W H ITE PAPER Automated Application Delivery: Enables Extensible Managed Services at the Network Edge www.netsocket.com Contents Abstract3 Background3 Automated Application Delivery 4 The AAD Value Proposition to MSPs: 5 Summary7 About Netsocket 2 7 WHITE PAPER: A UTOMATED APPLICATION DELIVERY: ENABLES EXTENSIBLE MANAGED SERVICES AT THE NETWORK EDGE Abstract Netsocket’s Virtual Edge solution delivers centralized, automated service creation, delivery, management and orchestration of a wide range of virtualized applications for service delivery across a Managed Service Provider’s (MSP) SMB and enterprise customer base. Virtual Edge’s new Automated Application Delivery (AAD) capability supplements Virtual Edge’s virtual networking capability to provide a synergistic platform for extending an impactful, high-ARPU, profitable managed services catalogue to the MSP’s customers. The Automated Application Delivery (AAD) feature orchestrates and automates the creation and delivery of a broad set of virtualized open source and commercial applications to Virtual Edge. Summary benefits to MSPs include … •Higher average revenue per user (ARPU) - through broader, more agile service portfolio •Higher service profitability – through 10:1 lifecycle opex savings and >3:1 capex savings and reduced site appliance bloat • Improved up-selling opportunity - through expanded managed service catalogue •Increased closing rates – by starting managed service trial in minutes with no appliance cost or truck rolls •Future-proofed customer premise equipment – through hosting best-of-breed applications on Virtual Edge’s common, low-cost MicroCloud Server Background The number of worldwide MSPs has increased dramatically in the past decade as former VARs/SIs/DVARs and existing cloud and telecom service providers encountered the diminishing profit margins and revenue lumpiness associated with product resale and professional services offerings. These new MSPs migrated upscale in the financial value chain to offer managed services. Managed service delivery offers these next-gen MSPs the opportunity to create customized services with recurring revenue streams by packaging vendor solutions with their own integrated services. Until recently, the introduction rate and profitability of these managed services have been hampered by the lack of service creation and delivery automation. Without this automation, the profitability of delivering the service over the lifecycle of any given service contract was adversely impacted by multiple manual operations workflows and high labor rates associated with traditional solutions. These traditional solutions were typically configured and managed manually by technicians with knowledge of vendorspecific command line interface syntax and semantics. Fortunately, new technologies such as virtualization, web services and software-as-a-service are removing these barriers to profitability and service delivery agility. Netsocket leads this market sector with its revolutionary Virtual Edge solution. 3 Automated Application Delivery Virtual Edge – is an edge virtualization solution for branch offices of distributed SMBs and enterprises. Virtual Edge virtualizes WAN-LAN edge networking functions including routing, switching and firewall (shown as vFC and vFS applications in the figure below), and hosts them on a commodity x86 server - the MicroCloud Server. Because the MicroCloud Server is virtualized, it can host any other virtual applications, whether they deliver networking or non-networking functionality. Virtual Edge Solution Extensibility and Agility for New Managed Services LEGACY EDGE VIRTUAL EDGE MicroCloud Server vNetCommander MSP Service Desk Rack of Madness vFC VM • Constrained services • Appliance bloat • Network plumbing nightmare • Assured truck-roll vFS VM vRA VM App App VM VM • Extensible services • One common appliance • Quick to develop/add/plumb new service • No truck roll Fig. 1: Virtual Edge, A Platform for Managed Services Extensibility and Agility Automated Application Delivery – is an integral feature of Virtual Edge. AAD capabilities are delivered by two applications, vNetCommander and vRemoteAgent (labelled vRA in the figure above). VNetCommander is the cloud-based, multi-tenanted application that automates and orchestrates the installation, network provisioning and day 2 management operations of all virtualized applications hosted on each branch office MicroCloud Server. vRemoteAgent is installed in a virtual machine on each MicroCloud Server and is the workhorse that performs the virtual machine creation, application installation, network provisioning and day 2 management tasks initiated by vNetCommander. Automation of all lifecycle management workflows removes the need for truck rolls, reduces labor significantly and simplifies the skillset requirements (and consequent labor rates) of each task. The result of this simplification is higher speed of new application/managed service introduction, higher ARPU, significantly reduced lifecycle capex and opex and higher service operating margins. 4 WHITE PAPER: A UTOMATED APPLICATION DELIVERY: ENABLES EXTENSIBLE MANAGED SERVICES AT THE NETWORK EDGE Qualified vApps “Essentially, Netsocket has Netsocket’s initial manifest of virtualized applications, or vApps, includes a broad set of turned almost all the hardware open source and commercial applications. This set of vApps will expand rapidly over time, that was running the network allowing an MSP to customize a competitive set of managed services based upon its own and made it run in a virtual machine. This would allow market and expertise. APPLICATION DESCRIPTION Ubiquiti UniFi® WiFi Controller us to approach the bigger Fortinet Fortigate Advanced Security/Firewall/IDS/IPS companies to replace their GENBAND QFlex ™ Session Border Controller Snorby Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)/Intrusion Defense System (IDS) Pandora Open Source Remote Monitoring/Management Microsoft Windows Essentials Software Infrastructure high-end edge networking. As long as we’re able to maintain an Internet connection and OpenVPN Virtual Private Network (VPN) provide remote access, we no FreePBX Private Branch Exchange (PBX) longer have to have skilled “Generic” debian™ Linux™ VM VM for MSP-installed applications and tools service technicians on staff. That’s the future.” –M anaged