Integrating Network Infrastructure for Competitive Advantage by mmw12015

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 4

									                                                   FIS EVENT COVERAGE: AT&T




                              Integrating Network
                                  Infrastructure
                                 for Competitive
                                   Advantage
                            What opportunities do the convergence of network technologies present?
                      Is convergence all about IT? How should they embark on their convergence journey?
                     Does it make sense to integrate the enterprise network with that of a service provider?
                          AT&T, which operates a global network serving the world’s largest companies,
                                       and its customer Hong Kong CSL offer their insight:




                                              Convergence Benefits                                              AT&T in



T
           he network has come a long         First, a converged networking                                     Asia Pacific
           way since when it was used         infrastructure can help enhance the
           primarily to connect branch        operational efficiencies and productivity.
           offices to the head office. Now    Business applications perform more                Network Integration
           a critical component of the IT     reliably and deliver greater value after          Services Scope
           fabric in many enterprises, it     the divisions that separate legacy                • Program/Project Management
ser ves up data, applications and             networks have been erased through                 • LAN/WAN Setup & Hardware Resell
ser vices, engenders new business             convergence.                                      • Security Services
models, keeps the enterprise secure,                                                            • VoIP/IPT service/Video conference
ensures its resiliency, facilitates growth,   A second benefit is enhanced                      • Design & Solution
and allows it to communicate internally       organizational agility. By integrating            • Build up & Deployment
and with its customers and other parties.     multiple communication channels and               • Maintenance
                                              increasing the richness of commun-
All this is made possible by the              ications, converged systems can move              Number of Nodes
convergence of network technologies.          information to the people who need it             • 84 MPLS service nodes in 17 markets
Once thought of simply as the ability to      faster. This results in decisions that are        Number of Remote Access PoPs
send digitized voice and data over a          made and implemented quickly, shorter             • Over 1,500 dial-up PoPs in 27
shared network, convergence is today          time-to-market cycles and enhanced                countries
seen as beneficial to virtually every         workflow responsiveness to real                   • Over 4,200 Wi-Fi hotspots in 12
enterprise activity. Adoptions trends         business needs.                                   countries
testify to this: in a 2005 global survey,                                                       • Cellular access in Japan
60% of executives said they will have         Converged systems also increase                   Other Facilities
deployed converged networks across            management’s ability to control activi-           • 4 international network hubs
most or all of their organizations by 2008.   ties across the organization, identify            • Customer Operation Centers in 7
Almost half said they consider                changing circumstances and adjust                 countries
convergence important or critical to          network performance in response to                • 3 Network Operation Centers
achieving their strategic IT and business     those changes, Mr. Jenkins added. This            • 8 Internet Data Centers
objectives.                                   allows the organization to adapt more
                                              effectively to marketplace changes.               Industry Recognition
“The foundation of ever y business                                                              • Ranked as one of top global WAN
depends on the performance of its             How can enterprises start moving                  service providers by Forrestor (May
underlying network. Optimizing this           their organizations to a converged                2005)
network to support voice, video and           environment?                                      • Received Frost & Sullivan 2005
data applications and creating a single                                                         Managed Telecom Product Line
converged network allows an enterprise        S a i d M r. J e n k i n s , “ T h e ke y s t o   Strategy Award (Sept 2005)
to create powerful new methods to help        convergence success are to understand             • Received multiple Telemark Gold
it strengthen organizational perfor-          what convergence can achieve for your             Awards for IP Business Services (Dec
mance and efficiency in several key           organization, determine which conver-             2005)
dimensions,” said Michael Jenkins,            gence areas will provide the greatest             • Placed in ‘Leader Quadrant’ in
Director Network Integration, AT&T.           benefit, and plan and implement the               Gartner Global, Pan-European, and
                                              steps required to make convergence                Asia/Pacific Network
                                              a success.”                                       • Service Provider Magic Quadrant
                                                                                                (Jun 2005 through Jan 2006)
                                                         FIS EVENT COVERAGE: AT&T



