One of the more vexing challenges facing IT organizations today is the proliferation of both physical and virtual networks. All those additional networks do wonders for connectivity. But from a complexity perspective, they often make the IT organization less agile.
To reduce that complexity, Glue Networks today unveiled an upgrade to its Gluware platform that makes it possible to unify network orchestration that adds connectors to a broad range of legacy networks. Glue Networks CEO Jeff Gray says that makes it possible for IT organizations for the first time to unify the management of virtual and physical networks that typically reside in existing “brownfield” IT environments, as well as local and wide area networks.
Announced today at a Cisco Live! conference, the latest version of the company’s network orchestration platform can now be deployed on premises in addition to being invoked as a cloud service, says Gray. Glue Networks also revealed it is making a community edition of its software available to help spur adoption.
One the one hand, the rise of network overlays to make it simpler to connect distributed computing applications has been a boon to IT. But Gray notes that, just as was the case with server virtualization, it’s only a matter of time before IT organizations will find themselves dealing with network virtualization sprawl. Gray adds that most IT organizations are already struggling with multiple physical networks. Virtual overlays over time often introduce even more complexity to the networking environment, says Gray. Finding someone who can manage all those networks, adds Gray, is the IT equivalent of finding a unicorn.
In contrast, Gray says Gluware provides a higher level of abstraction that IT organizations can use to create open network data models using graphical workflow tools that don’t require them to acquire deep programming skills to create a software-defined networking (SDN) environment. Out of the box, Gluware supports 13 types of networking products, while providing access to a Dynamic Network Development Kit that network engineers can use to create custom workflows if they so desire.
At this juncture, we know the future of networking is going to be software-defined. Less clear is to what degree network engineers will need to become programmers to build, deploy and manage those SDN environments.