SunGard AS has more than 9000 enterprise customers who count on our cloud services and managed services when disaster strikes. Lately, we’ve seen that the “Internet of Everything” is changing customer expectations. Our customers want new types of cloud services—and they want them sooner. They’re also asking to provision and control the services on their own. To keep delivering new products and services, we need a network that’s more flexible, intelligent, secure, and agile than ever before.

Our strategy for the future is to create a platform for service agility by enabling network programming. This is a radical change for our business and our customers. Not having to wait for engineers to program the network will help us bring new services to market sooner. Network programmability will also make it possible to offer new self-service options our customers are requesting, like bandwidth calendaring and service on demand.

Some people in the industry would call what I just described SDN, for software-defined networking. But we prefer network programmability, a much broader term for service agility.

Cisco ONE Works with Our Existing Infrastructure

We knew we needed a partner to help us bring together all the different elements of a programmable network to enable a service catalog. Our service catalog and network strategy are core to the business, so we took several months to evaluate platforms that would support our end goal.

SunGard AS has 5 million square feet of data center space, so we needed open technology that would work with our existing infrastructure and service offerings. The solution also had to be adaptable. We need to support the new services our customers will want in the future, and we want the ability to transform service enablement.

To that end, we chose Cisco ONE (Open Network Environment). It includes controllers, open APIs, and virtual overlay technology. These three technologies in combination are the bedrock of our network strategy for the future.

Our Use Cases

Network programmability will help our customers and business in the following ways:

  • Shorter waits for new services: We’re working with Cisco on a proof of concept to bring together our WAN and data center services. The goal is to let customers start using our services sooner. To do this we’re centrally orchestrating all services instead of provisioning them separately.
  • Backup as a Service: Network programmability will play a big role in the Backup as a Service offering we’re planning. Customers will be able to send backup traffic over the WAN to a secondary SunGard data center.
  • Bandwidth calendaring: During backups and disaster recovery exercises, hundreds of terabytes or petabytes move between data centers. Today, moving such large data stores can take up a significant part of total recovery time. To minimize disruption to our customers’ businesses, we’re planning to allow customers to schedule reservation of demand placement of bandwidth—say, from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. We plan to use an OpenDaylight analytics application and a Cisco controller as a platform to enable bandwidth calendaring
  • Traffic flow optimization: Most of our non-recoverable costs are for circuits, so optimizing traffic flows will help to keep costs down. Our concept is to use OpenDaylight analytics to better understand traffic patterns, and the Cisco controller to program traffic flow, with a clear eye to SLAs.
  • Mitigating security threats: Using Cisco open APIs for traffic steering will let us block only the bad traffic instead of the entire subnet.

As we talk to our customers, we keep discovering new use cases for network programmability. We view it as a strategic advantage to increase security, lower costs, and automate actions to help us and our customers move faster.

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About SunGard Availability Services

SunGard Availability Services provides IT Operations support to IT departments that need to ensure business viability by keeping mission critical information and applications up and running. Unlike other companies that offer individual technology services, SunGard is focused on providing responsive and integrated disaster recovery, managed services, IT consulting and business continuity management software solutions, to help organizations keep people and information connected.

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Kerby Lyons

Vice President of Global Networking Engineering

SunGard Availability Services