SD-WAN: The Bridge to a 5G future

By: Jacob Chacko, Regional Director – Middle East, Saudi & South Africa at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

After over a decade of 4G connectivity, leaders in global telecoms are now racing to roll out the fifth generation of broadband cellular technology and meet today’s twin challenges of increased network activity and bandwidth demands. The pressure to upgrade has only become greater due to the pandemic, which shifted the global workforce from the office to the home, and in doing so greatly increased the number of digital touchpoints.

Research conducted by Markets & Markets indicates that the enterprise 5G market is expected to grow from $2.1 billion in 2021 to $10.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 31.8%. In the short term, the task at hand for service providers involves enabling IoT communications, fixed wireless access, edge analytics and enhanced mobile broadband. To achieve this, service providers will have to lean on existing technologies. SD-WAN is one of the key technologies that has the potential to aid service providers in their delivery of a higher quality of network experience to meet ever-increasing user expectations.  

5G: Untapped Potential

According to a study conducted by IDC, it is estimated that there will be 51 million IoT devices by 2021. The advent of edge computing will serve to enable this influx of IoT devices. However, as connectivity increases, so too does the amount of data that must be processed, both in real-time and close to the source.

Facilitating huge volumes of data at high speeds is a key function and much promised benefit of 5G. Yet despite providing higher bandwidth to operations, 5G is limited in range. It is expected that 5G networks will be powered by hundreds of thousands of small cells. However, the denser the network of cells, the more difficult they become to manage, operate and maintain, therefore the crux of the issue becomes not only the optimization of these networks, but also the automation.

SD-WAN: The Enabler

Connection and integration across the relevant compute edges is integral to any 5G operation. SD-WAN platforms can help service providers by allowing for automation and aiding in the optimization of traffic and management of 5G cells. Unlike a traditional router-centric WAN architecture, a Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is designed to support applications in on-premises data centres, public or private clouds, and SaaS services, such as Microsoft 365, Dropbox and Workday. At its core, an SD-WAN is a virtual WAN architecture that aims to securely connect users to applications. It achieves this by enabling organisations to leverage a combination of transport services, such as MLPS, LTE, and broadband internet services.

As digital transformation tightens its grip on industry, many enterprises are making use of the cloud and subscribing to software-as-a-service (Saas), rendering the traditional WAN increasingly less fit for purpose. SD-WAN identifies applications and provides intelligent routing, with each class of application receiving the appropriate Quality of Service (QoS) and security policy enforcement. This quality in particular is vital in the enablement of 5G. Through SD-WAN’s ability to incorporate machine learning, it enables networks to adapt to varying circumstances and automatically route high-bandwidth traffic to 5G cells and the edge.

Ensuring high quality user experience for 5G is paramount, therefore it is vital that service providers evaluate SD-WAN vendors on the following:

  • Granular, intelligent application-driven routing. The ability to automatically prioritize traffic based on bandwidth should be a key area of concern. Lower bandwidth traffic should be routed to other available transport such as LTE or broadband, allowing for high-bandwidth traffic like video streaming to be routed through a 5G cell.
  • Centralized management. Facilitating the management, maintenance, and operation of edges and 5G cells by intelligently rerouting traffic during provisions and upgrades. When enterprises deploy new applications or when a security policy change is necessary, a business-driven SD-WAN enables these changes to be delivered in minutes, while simultaneously minimizing the opportunity for human error.
  • Machine learning. Automation is key. It is vital that any SD-WAN vendor guarantees that their network can adapt to varying conditions in real-time and provide optimal routing to the edges and 5G cells.
  • Security integration with business-intent networking. Cybersecurity is an ever-present issue. By directing traffic to the right security services and enabling application-driven security policies enforced from a centralized position, service providers will not have to compromise on either cost or performance.
  • Virtual WAN overlays. Quality of service is hugely important, and network resources must be flexible, and optimized. 5G networks depend on network slicing, whereby each slice receives a unique set of resources. By using both technologies in combination, service providers can steer critical traffic to the 5G network where it can be isolated to a particular slice depending on its specific requirements.

As 5G and edge computing adoption increases, so too will the demands of users. Service providers must be ready to provide an ever-present and high performing network. The initial success of 5G deployment will demand a network that has automation and security at the centre of its operation, like the one offered by SD-WAN.


Elegant simplicity and a total openness to the sea inside the new true-custom yacht

CRN releases further details about hull number 142, currently under construction at the Ancona yard.

This all-aluminium yacht has been designed by CRN in partnership with architecture and design studio Omega Architects, who conceived the taut, mellifluous external lines, and architects Massari Design, who created all the large outdoor guest areas and luminous interiors. The resulting bespoke design is built around the outdoor spaces, for a heightened sense of continuity and connectedness with the interiors.

The new full-custom yacht has a gross tonnage of 499 GT and is 52 metres long and 9 metres in the beam; she can host up to 10 guests across her 4 decks. Dynamic and sporty, this unique opus achieves a perfect harmony among the array of spaces. The palatial indoor and outdoor living areas are defined by satisfying symmetries and are linked up with care to create a visual and functional unity between indoor and outdoor zones.

