fundamental to hybrid edge services for mobile networks as well.  For more on this, register for our webinar taking place January 22, "5G and Cloud, Accelerating New Growth Opportunities for Operators." The convergence of multicloud, SD-WAN and SBC services and infrastructure enables a new range of increased capabilities at greater scale for security services and real time communications, which we cover in our on-demand webinar, "Taming Enterprise Communications Security Architecture Through Intelligent Data-Driven Analytics."

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