Today, Cisco blogger, Kiran Ghodgaonkar has posted his view of the SD-WAN market for 2017 in his article: 2017 Predictions for SD-WAN. He said “Regardless of the size of the SD-WAN market, it was clear that SD-WAN adoption is increasing and will continue to do so in 2017.”
However, It’s my first time to hear about this word, SD-WAN.
I also want to ask, “What exactly is SD-WAN?”
Wikipedia told us: “SD-WAN is an acronym for software-defined networking in a wide area network (WAN). An SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by decoupling (separating) the networking hardware from its control mechanism. This concept is similar to how software-defined networking implements virtualization technology to improve data center management and operation.”
Well, does it mean that SD-WAN can make cost less than the traditional WAN? I think that many enterprises may care more about the cost of a new technology.
Next table may tell you an answer for reference.
Costs for SD-WAN
Example: Three-Year Costs for 250-Branch WAN
|*Source: Gartner (July 2015)|
I also found a video about “What is SD-WAN”. Now, let the cost go and watch the video to know more about SD-WAN first.
After knowing its introduction, we may try to summarize its advantages. These benefits maybe the things what our enterprises are always chasing for.
1. Transmission Independence
The SD-WAN provides a similar function, known as transport independence. This means that the WAN can be any combination of 3G / 4G LTE, MPLS, Internet, Ethernet, Serial or WiFi services, and we will have WANs that can use any type of service for faster installation and more bandwidth options.
Over the past decade, the reliability and performance of enterprise-class Internet services has increased and the cost of Internet bandwidth has been cheaper than dedicated WAN links. High-bandwidth Internet services can be installed in days, without weeks of installation of MPLS circuits.
As hackers are more and more, our companies need to buy multiple security devices for each branch. However, older devices lack the backup CPU functionality to perform this type of firewall, IPS, and malware checks. So the enterprise simply passes all the branch traffic back to the primary data center where Application Security is deployed.
However, the SD-WAN solution contains a number of security features, which further reduces the overall WAN cost. SD-WAN systems can integrate cloud content filtering services, so that each branch router can act as a network proxy server. The SD-WAN system also provides malware protection and botnet command intervention.
It’s excited to say, the SD-WAN can build a thicker wall to defend the attack from hackers.
3. Intelligent Path Control
For the enterprises, the network and its availability are critical. If the network fails, the employees can not work. The maintenance of the network is very expensive, especially in most of the time idle network. An important feature of the SD-WAN is intelligent path control, where the SD-WAN system can use application-based traffic guidance to deliver traffic through any of the transmission options.
An enterprise can create a traffic forwarding policy in a central controller system and push it to all SD-WAN devices. These policies can be based on IP address, application profile or port number, time, QoS tag, IP SLA measurements, near real-time link utilization, delay, packet loss, and performance thresholds.
4. Improve Users’ Experience
As branch / teleworkers can create a high percentage of business value for our business, it is important that they are quickly networked and their productivity is assured. Another benefit of SD-WAN transport independence and intelligent path control is the ability of branch employees to keep working and to achieve optimal application performance. SD-WAN helps automate the creation of all or part of the mesh topology interface to help mitigate latency effects and improve application response time. If end users are accessing public cloud applications, they can access public cloud applications directly using an Internet connection and a secure channel without having to go through the corporate headquarters WAN.
5. Automatic Configuration and Management
The SD-WAN is sent to the remote site without being configured to initiate DHCP, PXE, or ONIE, obtain IP addresses, perform DNS queries, and then attempt to reach a centralized / virtualized controller. The device then downloads its policy, encrypts the certificate and key, and begins learning traffic patterns. The SD-WAN product also simplifies configuration with cloud-based controller systems, all of which allow enterprises to seamlessly replace devices at branch offices.
As enterprises attempt to improve IT efficiency, they may need to look at their WAN costs and link utilization data. The SD-WAN market is very crowded, and vendors are struggling to stay competitive through pricing and new features. The 2017 may be the important year.
Does your enterprise ready for SD-WAN now?