You’ve probably saved all kinds cash by virtualizing hardware instead of investing capital in physical machinery. In the process, you’ve saved office space, sold equipment you no longer need, and dramatically cut your air conditioning bill. But savings gained by reducing CapEx often translate into higher operating expenses. Luckily, there are ways you can virtualize to reduce your OpEx too.
Software Defined Networking
The next phase in virtualization does to networking what server virtualization did to servers. A software defined network (SDN) separates the networking your virtual machines need from the actual networking so that new virtual networks can be layered on top of infrastructure almost instantly.
SDNs are smarter than traditional networks. They can be designed to intelligently route network traffic to maximize data flow and keep real-time communications much more real-time. And labor intensive network setup required for new applications can drop from a month (the average according to Global Knowledge) to just a few minutes, because provisioning is centralized and automated on a much more responsive and cost effective pipeline.
How to not overspend on bandwidth
A dynamically managed virtual network can cut bandwidth costs too. Traditionally, enterprises plan for traffic spikes by over provisioning bandwidth. It’s a solution that evolved because of the way data travels through, and between, networks. Packet flow isn’t uniform, just like cars on the freeway, there are clumps, and wide-open stretches, and rush hours. But according to Enterprise Networking Planet, WAN virtualization makes better use of bandwidth by directing traffic in a way that, “lets enterprises dynamically maximize resource usage and increase network redundancy.” In the post, Dr. Cahit Jay Akin, goes on to explain that SDN technology blends Internet lines “into a single connection, increasing connectivity speeds, managing bandwidth and easing latency within IP tunnels.” So your organization doesn’t need to overspend on bandwidth. Instead, you make the most of what you already have.
How SDNs make you sound better
Sure, bandwidth is getting cheaper. But overpaying is overpaying. And this is about more than saving money. Streamlining your network data flows over virtualized networks creates an environment for your Internet phone connections that reduces jitter, latency, and packet loss by making sure voice packets get where they need to be without interruption. Quality improves dramatically.
You know those conversations that are taken up with too much discussion about the terrible quality of the connection? Virtualization as a means to optimize your network helps clear that up. If you’re keeping up with the connection and collaboration needs of your organization by implementing Unified Communications, managing your traffic more intelligently will help you integrate systems and services more smoothly. A smarter network delivers voice, video, chat, and other communications data in priority to eliminate interruptions to give your productivity a competitive boost.