Business Needs a New Backbone

The internet is an amazing resource. It is ubiquitous and easy to access. It offers flexibility and elasticity. It is relatively affordable. These values have made it indispensable for both business and consumer. At the same time, this growing reliance has exposed some of the internet’s fundamental shortcomings.

FIGURE 1: Businesses typically access SaaS over an unreliable Internet core

The internet may not have been created to serve web pages, but it certainly excels at it. It is far less ideal for applications like interactive gaming and unified communications (UC), which rely on smaller packet sizes and consistent, low latency performance. It is also not reliable enough for mission-critical enterprise traffic that must never, ever, fail to flow.

FIGURE 2: The best-efforts Internet core offers inconsistent performance and reliability

Over 99.5% of latency variance happens in the internet’s core (first + middle miles). Addressing the shortcomings of the internet begins with replacing this best-efforts core. Businesses today run hybrid clouds, managed with solutions like SD-WAN. Internet is run side-by-side with hardware-defined networks (HDN) such as MPLS. These private end-to-end networks guarantee reliability, but are inflexible and inelastic, hard to configure and manage, offer poor visibility, and are costly.

FIGURE 3: 99.5% of Latency Occurs in the Core (First + Middle Miles)

Application developers who require low latency or ultra low latency (ULL) performance have found the internet lacking. Businesses from UC providers to game developers are building their own private cores, a slow and costly endeavor that is deleterious to both market focus and business timelines.

FIGURE 4: Hybrid Enterprise

All of these markets have something in common: they have been searching for an internet core alternative that offers the reliability of HDN solutions like MPLS, with the flexibility and cost of cloud. To this end, software-defined network (SDN) techniques have enabled a new breed of core solution: SD-CORE.