CRN M/Y 142 reflects the character of a knowledgeable owner with a passion for the sea. He specifically wanted comfortable spaces in the open air, setting great store by the design of the social zones. The outdoor areas – like the 2 sizeable lounges with sunbathing area and spa pool, one on the sun deck and one on the main deck, and the ample al fresco dining area on the upper deck – are conceived as versatile convivial spaces to enjoy the open-air living to the full.

The interiors are extremely welcoming, revealing a contemporary lifestyle vision that mixes elegant simplicity and crispness of form. The comfort is enhanced by sophisticated details in an interplay of warm, natural colour combinations that blend to perfection with premier materials like marble, leather and solid wood.
The main deck accommodates a bright, elegant open space with an inviting saloon and lunch area. Here, the feeling of continuity between inside and out is underscored by large floor-to-ceiling glazing punctuated by mirrored surfaces that create a play of light and perspective for an immersive sensation of limitless space with spectacular ocean views.

The adjacent outdoor lounge is a great place for a relaxing chat gazing over the rectangular spa pool athwartships at the stern. Towards the bow, the owner suite with private study is a haven of intimacy bathed in light from the full-length windows.

The spaces exude a fluid flexibility on the upper deck too: the panoramic lounge can be used as a social area or converted into a fully equipped cinema complete with giant screen. The room opens right up to the outside with sliding glass doors into the al fresco dining zone. This can be enjoyed at any time of day, courtesy of the elegant glass panelling integrated into the superstructure to keep off the wind.

A triumphant addition to the sleek, sporty profile of this 52-metre yacht, the sun deck is a multipurpose space equally suited to evening entertaining and sunbathing by day. The deck’s centrepiece, a spectacular horseshoe-shaped lounge bar, separates the dining area with its generous sun terrace from the solarium and circular hydromassage pool at the tip of the bow.

The beach club on the lower deck provides an exceptionally spacious multifunctional leisure zone. This superb terrace extending right on to the water allows guests to dive right in or enjoy watersports with the wide selection of toys. The space integrates with an open-air living area featuring a relaxation zone with TV and bar looking on to the wellness area, an oasis of peace with a refreshing and stimulating hammam and shower experience.

Set to launch in spring 2022, CRN M/Y 142 is a masterpiece of nautical art that marries the finest Italian craftsmanship and savoir-faire with in-depth design and construction know-how.

Pomellato brings its passion for colour to the gold Iconica collection just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Iconica double-band rings and earrings are simple yet deeply symbolic, eloquently expressing the power of two in a very Pomellato way. Now, with the addition of vibrant sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds, the language of love has a richer vocabulary, making Iconica the ideal Valentine’s Day gift.

Iconica is one of Pomellato’s standout designs. Its audacious and sinuous forms highlight the house’s rich heritage of outstanding craftsmanship and its mastery of all-gold jewels. Steeped in tradition yet bold and contemporary, Iconica’s refined volumes are the hallmark of the brand’s style. Today Pomellato invigorates Iconica with its unstoppable love of colour.

The double rings showcase Milanese understated elegance at its best. Two round gold coils are united by a flat transversal link: two perfect and pure forms are forever bound together to create a greater whole.  Pomellato has chosen the gemstones most associated with love that speak straight to the heart. For some, sapphires evoke the purity of everlasting love and rubies the fire of passion. The soothing green of emeralds promises hope and peace while the timeless diamond is the eternal messenger of unity.

The white gold rings are available with either blue sapphires or diamonds and the rose gold ones are offered with emeralds or rubies. Double loop earrings in the same gold and gemstone combinations match the rings.

With its timeless sophistication and new attractive hues, Iconica offers a meaningful gift for Valentine’s Day and for every day, forever.

Les Benjamins Debuts Fragrance Line

Natasha Dury

Les Benjamins introduces their eponymous inaugural fragrance line. The new line, which consists of ten individual eau de parfums, serves as a continuation of the brand’s long-standing mission to bridge the east and the west through the marriage of cultural symbology, and now fragrance notes.

Liquid Gold unites top notes of marine accords, melon and bergamot with rose, lavender and patchouli, while Mystic Oud is a synergy of floral, fruity and oriental notes, toying with the realms of spirituality and sensuality with notes of lychee, sweet amber, clove buds, orchid, violet and clove.

Once again looking to the region for inspiration, Desert Dawn lifts notes of saffron with cashmere wood, oud and magnolia to create a rich composition of floral notes. Meanwhile Moroccan Musk taps into the expansive idea of the endless deserts of Morocco, blending spice cumin and coriander with cedarwood, incense and amber in a bid to recreate the sensation of the desert heat on the skin.

From decadent woody florals to smoky floral accords – Night Dew, Oriental Express, Desert Dawn, Vanilla Sky and Precious Petals make up the remaining fragrance portfolio. Each eau de parfum is available in 50ml.

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