The noise in the Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN) marketplace has reached pandemonium levels, as a wide range of vendors seek to disrupt the hegemony of Cisco Systems in the networking marketplace.
The reason why the SD-WAN space is so hot is because it represents disruptions at the conjunction of three separate areas: the wide-area network (WAN) market, cloud computing, and the rapidly maturing Software-Defined Everything (SDX) arena.
Enterprises have been using WANs for decades, primarily to connect their remote offices or branches with their headquarters by leasing secure networking capabilities from telco carriers and running private networks over them. The underlying WAN protocols have evolved over the years, and the current one is Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS).
However, MPLS is now an older technology, and is more expensive than now-standard Internet broadband connections. Your home Internet may be both faster and cheaper than your company’s MPLS, the reasoning goes, so is the added security of a dedicated network over a leased line really worth the money?
The answer: it depends. For more sensitive or regulated traffic, MPLS may still be the technology of choice. But for many corporate uses, the Internet may be the more cost-effective option.
And then there’s the impact of the cloud. WAN is no longer simply about connecting one office to another. Today, every office must connect to various cloud services, from Salesforce to Microsoft Azure to AWS from Amazon.com. MPLS simply doesn’t work well in such situations.
SD-WAN also gives companies the ability to leverage different network technologies as a matter of policy. Instead of having to configure network hardware directly, SD-WAN centralizes administration of such networking policies, thus abstracting the underlying network.
That abstraction is at the core of SDX. Instead of having to configure and maintain any technology manually – from network equipment to servers and beyond – it’s now possible to shift the control to centralized software.
Now, if companies need to adjust which traffic goes over which connection, or establish granular rules about who can leverage which services over which network, admins can configure and manage all such choices from a simple dashboard.
Read the entire article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/03/20/sd-wan-entry-point-for-software-defined-everything/.
Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, Aryaka, CloudGenix, and Riverbed Technology are Intellyx customers. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Aryaka.