November 20, 2017
Software defined WAN (SD-WAN) is at the cutting-edge of the technology industry today. Though adoption rates at this time are still low, there’s no greater sign of its potential than the recent acquisition of Viptela. Cisco acquired Viptela in August 2017 for the hefty sum of $610 Million and quickly added it to their Network. Intuitive., solution set. It marks a new direction for the networking giant and indicates a mature, ready-for-market solution is available.
The reason for all of this excitement around SD-WAN technology is because it offers immediate cost savings for the client. It is akin to virtualization in some ways. SD-WAN addresses a known and growing problem in the industry with a direct, simple, and effective solution.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN technology is a subset of software-defined networking (SDN) with some clear distinctions. While SDN is a methodology describing how we build and manage our networks. SD-WAN is a solution. It uses software to improve the performance of your wide area network (WAN) to better connect branch offices or data centers across vast distances.
Enterprise WAN Today: What’s Going on?
There are a few factors in modern business today that create the need for an SD-WAN solution. The first is the rising demand for bandwidth. From there we see flat IT budgets, the cloud, and security all setting the stage for SD-WAN technology.
- Rising Bandwidth: Businesses are using more data than ever before. Nearly everyone has a smart phone in their pocket, and demand for bring your own device (BYOD) policies and increased video streaming only exacerbate the problem.
- Flat or Declining IT Budgets: Despite IT’s ever-growing role in business operations, most IT budgets are either flat or declining. For most companies, they simply cannot purchase enough bandwidth to meet the demand.
- The Cloud: More and more, businesses are migrating applications to the cloud, and they rely heavily on their WAN for these applications to perform as they expect. This puts an even greater burden on the existing WAN.
- Security: The primary reason most companies avoid using the public internet for their WAN is security. If WAN costs need to be lowered, businesses cannot compromise security. They still require strong encryption and threat protection.
SD-WAN for Cost Savings
In summary, businesses choose their MPLS WAN connection over the public internet primarily for security. That was a workable solution in the past. It allowed for a secure connection for a reasonable cost, but with bandwidth demand increasing, the cost of these WAN deployments is becoming unworkable.
SD-WAN offers a clear alternative. It gives businesses the ability to leverage a public Internet connection for a fraction of the cost without compromising security.
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