Four-Point Framework                     A) Integrate Mobile and                             B) Enable Network with MPLS
AT&T, through its engagements               Fixed Access Options                             Companies are replacing multiple single-
with thousands of enterprise             Modern enterprises depend on a variety of           purpose networks for data transport, voice
                                         access devices, media, transmission protocols       communication, video communication, data
customers, has developed a
                                         and technologies to keep employees connected        storage, etc. by converging the functions onto
Fo u r Po i n t Fr a m e w o r k f o r
                                         to customers, suppliers and each other. In the      MPLS-based multi-service networks.            .
implementing converged
                                         past, access was viewed as an ‘add on’ instead
networking. Each of these focal
                                         of a core capability. That view has changed,        MPLS networks offer the privacy of Frame Relay
points promises significant                                                                  and ATM networks, provide the flexibility
                                         and enterprises are managing access as part
benefits, and in each, managers          of their networks.                                     accorded by IP technology, enables any-
have key issues to take into                                                                       to-any connectivity, and provide full
account as they plan for and             “How do you assess when it’s time to                        routing capability – all on one common
implement their convergence              integrate access into the network?                           infrastructure.    .
strategies.                              Take the ‘more-better-less’ test: Does
                                         your business require more coverage?                         MPLS network planning should begin
Enterprises should view the four         Do your users need better features,                          with a detailed analysis of which
focal points as opportunity              functions, capabilities, SLAs? Do you                        applications will use the network,
areas, not sequential steps, said        want to see less complexity and cost                        how much bandwidth they will
Mr. Jenkins. “Each organization          in your network?” asked Mr. Jenkins.                       require and the usage patterns and
will want to analyze its indi-                                                                    enterprise locations the network must
vidual needs before deciding to          “If your answers are yes, begin with an               accommodate.
pursue one, several or all four.         inventory of your endpoints, including any
It’s not really a matter of where        employee, location, server or device that           “Consider too your need for redundancy and
your starting point is. It's really      connects to your network. Then consider the         business continuity and the kinds of edge
                                         applications required by each user group. What      devices and access technologies you will use.
where you want your end state
                                         performance do they need, in terms of speed,        Multinational enterprises must also consider
to be.”
                                         applications, services and access methods?          the higher cost of international bandwidth and
                                         With this information in hand, you can establish    how to manage the sometimes inconsistent
The four focal points are:
                                         criteria for SLAs, prices and security levels –     standards and protocols in use by local service
                                         and access integration can proceed.”            .   providers.”



                                         C) Optimize Application Infrastructure              D) Take Advantage of Services
                                         Increasingly, enterprises are replacing legacy         Over Internet Protocol
                                         infrastructures, characterized by separate          Instead of using separate voice, video,
                                         network elements, systems and applications,         conferencing and messaging services,
                                         with a converged, unified and dynamic               businesses can gain efficiencies and new
                                         application infrastructure that increases           capabilities by integrating these into a
                                         reliability and performance of their mission-       seamless communications environment.
                                         critical applications, and simplifies the job of    IP is the unifying technology that makes
                                         making applications work together.                  possible an extraordinary level of converg-
                                                                                             ence and interoperability among communi-
                                         To get started in optimizing the applications       cations systems, applications and devices.
                                         infrastructure, enterprises need to find answers
                                         to such questions as:                               To prepare for the transition to Services over
                                         • What applications are essential to operations     IP, Mr. Jenkins said, enterprise should:
                                         today, and what new applications will be in use     • Create an inventory to assess IP flows and
                                         in the future?                                      feature functionality requirements.
                                         • Who uses these applications and how do they       • Consider the level of interoperability that
                                         access them? How can consistent levels of           exists across communications infrastructure –
                                         per formance be delivered to users in all           and how much it needs to be expanded to
“The keys to convergence                 locations?                                          deliver services over IP.
success are to understand                • To what extent must the various applications      • Develop a multi-year IP communications
the business needs,                      interact and exchange information with each         evolution plan to align technology capabilities
                                         other?                                              with business objectives.
evaluate the objectives
                                         • Are resources available in house to               • Think about how much of the job to take on
for convergence, and                     accomplish the job?                                 in-house, and how much to purchase as a
establish an imple-                      • Should the work be outsourced to service          managed service from an outside provider.
mentation plan.”                         providers?
Michael Jenkins
Director
Network Integration
AT&T
                                                             FIS EVENT COVERAGE: AT&T



