Hybrids to Drive Demand for SD-WAN

November 30, 2016

By Susan J. Campbell, SD-WAN Contributing Editor

The operation of your network is vital, regardless of the size of your organization. The uptime is critical, yet too many organizations experience performance issues and lack of monitoring accuracy to ensure full productivity. The problem is exacerbated by wide areas where remote access is necessary to support the branch and multi-location operation. It’s creating a demand for access to SD-WAN.

SD-WAN is the wide area network (WAN) that is defined by software instead of hardware and replaces the fragmentation of current networking. The goal in these environments is to build a centralized control plane and couple that intelligence with policy-based language that leads to better overall performance.

The deployment of the SD-WAN in essence delivers a lightweight network that is instantly on, delivers elasticity, reduces overall costs and allows for vendor independence. Those who want to make the switch can do so incrementally, controlling the stages of the migration so as to keep disruption to a minimum. The opportunity to layer the network over existing infrastructure gives the IT considerable flexibility and control.

For some, this is the way to go. For others, a hybrid of the legacy infrastructure and the SD-WAN makes more sense for their operation and the processes they need to complete on a daily basis. Research from Gartner (News - Alert) suggests this is the future of enterprise WAN. According to the research giant, the Hybrid WAN will be the new normal for the next generation enterprise WANs.

Still, there are questions as to how the network needs to look and operate in the future. There is also confusion around the role the Internet needs to play for the enterprise. While the Internet is still vital to enterprise connectivity, how it plays into WAN architecture is still somewhat confusing. Therefore, companies need to understand how to incorporate the Internet with MPLS, why a robust path selection is necessary, what that path needs to do and what vendors should consider.

In a new report, Hybrid WAN Will be the New Normal for the Next Generation Enterprise WANs, Gartner offers insights and answers to these questions and more. To learn how to address these challenges within your own environment and whether or not SD-WAN is the right method, check out the report in full.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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