Bandwidth needs are skyrocketing. To meet the growing demand, there is a transition underfoot to move away from traditional the wide area network (WAN) to the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). According to IDC, SD-WAN technology is projected to exceed $6 billion in revenue by 2020. SD-WAN promises great change, and adoption is gaining traction, but understanding how you can deploy it to benefit your organization is still evolving for many organizations.
Software-Defined WAN Explained
Using virtualization and network overlays to deliver better connectivity, reduce complexity and lower overall costs, SD-WAN is an alternative approach to designing and deploying enterprise WANs. In a traditional WAN, local and corporate networks are connected via proprietary hardware or fixed circuits. SD-WAN moves that network into the cloud, using a software approach, adopting a more application-centric model rather than relying on the traditional hop-by-hop routing.
The goal is to simplify the WAN setup so that an administrator only needs to plug in a cable for the appliance to contact the central controller and receive the configuration. The aim is to eliminate dependency on private WAN technologies like MPLS, which are notorious for long provisioning times and expensive contracts.
There is a growing interest in SD-WAN as users increasingly access applications via the cloud, diminishing reliance of dedicated pipes to on-premises data centers. Even with its rising popularity, many larger enterprises are still reluctant to fully adopt the solution and are expected to deploy a hybrid WAN architecture.
While SD-WAN is still evolving, it is gaining traction in the marketplace because of these emerging advantages:
Is SD-WAN Right for You?
SD-WAN’s most vital benefit is that its architecture is better suited for the demands of mobile and real-time applications, and most importantly, it’s often better at meeting the demands of the cloud. However, while SD-WAN can reduce the cost and complexity associated with the traditional WAN, enterprise IT departments will need to decide whether SD-WAN is an investment worth pursuing based on a variety of factors including:
If you answered in the affirmative to most or all of the above questions, then maybe it’s time to consider SD-WAN. If you are unsure if SD-WAN is the right fit for your organization, read our SD-WAN hype or reality eBook to gain more information.
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