As networking and security continue to evolve, it’s becoming more apparent that the management plane is starting to separate entirely from the physical network underlay. As proof of the concept, NTT Innovation Institute has revealed that it is beta testing Project CloudWAN, a framework that makes use of network virtualization, microservices and controller technology hosted in the cloud to manage both physical and virtual appliances.
Ravi Srivatsav, managing director for NTT Innovation Institute, says that the day when network and security management needs to be tied to a specific class of devices is now coming to an end. In its place, Srivatsav says there will be new frameworks leveraging modern microservices architectures to manage third-party virtual network function (VNF) software.
“We’re working with a variety of providers of VNF software to provide integration with CloudWAN,” says Srivatsav.
Srivatsav says Project CloudWAN is designed to give customers the ability to deploy a single management framework in a public or private cloud without having to deploy a unique controller for every type of device.
NTT Innovation Institute obviously is not the only vendor that see the rise of network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) as an opportunity to fundamentally transform the way networks are managed. But it is one of the few making a case for not only deploying VNFs, but also rationalizing the multiple network and security management planes that contribute so much to making IT both difficult and expensive to manage.
Naturally, it may still take a little while longer for a new era of network and security management to become an everyday reality. But the good news is that the long overdue simplification of those management frameworks is now finally on the horizon.