For companies involved in the networking industry, open networking can be a critical and essential strategy that can address today’s economic pain points. Open networking can be beneficial for any organization that wants to have more control over their network infrastructure, reduce costs, and increase flexibility and scalability.
Many closed system and equipment vendors were founded at a different time in history, before today’s hyperscale networks came into being. Open networks can offer modern features that accommodate these needs natively:
- Interoperability: Open networking systems can interoperate with a variety of other systems, making it easier to connect different types of hardware and software. This can reduce vendor lock-in and make it easier to switch to new technologies as they become available.
- Cost savings: Open networking systems can be less expensive than proprietary systems, especially over the long term. Because open networking systems are not tied to a specific vendor, organizations can choose the hardware and software that best fits their needs, rather than being forced to use a particular vendor’s products.
- Increased flexibility: Open networking systems offer more flexibility than proprietary systems, allowing organizations to easily add, remove, or change networking components as needed. This can make it easier to adapt to changing business needs and scale the network as needed.
- Innovation: The open nature of open networking systems encourages innovation, as developers can create new tools and applications that work with the system. This can drive the development of new technologies and features that can benefit organizations using open networking systems.
- Improved security: Open networking systems can be more secure than proprietary systems, as the use of open standards can make it easier to identify and fix security vulnerabilities. Additionally, because open networking systems are not tied to a specific vendor, organizations can choose the most secure options available and are not limited to the security features offered by a particular vendor.
While open networking offers many benefits, it is important for organizations to carefully consider the potential drawbacks before implementing an open networking system:
- Lack of vendor support: Because open networking systems are not tied to a specific vendor, organizations may not have access to the same level of support and technical assistance as they would with a proprietary system. This can make it more difficult to troubleshoot and resolve issues, and may require organizations to have more in-house expertise to manage the network.
- Potential compatibility issues: Open networking systems may not be compatible with all types of hardware and software. This can make it more challenging to integrate open networking systems with existing systems, and may require organizations to make significant changes to their network infrastructure.
- Limited features and capabilities: Open networking systems may not offer the same range of features and capabilities as proprietary systems. This can be a disadvantage for organizations that require specific features or functionality, and may limit their ability to take advantage of new technologies.
- Ongoing development and maintenance: Open networking systems may require ongoing development and maintenance to keep pace with changing technology and business needs. This can be a significant undertaking for organizations, and may require ongoing investment in personnel and resources.
These concerns and drawbacks can be adequately addressed today due to the maturity of the open network ecosystem. In recent times, open networking has evolved from being a niche field into one that currently accounts for resources in the entire technology chain, from planning to deployment. With advanced, mature, carrier grade network operating systems from IP Infusion, combined with leading edge switching hardware from vendors such as Edgecore and UfiSpace, customers might find a class-leading networking solution at a fraction of the price of traditional systems vendors.
In addition to the equipment, the evolution of open networking professional services today helps plan, deploy and support critical infrastructures just as well as any networking vendor. Vince Schuele from IP ArchiTechs recently made this point:
“Most conversations start around what does support look like or how to buy the product. It’s largely unknown to most but there are communities of support and organizations that know how to help navigate. Resellers like EPS Global know their way around how to buy the hardware/software while the vendors normally have a traditional TAC and integrators like IP ArchiTechs know how to navigate the entire system. There are plenty of resources, success stories, and organizational structures to assist in deployment.”
IP ArchiTechs is an independent consulting firm focused on disaggregated networking solutions. Their practice is unique because they don’t sell any systems or hardware; instead, they are a pure consultancy focused on their clients’ business objectives, and finding technical solutions for them. Their growing client base is a testament to how important and mature open networking is becoming. It is also a sign that more and more technology organizations today are willing to look beyond the usual suspects when it comes to networking buys, and practice a little out-of-box thinking to make the most of their resources.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Contact IP Infusion today to learn more.
Kelly LeBlanc is the Chief Marketing and Product Officer for IP Infusion.