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FusionLayer Infinity – Redesigned IPAM For Self-Service And Automation From The Ground Up

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FusionLayer has been working in DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (“DDI”) space since the early 1990s. FusionLayer streamlines cloud and application delivery in next generation data centers and delivers network function virtualisation (NFV) and enables real-time cloud-application deployment. Below is our interview with Juha Holkkola, CEO of FusionLayer:


Q: Could you explain the function and advantages of your Software-Defined IP Address Management (SD-IPAM) solution, FusionLayer Infinity?

A: Let’s start off by looking at the traditional IP Address Management solutions. Pretty much all the IPAM solutions out there have been built for the enterprise computing model dating back to the 90’s. During the last twenty some years, IP Address Management has mostly been revolving around that model. And today, those outdated solutions with modest levels of automation are still widely in use. However, the new cloud computing era is changing that fast.

If you take a deeper look into the underlying trends, there are two forces driving the change: automation and self-service. For an analogy, think about how banking has changed over the last 20 years. Customers are now able to do most of their banking through self-service portals online and there are backend systems that automate most banking processes. Interestingly, service providers and data centers have been behind the curve when it comes to end-to-end automation but we see this changing.

As far as IP Address Management is concerned, these two trends will make it increasingly important since automation and Internet of Things are going to increase the number of IP addresses in use. That said, one cannot facilitate the future with a solution designed around a twenty year old model. It is like adding a 100-feet cord to an old landline phone and calling it mobile. It just doesn’t work like that.

So when we talk about Software-Defined IP Address Management (SD-IPAM), it’s basically a complete redesign of the traditional IPAM. A reincarnation of IPAM if you will, designed for self-service and automation from the ground up.

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Q: Tell us something more about your patented technologies that provide x25 performance advantage over competing solutions?

A: Traditionally, the ability to manage a million objects with an IPAM has been considered as a scalable solution. This has not really changed over the last 10 years. Yet at the same time, everyone is saying that IoT and automation will cause the number of IP addresses and networks to explode. So there will be a discontinuity here.

To address the gap, I sat down with our software architects back in early 2013 and we decided to develop an IPAM architecture that could theoretically scale all the way to a billion IP addresses. More than three years and solid seven figures later, I admit that we are nowhere close to being able to manage a billion objects today. But we can already scale up to tens of millions in virtual production environments, which is considerably more than any other solution in this space. Moving forward, our architecture will allow us to scale much further as the technology matures, keeping FusionLayer Infinity ahead of the curve.

As a practical example, our systems engineering team runs Infinity, the SD-IPAM solution, on laptops with VMware installed. By assigning just one processor to that virtual machine, they can manage more than five million objects. Traditional IPAM solutions choke long before this, while running on accelerated hardware in deployments that cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.

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Q: Who is your ideal customer and why?

A: Our main target customers are Communication Service Providers and data centers that operate at scale. The reason for this target market is that the traditional IP Address Management solutions do not scale to accommodate their future requirements, so there is an obvious gap. Additionally, they benefit from our Software-Defined IPAM, because those two sectors are where self-service and automation have the biggest impact.


Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: To get the most out of a Software-Defined IPAM solution, it should be integrated with automated workflows. Integration should involve the converged infrastructure and all of the underlying components. Such as emerging technologies like Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), containers and various cloud orchestrators.

To make sure that all pieces of the puzzle play ball, we are working with multiple technology leaders to create plug-and-play integrations and architecture blueprints. These make our solutions easy to integrate and to run in automated environments.

On this note, we recently published new blueprint architectures with HPE and Nuage (from Nokia). This gives a good idea of the direction we are headed to.

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Q: What advantage does FusionLayer have over its competitors?

A: The three key tenets guiding the development of our Software-Defined IPAM solution are scalability, ease of integration and outstanding user experience. FusionLayer Infinity is way ahead of the market on all three counts, so what we have is a highly differentiated solution for CSPs and data centers that operate at scale.

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