Today, we’re continuing to forge new paths with industry-leading innovation to deliver a cutting-edge SDN experience.
“Consider some of the challenges of traditional enterprise networking,” says Martin Bishop, Head of Telstra Programmable Network. “It can take months to design a solution and then more to actually get the network installed. Then you’re tied into a contract for years. Then once it’s installed, it can be pretty static and sometimes really difficult to make a change."
“Customers of TPN are really pioneers of a new network age. TPN requires cloud thinking. A change in mindset. It’s a change we need to make and we believe our customers need to make. when you do make that change, the outcomes can be incredible.”
The Telstra Programmable Network enables near real-time, on-demand connectivity to clouds, data centres, security, application services and a partner ecosystem through a single unified view.
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Over the last 12 months, Martin’s team have been leading the charge to implement nearly 50 new, customer-facing code updates at a rate of one per week, incorporating customer feedback and to meet tomorrow’s demands.
Let’s take a look at three ways it’s changed.
It connects you faster and further
Thanks to Telstra’s world-first, API-based integration of Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX) FabricTM into TPN, customers can now have automated connectivity to global leading cloud providers AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and Oracle in just a few clicks and as little as 2 minutes. Users will also be able to access Equinix’s ecosystems of partners, including 60+ providers in eight markets in the same interface.
“It’s an unprecedented offering for our customers because of the level of integration we’ve achieved – this is a significant change in customer experience, providing access to cloud providers in near-instant time via a simple setup. For our users, that means a much faster, simpler and richer experience,” explains Martin.
With access to 60+ cloud service providers and 36 programmable points of presence around the world, supported by 2,000 IP points of presence, TPN now has greater flexibility to support the diverse cloud connectivity of modern businesses.
“One of the exciting things about the ECX Fabric integration is that you now have more building blocks to work with,” says Martin. “For example, you can easily build a connection into the cloud through ECX Fabric and another direct connection to quickly create a redundant and resilient solution.”
“More connections means more possibilities, and this is a feature of Software Defined Networking with open platforms and APIs” says Martin. “Imagine the possibilities of being able to connect to all these networks through one simple interface. That is exactly what we are trying to achieve with TPN.
“Customers of TPN are really pioneers of a new network age. TPN requires cloud thinking. A change in mindset. It’s a change we need to make and we believe our customers need to make. when you do make that change, the outcomes can be incredible.”Martin Bishop, Head of Telstra Programmable Network
It protects your business
From launch, TPN put security front and centre. It allows users to add secure virtual network functions where and when they’re needed, import their existing licenses and have full command line access for configuration.
“However, what we heard from a lot ofcustomers,” says Martin, “was that it’s great that you’ve got this flexibility, but is there a way you could pre-package that all up and make it simpler?”
This led to the development of Gateway Protection, an advanced, next-generation multi-cloud security solution which can be easily deployed within 30 minutes – an Asia-Pacific first.
In addition to its swathe of next-generation security features, such as application-aware URL filtering and its anti-malware protections, Martin highlights that Gateway Protection integrates a next-gen firewall, licensing and network into one solution, and can be configured outside of traditional command line interfaces, via an intuitive GUI.
“One of the great things is the simplicity of it–users don’t need to be a firewall expert to configure Gateway Protection, asit can be configured via a series of business-led questions.”
Like the ECX Fabric integration, Gateway Protection is functionally just another building block for TPN, giving users enormous flexibility to deploy world-class security where and when it’s needed most.
It reflects the way you work
Finally, a great deal of focus has been given to improving the user experience of TPN.
“From the start, TPN was all about the user experience,” Martin says. “We’ve retained the visual centrepiece of TPN – the idea that all good networks begin with a bunch of people gathered around a whiteboard. With this guiding the core of our experience, we’ve focused on innovating around the edges.”
The last 12 months have seen a significant evolution in many of the elements which surround this core experience, most profound of which is our Global Exchange. With the introduction of so many clouds, it’s moved to a tile format of easily searchable services consolidated per cloud provider. These tiles also contain contextual information, such as how many connections you already have deployed with each provider.
To further improve TPN’s user experience, Martin says the team plans to introduce a digital assistant in the near future. This aims to guide the user, take them to configuration templates and relevant instructions and videos to help them get the best from TPN – acknowledging that TPN customers are also breaking new ground.