SD-WAN Offers Many Benefits, Supplier & Model Choices

May 23, 2018

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

SD-WAN has gotten a lot of coverage in recent months. It’s an interesting and useful approach to what’s happening at businesses and with the cloud today. But once organizations have decided SD-WAN is match for their needs, the next big challenge is to figure out how they want to consume it and from which supplier.

That’s because SD-WAN suppliers provide this technology in a variety of ways. Some provide software that other organizations can implement and manage themselves. And some sell it via the as-a-service model.

Organizations can purchase and/or get support for their SD-WAN solutions direct from the software creator, via managed service providers and resellers that can supplement the offer with added support, or through affiliated companies that have partnerships with SD-WAN suppliers.

In select their SD-WAN model and supplier, organizations should first identify what problem they’re solving for, what that is lowering their connectivity costs by eliminating MPLS and/or bringing affordable and reliable connectivity to branch offices, improving their network reliability by using a collection of access connectivity brought together by SD-WAN’s network visibility and control, enabling better security on their connections, and/or assuring performance on one of more key business applications.

Application companies like RingCentral (News - Alert) have established programs through which they will bring in SD-WAN solutions from partner companies (in the UCaaS supplier’s case, that includes Riverbed and VMware).

Some security specialists have now expanded their portfolios to bring SD-WAN into the mix. Palo Alto (News - Alert) Networks is one security company with an SD-WAN play.

And both traditional connectivity providers, like Masergy and Zayo, and newcomers offer SD-WAN as a service.

Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC (News - Alert), says "As public and private cloud use continues to grow, WAN performance becomes critical to latency-sensitive and mission-critical workloads and inter-data center business continuity. Accordingly, as enterprises plan and implement comprehensive cloud strategies, WAN architectures need to be considered alongside, and in conjunction with, data center infrastructure. Moreover, as enterprises move business processes to the cloud, there is a greater need to fully integrate cloud-sourced services into WAN environments to ensure workload/application performance, availability, and security."

SD-WAN addresses all of the above.

Nemertes Research says SD-WAN reduces branch network outages by 95 percent and cuts WAN management costs in half .

Futuriom says the SD-WAN market will reach $1 billion next year. IDC expects such SD-WAN solutions to see CAGR of 69.6 percent between 2017 and 2021– exceeding $8 billion by the end of that period.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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