Service Provider Michael Carey IT Systems Group Table 1: Example vApps The AAD Value Proposition to MSPs: Edge virtual networking functions and vApps are hosted on the branch office’s MicroCloud Server. As shown in Figure 1, Netsocket’s networking applications deliver functionality that allows an MSP to deliver a managed edge routing/switching/firewall service to a branch office. Each new vApp virtual machine is automatically installed and “plumbed” to Virtual Edge’s virtual network. These installation and provisioning workflows are initiated remotely by an MSP service desk agent, interacting with the GUI of Virtual Edge’s vNetCommander application. Service desk agents do not require knowledge of command line interface or other complex languages to initiate the workflows. A couple of clicks are all that is required to start the process of creating a virtual machine, installing and activating the application, plumbing it to the virtual network and applying its initial configuration. Following the installation, the vNetCommander GUI presents a GUI tool to automatically link to the web front-end of each installed vApp. Virtual Edge’s automation, virtualization and integrated edge networking functionality offer a number of immediate and long-term value propositions to each Managed Service Provider: •Increased managed service catalogue depth. The breadth of managed services offerings delivered using legacy edge routers, switches and firewalls is severely limited, as these legacy devices are unable to host and orchestrate non-networking applications. Virtual Edge’s x86-based virtualized MicroCloud Server allows hosting of an infinitely countable set of both networking and non-networking applications. Increased managed service catalogue depth and 5 increased ARPU are illustrated in the figure below with examples of managed services recurring pricing for each example vApp. Netsocket’s Virtual Edge Solution Extensibility and Agility for New Managed Services Increasing ARPU and Service Stickiness Virtualized Applications Managed Service Opportunities Netsocket Virtual Network vFC vFS vRA VM VM VM WiFi Controller Intrusion Detect / Prevent Remote Mgmt / Mon WFC ID/P RMM VM VM VM Routing, Firewall Wireless LAN Enhanced Network Security Help Desk $100 / mo. +$25 / mo. +$10 / mo. +$2 / mo. / device Remote MicroCloud MicroCloud Server LAN LAN Fig. 2: Extending Value to the MSP: Increased Managed Service Catalogue Depth and ARPU •Limitless set of qualified vApps. Any application that can run in a virtual machine is a candidate for a vApp. Further, because AAD’s orchestration of installation and network “plumbing” of a vApp is very loosely coupled to the application itself, no lengthy, complicated API integration is required. Integration and qualification of the vast majority of applications as a vApp is simple and straightforward, ensuring that the rate of qualification of new commercial and open source vApps is high. • No up-front data center infrastructure costs. Netsocket hosts and operates the cloud management application, vNetCommander. This frees the MSP from the cost of the data center infrastructure required to host and operate this function. It also allows the MSP to start selling the solution immediately. • Dramatically reduced lifecycle opex and increase operating margins. AAD’s automation and GUI visualization of vApp lifecycle management workflows means both reduction in time per workflow and labor rate required per workflow and eliminate the need for truck rolls. MSPs can reduce opex for site-based applications by 10:1 over nonvirtualized, appliance-based applications. 6 WHITE PAPER: A UTOMATED APPLICATION DELIVERY: ENABLES EXTENSIBLE MANAGED SERVICES AT THE NETWORK EDGE •Reduced application capex and branch office appliance bloat. Virtual Edge’s networking functions and all vApps are hosted on a common branch office appliance, the MicroCloud Server, eliminating the need for a dedicated appliance per application. MSPs can reduce capex for site-based applications by greater than 3:1 over dedicated appliance-based solutions. •Broadened geographical footprint. Virtual Edge allows an MSP to extend their geographical footprint beyond the reach of their truck fleet, yielding much more responsive service through centralized service desk operations. •Flexible application deployment fulfillment. MSPs can order sites preconfigured with selected, qualified applications. Or, once deployed to a site, MSP service desk agents can use vNetCommander to automate the installation and network provisioning of the virtualized apps without requiring a costly site visit by installation technicians. Summary The Automated Application Delivery capability of Netsocket’s Virtual Edge solution allows a Managed Service Provider to profitably deliver a broad, high-ARPU set of managed services to its customer base. The Virtual Edge vApps that serve as the core of these managed services broaden an MSPs service catalogue, significantly improve ARPU and dramatically increase the profitability of those services through opex-saving automation. Commercial application vendors can learn more about qualifying their virtualized app by visiting http://www.netsocket.com/partners/netsocket-virtual-partner-program-nvp. About Netsocket Netsocket, a technology leader in virtualized, software-defined networking and automated application delivery, is igniting the transformation of how Managed Service Providers can simply and affordably design, deploy, and deliver extensible managed services to their enterprise and SMB customers. The company’s flagship solution – Netsocket’s Virtual Edge, is powered by its award-winning software-defined networking architecture, and delivers cloud-based automated application delivery and network orchestration via a robust suite of applications. By providing a completely virtualized network and application delivery platform, Service Providers can now greatly increase average revenue per user, reduce their bottom line, and boost their profitability by delivering a broader set of managed service offerings. To discover how Netsocket can virtualize your world, visit www.netsocket.com. 7 3701 W. Plano Pkwy, Suite 140, Plano TX 75075 Phone: +1 214.427.7300 Fax: +1 972.596.7943 www.netsocket.com [email protected] Copyright 2014 Netsocket. All rights reserved.
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