Network Integration
The many benefits made                   solutions, and reduce their
possible by convergence are              network and technology
very much worth the effort. The          management burden.”
journey can be made easier and
smoother by working with an              AT&T, which operates 30 global
experienced service partner like         network and hosting locations
AT&T, said Mr. Jenkins.                  around the globe, serves
                                         v i r t u a l l y a l l Fo r t u n e 1 0 0 0
“AT&T offers customers the               companies and all Standard &
benefits of a new, state-of-the-         Poor 500 companies with IP
art global network that provides         services. One of them, INVISTA,
an integrated Frame/ATM/IP               the world’s largest integrated
single platform over an MPLS             fibers and intermediates comp-
infrastructure. By integrating           any, is looking at moving to MPLS
their networks with ours,                globally, said Leong May Wan,
enterprises gain the ability to          IT Director for Asia Pacific. A
plan and design for their current        Request for Information (RFI) will
and future needs, build and              be issued soon, she added, with
                                                                                        Choo Hock Lye
deploy end-to-end networking             work already under way on
                                                                                        Regional General Manager
                                         network architecture design.                   AT&T ASEAN/South Asia
                                                                                                                                       Moving to
                                                                                                                                       MPLS
Many organizations are moving from ATM               - MPLS VPNs simplify the data center
and Frame Relay to Multiprotocol Label               architecture. Unlike with Frame Relay and
Switching (MPLS)-based network                       ATM, there is no necessity to manage                 3) Achieving Security in a Peer-to-Peer
services. MPLS VPNs provide the privacy              many point-to-point direct connections to            Model
and security of an ATM or Frame Relay                remote sites.                                        The MPLS VPN IETF standard defines
network, yet allow the inherent any-to-                                                                   m e c h a n i s m s t o ke e p e a c h V P N
any connectivity and routing flexibility             Migration Considerations                             completely private and separate from
typical of an IP network.                            When migrating to MPLS, enterprises                  other VPNs. While the data traverses a
                                                     would do well to consider the impact of              shared infrastructure, enterprises can be
But what is MPLS and how does it work?               both the network migration itself and the            assured that their network is maintained
                                                     ease of operating and managing in the                and monitored as a separate entity.
MPLS is a standardized protocol and a                new environment.
unifying network architecture that uses a                                                                 With direct site-to-site MPLS links, a
technology called ‘label switching’; the             AT&T research shows that among its                   virus/worm outbreak at a remote site
‘multi’ bit protocol refers to its support for       customers who are considering migration              could spread to many sites before it is
IP ATM and Frame Relay protocols. As a
  ,                                                  from ATM or Frame Relay, the primary                 discovered and remedial action taken.
data packet enters the network, a label              consideration is increased complexity.               Therefore, shifting to a distributed security
is appended to it. This label uniquely               This complexity issue itself then breaks             model is critical.
identifies an enterprise’s virtual private           down into four primary drivers:
network in a shared infrastructure, and                                                                   It is advisable to have both a network-
keeps it private. Label Switch Routers               1) Critical Applications Performance                 based and an endpoint security
along the path strip off the label at each           The first step to assure applications                architecture. Intrusion prevention
hop and apply a new label that tells the             perform exactly as the business requires             systems can be installed directly on WAN
next LSR how to forward the packet. On               is a thorough traffic analysis. A range of           access routers or in the form of stand-
reaching its destination, the label is               hardware and sof tware tools are                     alone WAN-edge appliances to scan
removed. The process, which is invisible             available to help with such analysis. Then,          traffic for malicious signatures before
to end-users, is faster than traditional IP          using the traffic information (by                    granting access.
packet forwarding, where complicated                 application or application class), build
address matching is done at each hop in              MPLS traffic profiles based on the number            4 ) Ro u t i n g A r c h i t e c t u r e D e s i g n
the network.                                         of available classes of service.                     When using an MPLS-based service, WAN
                                                                                                          access routers operate at the IP layer,
In addition, MPLS VPNs provide three                 2) Improving Traffic Management                      peering at Layer 3 with the carrier’s MPLS
other important elements:                            A good network design is the foundation              edge routers. The best protocol for
- Quality of Service (QoS) levels that are           for good traffic management. Supported               peering with the carrier’s MPLS network
critical to application convergence and              by this foundation, current applications             is external Border Gateway Protocol
support voice, video and data on one                 should run as well – or better – on the              (eBGP) to exchange route reachability
network.                                             new MPLS network, and new applications               information among different routing
- An MPLS VPN is a natural platform for              should perform exactly as designed. QoS              domains. While using BGP requires that
dynamic disaster recovery. Based on IP               techniques and network performance                   the enterprise network manager learns
routing, it’s simple to support multiple             monitoring tools will ensure consistency                                 ,
                                                                                                          a little about BGP learning enough about
data centers in a load sharing or                    of application performance, besides                  BGP in order to use an MPLS service is
primary/backup scenario.                             providing insight and reports to trouble-            not at all difficult.
                                                     shoot problems quickly.
                                                              FIS EVENT COVERAGE: AT&T



