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Exploring the Promise of SD-WAN

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) has served the computing world well. However, enterprises are looking for ways to reduce bandwidth, latency, and utilization costs while holding on to the control found in current setups.

Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity is challenging enough, but the cloud and mobility are adding to the pressure on IT professionals. The legacy boundaries of enterprises no longer exist, triggering drastic changes to traditional WAN optimization and giving rise to a new playing field: the Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN).

What is stirring the SD-WAN wave?
Flexibility and reduced costs are just about the primary drivers of the SD-WAN wave.

Software-defined networking (SDN) has shifted the network infrastructure approach among big enterprises. With the cloud hovering all over the place, they are gearing for the full automation of even the most mundane tasks. An increasingly mobile workforce needs sophisticated applications for personal-device use at cubicles, international conferences, or on the road.

Enterprise IT is also raring to experience the flexibility of whitebox switches. White-box switching enables companies to heavily customize their operating systems. For instance, organizations with stringent monitoring, availability requirements, or unique and sensitive lines of businesses can greatly benefit from SDN’s customizable capability.

The complexity of configuring and maintaining WAN connectivity is putting a toll on IT engineers. Most would love to get things off their hands. For the owners and decision-makers, simplified tasks would also mean lower costs and increased bottom line.

In a distributed and heterogeneous environment, SDN is making waves in large data centers because of its capability to centralize switching decisions using a software controller. This results in quicker responses to escalating traffic demands in multiple locations, a feature not available in traditional switching strategies: 

Can enterprises bank on the SD-WAN promise?
Enterprises need both intelligence and security intertwined into networks efficiently and cost-effectively. Enterprises need something that can connect them to everyone and anything and accelerate that connectivity – from legacy applications to cloud-based applications and everything in between.

Big organizations want new levels of flexibility and network programmability. Most companies would certainly welcome automated provisioning of new sites, data transfers between remote sites, flexible and secure access of a distributed workforce, and real-time traffic monitoring.

Companies want speed, reliability, predictability, and security with any Internet connection.

This is the SD-WAN promise.

SDN and cloud technologies are trends that merit the attention of enterprises. Until these technologies evolve and develop into more reliable infrastructures, the SD-WAN promise remains to be a promise.

Post by: David Neely, Director of Channel Sales and National Accounts Spectrum Business

Whether it’s SD-WAN or another solution, a growing business needs ultra-fast WAN multipoint connectivity across the enterprise. Visit Spectrum Business to explore the opportunities of maintaining a WAN while connecting to distributed office locations with the optimum level of performance. To view or download original PDF, click here.

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