Transforming the Old IP to the New IP


We are entering the era of the “third platform”, which also has distinct hallmarks in terms of innovation: Cloud, Mobility, Social, and Big Data are all a part of it. Gartner calls these elements the “Nexus of Forces” and advocates the need for enterprises to become digital businesses in order to survive this next wave of disruption. 


In the last three years, cloud spending has increased to $65 billion worldwide. We’ve gone from connecting places and people to connecting things: billions and, eventually trillions, of things. The one thing about these things is that they love to generate and consume data. The challenge is that all of the data takes a lot of work to manage - it has to be stored, moved and analysed before it becomes truly valuable information.


The speed of innovation of cloud service providers such as Amazon and Google, in combination with the low cost of delivery, is creating a relevance gap for IT departments and traditional service providers. Every day, users go around these entities to buy IT services and applications directly from the cloud. User expectations for self-service, immediate delivery, and a faster pace of innovation are rising by the day. But, for many companies, the IT department struggles to keep pace. The network architecture is outdated, because it was never designed to meet these needs, and 70 percent of the IT budget is spent on maintaining the old infrastructure.


These legacy IP networks, referred to as “old IP,” have served incredibly well for the last 20 years. The resiliency of these networks is a testimony to IP’s elegance. Nobody is suggesting that we toss it out, but staying the course is not an option. A dramatic change is needed. The good news is that an advanced but evolutionary networking architecture is here—the New IP.



What is the New IP? It’s the old IP networks reimagined for a modern world and designed to meet the needs of Cloud, Mobile, Social, and Big Data. The New IP is a new way to architect an IP network, and it includes both hardware and software, to provide profound business and technology benefits.


The old IP is based on closed systems in which innovation cycles are constrained by custom hardware, while the provisioning of network resources is a complex and labour-intensive task. Interoperation is limited, vendors are at the centre of the ecosystem, costs are high, and innovation is slow.


In contrast, the New IP is based on open source and open standards that extend beyond proprietary adherence to industry standards. The New IP gives IT the choice to use COTS-based or workload-specific commodity hardware. Provisioning network resources is automated and can be done in a self-service model. Open APIs are the key to interoperability, the customer is at the centre of the ecosystem, CapEx and OpEx costs are reduced, and innovation happens at the speed of business.


There are four essential attributes to the New IP:


Open with a purpose

·         The New IP allows components and services to be assembled from a broad community of innovators in order to solve challenges in new ways

·         The New IP lets you combine vendors using open APIs and adjust your strategy and rate of innovation by giving you the freedom to choose and the flexibility to change


Innovation-centric and software-enabled

·         Today’s industries demand innovation to power their growth. The New IP provides a platform for fast innovation

·         Software allows programmatic control over complex tasks, freeing IT to focus on strategic challenges to enable business growth and fast pivots as strategies and offerings shift with market forces


Ecosystem driven (with users at the centre)

·         The New IP goes beyond single-vendor limitations to allow businesses to keep pace with innovation by tapping into and building upon a vast pool of resources

·         With the New IP, innovations and solutions can come from anywhere. For example, best-in-class security from a preferred security vendor can be built into the network instead of “bolted on”—requiring network traffic be routed to the security appliance for inspection. The ecosystem-centric approach of the New IP makes this possible in a way the vendor-centric model of the last 20 years does not


On your terms

·         Taking evolutionary steps with the New IP, you can start transforming  your infrastructure, your IT organization, and your business to achieve revolutionary results

·         With the New IP, enterprises can start deploying applications as much as 90 percent faster and cut operational expenses by as much as 50 percent

·         CapEx can be reduced and agility improved by replacing hardware-based appliances with virtualized network functions that run on commodity servers, or that are provided directly from the cloud as an edge service

·         You don’t have to take a rip-and-replace approach. You can think big and start small, while you move rapidly toward a more agile network architecture


There are some surprising implications for enterprises that choose to build networks on these new IP attributes:


The datacentre is everywhere... and anywhere

·         The New IP allows you to host and manage your workloads from any source (private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid cloud) based on business goals and corporate policies. This approach improves efficiency, scalability, and agility and makes the IT organization a better provider of services to its internal customers, vendors, and partners


You are able to move faster and be more efficient than your competition

·         Your business needs to move and innovate faster and run leaner than ever before. The New IP helps accelerate innovation, reduces operational overhead, and gives you the control you need to stay ahead of your competition


Your users are at the centre of the New IP ecosystem

·         Every one of your users and every one of their applications can have their own network with the services, quality, and security specific to their needs. There is no network edge, in the traditional sense of the word, in the New IP - the network can modify itself based on the device and location. The edge happens where the user interfaces with the network, applications and services. The result is the highest-quality, most cost-effective user experience possible. In short, the New IP is a modern network, built on your terms.


Gartner predicts that over the next 20 years, every business, regardless of industry, will become a digital business[1]. The implications of this shift to the underlying network infrastructure, and the teams that provide and support them, are profound.


If enterprises in the Middle East are to stay ahead of the curve and survive the next wave of disruption, it is imperative that they make investments in the New IP.

[1] Digital Business: Implications for CPOs and Supply Management Leaders



About Yarob Sakhnini


Yarob Sakhnini is a networking industry veteran with over 21 years of experience in various senior technical management roles including his last position as director, systems engineering, MEMA at Brocade. 



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