The Hong Kong CSL Experience
Another AT&T customer, Hong Kong CSL                       Management Service that it provides
Limited, shared its experience at the seminar.             includes 24x7 monitoring and
                                                           helpdesk service for about 25 Hong
Widely recognized as a leader in innovation,               Kong CSL sites, problem manage-
with many firsts to its name (both in Hong                 ment, change management, configu-
Kong and in Asia), Hong Kong CSL is the                    ration management, and professional
second largest mobile carrier in the SAR,                  network and security recommen-
where the market for mobile services is                    dations on to harden Hong Kong CSL’s
h i g h l y c o m p e t i t i v e , w i t h a m a r ke t   IT network. In addition, AT&T LAN
penetration rate of 119% (as at end-2005)                  Security Services monitor the mobile
and demanding users who expect high                        service provider’s LANs and keep
value-added and personalized services.                     them secure.

Things were not so comfortable in 2001,                    “These AT&T services have enabled
when Hong Kong CSL was spun off from its                   us to achieve network availability
then parent Hong Kong Telecom.                             levels higher than baseline and have
                                                           helped us to deliver on our strategies
“We had to transition to our own managed                   for rapid time-to-market ser vice
internal IT network, establish a pro-active                deliver y and superior customer
network management service from the                        service,” said Mr. Smith.
ground up, and ensure an effective IT
security infrastructure – all in double-quick              “The arrangement gives us access to
                                                                                                     “These AT&T services have
time,” said Peter Smith, Director of                       reliable resources to support our IT      enabled us to achieve network
Information Technology.                                    network at reasonable cost to CSL, as     availability levels higher than
                                                           well as information that facilitates      baseline and have helped us to
For help in these areas, Hong Kong CSL                     network expansion planning for our        deliver on our strategies for rapid
turned to AT&T. In the network and security                IT network. In addition, we receive
                                                                                                     time-to-market service delivery
management area, AT&T helped set up a                      adequate security protection to guard
24x7 network and security monitoring                       against attacks on customer data, get     and superior customer service.”
system, a centralized account management                   expert advice for network design, and     Peter Smith
system for network management, and a                       are assured of responsive incident        Director of Information Technology
network reporting system. The Network                      reviews and follow-up.”                   Hong Kong CSL




                                                                    Website: http://www.att.com/ap

                                                                    AT&T Asia/Pacific                       AT&T Worldwide
                                                                    Group Ltd                               Telecommunications
                                                                    30/F Shell Tower, Times Square          Services S'pore Pte Ltd
                                                                    1 Matheson Road                         83 Science Park Drive
                                                                    Causeway Bay                            #04-03/04 The Curie
                                                                    Hong Kong                               Singapore 118258
                                                                    Tel: 852 2506 5111                      Tel: 65 6379 6888
                                                                    Fax: 852 2506 3524                      Fax: 65 6379 6886

								
To top