April 27, 2010

Hybrid Network Unification - MPLS plus Internet-VPNs

  • The Business Case for Hybrid Network Unification
  • Maximizing Performance, Continuity and IT savings
  • Ipanema Technologies

Enterprises need uninterrupted business continuity for critical applications delivered over their global networks, but face an explosion of bandwidth requirements for less critical applications. Pressures on IT departments to reduce expenses are stronger than ever, making purchases of additional bandwidth difficult and often unaffordable. A solution gaining momentum in large enterprises is combining the carrier-class quality and availability of MPLS networks with the high-bandwidth capacity of a low-cost Internet VPN - a hybrid networking strategy.

While enterprises can better serve their business needs by deploying two or more WANs, questions arise about what trade-offs need to be made. At issue is not only the ability to create a hybrid network with MPLS and Internet VPN between datacenters and branch offices, but also the ability to control, optimize and accelerate applications combining the mutual benefits of each network with unified management.

Ipanema Hybrid Network Unification extends the concepts of WAN Governance to automatically monitor, control, accelerate and select the best paths for business applications across two or more networks. Enterprises that implement Ipanema Hybrid Network Unification:
  • Guarantee unified application performance across [MPLS + Internet] networks
  • Improve business communication continuity
  • Exploit large network capacity at low cost
  • Benefit from Internet immediacy and ubiquity
  • Turn back-up lines into business lines
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Ipanema's "Hybrid Networking" is a "best of both worlds" solution.

Reality is that MPLS services are wonderful, but they are on the pricey side compared to Internet-based services. On the other hand, the low cost of Internet-based services comes with a degree of inherent risk.

This paper does a great job of explaining Ipanema's approach to "Hybrid Networking," an approach that actively uses both technologies while also providing backup.

Please join in a conversation concerning this approach and any questions you may have about it.

Please note that we've also just posted a copy of Ipanema's press release, Ipanema Launches Hybrid Network Unification Solution.

It is a very good approach, as an expensive MPLS VPN is being used, in addition to less expensive Intrenet VPN. I have a couple of questions-
1. Does Ipanema have an appliance which sits betweem the customer edge devices and Carrier network, and monitors and controls the two VPNs for load sharing/load balancing, or is it a software solution that can be implemented at the edge devices?

2. Would this solution acommodate all types of IP VPN.
3. How much the software or appliance costs?
4. Would this appliance/software be required at each site in teh VPN?

It is very well written document, but does not discuss teh technology.

Excellent questions, Champa.  Thanks for asking...

I forwarded your question to Ipanema for their input.

In the meantime, you might want to check out some of the technical documents at the Ipanema website.  The paper on Smart Path Selection might be especially helpful, though possibly not quite as technical as you wish.

Dear Champa,

please find below a few additional information you may find useful:

1- Ipanema proposes an appliance that sits on the LAN side of the CPE (i.e. before the first congestion point which is the CPE itself). It 'senses and manages' in an unified manner up to 3 independent networks.
2- All types of VPN are allowed (e.g. MPLS+MPLS, IP/VPN+IP/VPN, FR+IP/VPN, etc...).
3- List price starts at approximately 2,000$ for a 2 Mpbs line - Some additional cost is necessary to activate WAN optimization on the same appliance.
4- An appliance is needed on all sites where you would like to 'unify' networks. In a corporate network, you can mix 'equipped' and 'unequipped' sites at will.

Thanks for your nice words - do not hesitate to contact us at www.ipanematech.com - Have a great day!

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