SONA is an architectural framework that guides the evolution of enterprise networks to IIN to support new IT strategies. With SONA, distributed applications and services are centrally managed over a common, unified platform. An integrated system allows access to networked applications and services from all locations with greater speed and service quality. Figure 1-1 shows the SONA framework and the offerings included at each layer. SONA networks are based on a three-layer design that incorporates the applications, services, and network. Offerings are contained within each layer:

■ Network Infrastructure layer contains the Cisco Enterprise Architecture (campus, LAN, WAN, data center, branch) and facilitates the transport of services across the network. It also includes servers, storage, and clients.

■ Interactive Service layer optimizes the communication between applications and services using intelligent network functions such as security, identity, voice, visualization, and quality of service.

■ Application layer contains the business and collaboration applications used by end users, such as enterprise resource planning, procurement, customer relationship, unified messaging, and conferencing.

Each layer in this framework is covered in the sections that follow.

Figure 1-1 SONA Framework



















IP Phone




Middleware and Application Platforms

Middleware and Application Platforms

Interactive Services Layer

Services Management

Advanced Analytics and Decision Support

Services Virtualization

Advanced Analytics and Decision Support

Services Virtualization

Application Delivery

Application-Oriented Delivery

Security Services

Infrastructure Services

Voice/Collaboration Services

Mobility Services

Compute Services

Storage Services

Identity Services

Network Infrastructure Virtualization

Infrastructure Management

Network Infrastructure Virtualization

Infrastructure Management


Mgmt Services

Networked Infrastructure Layer



Data Center

Enterprise Edge





Network Infrastructure Layer

The Network Infrastructure layer contains the Enterprise Network Architecture, which includes the Enterprise Campus, Enterprise Branch, data center, Enterprise Edge, WAN and LAN, and teleworkers. The Cisco Enterprise Architecture is covered in Chapter 2, "Network Structure Models." Servers, storage networks, and end-user clients reside at this layer.

This layer contains switching and routing elements to enhance performance and capabilities, including reliability and security. The network infrastructure is built with redundancy to provide increased reliability. Security configurations are applied to the infrastructure to enforce security policies.

Interactive Service Layer

This layer supports essential applications and the Network Infrastructure layer. Standardized network foundation and virtualization are used to allow security and voice services to scale better. A standardized network architecture can be duplicated and further copied to scale a network. Services provided at this layer fall into two categories: Infrastructure Services and Application Networking Services.

Infrastructure Services

The six infrastructure services are essential in the operation and optimization of network services and applications:

■ Identity services include authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA); Network Admission Control (NAC); and Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR).

■ Mobility services allow network access regardless of the location. An example is VPN.

■ Storage services improve storage of critical data. Critical data must be backed up and stored offsite to allow for business continuity and disaster recovery.

■ Compute services improve computing resources enterprise-wide. High-end servers can be used for virtual machines to scale the amount of servers on the network.

■ Security services deliver security for all network devices, servers, and users. These services include intrusion detection and prevention devices.

■ Voice and collaboration services allow user collaboration through all network resources. Cisco's MeetingPlace is an example of a collaboration application.

Application Networking Services

This tier uses middleware applications and Cisco AON to optimize the delivery of applications. Application services deliver application information, optimize application delivery, manipulate application messages, and provide application security and application-level events. Virtualization technologies in this layer are used to maximize resource usage and provide greater flexibility. Servers with multiple virtual machines maximize the use of hardware resources.

Application Layer

The Application layer includes business applications and collaboration applications. Business applications include

■ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

■ Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications

■ Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications

■ Human Capital Management (HCM)

■ Procurement applications

■ Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Collaboration applications include

■ Meeting Place

■ Video Delivery

Benefits of SONA

The benefits of SONA are as follows:

■ Functionality—SONA supports the enterprise's operational requirements. The network's services meet the requirements of the business.

■ Scalability—SONA separates functions into layers, allowing for the growth and expansion of organizational tasks. Modularity and hierarchy allows for network resources to be added to allow growth.

■ Availability—SONA provides the services from any location in the enterprise and at any time. The network is built with redundancy and resiliency to prevent network downtime.

■ Performance—SONA provides fast response times and throughput, with quality of service per application. The network is configured to maximize the throughput of critical applications.

■ Manageability—SONA provides configuration management, performance monitoring, and fault detection. Network management tools are used to detect and correct network faults before applications are affected. Trending tools are used to determine when to add more infrastructure or services to support the increasing demands of applications.

■ Efficiency—SONA provides the network services with reasonable operational costs and sensible capital investment. Maximum use of existing resources reduces cost and additional equipment is added only when the application demands increase.

Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement, Operate, and Optimize Phases 13

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