Until very recently, businesses have been restricted to sourcing expensive, complex and inefficient MPLS Wide Area Networks from carriers and network providers. Today, building a secure, flexible, high performance network to cater for multi-site organisations - whilst dramatically reducing cost - has never been easier.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN is advancing towards mainstream adoption. It’s currently estimated SD-WAN will comprise 25% of all WAN traffic by 20211. The worldwide router market declined 2.5% year over year in 2Q2018 with revenues of $3.8 billion, according to the IDC Quarterly Router Tracker.
SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by abstracting network operations from their management. A key application of SD-WAN is to build high performance WANs using low cost and commercially available public Internet, enabling businesses to partially or wholly replace expensive private WAN connectivity such as MPLS.
The global buzz surrounding SD-WAN has been appropriated, sometimes confusingly, by technology vendors across WAN optimisation, link bonding and router technology.
SD-WAN unifies multiple network connections into a single, bonded virtual link. It can aggregate multiple 4G, MPLS, Ethernet, Internet, wireless and other access technologies at a location to provide flexible, consolidated bandwidth for demanding applications.
This also makes your network more efficient by eliminating idle time on links. SD-WAN enabled devices automatically route network packets along the most appropriate path to improve performance.
A combination of lower quality links can be united in to a virtual, aggregated high performance link. Application steering is driven by link performance metrics, intelligent application learning, business priorities and link cost. It delivers sub-second brownout and link failure protection to maximise application availability, and remediates degradation through forward error correction, activate jitter buffering and packet synthesis.
SD-WAN is no longer bleeding edge
Gartner has predicted that by the end of 2019 approximately 30% of enterprises will deploy SD-WAN technology in their branches.
In contrast to traditional WAN, SD-WAN reduces network costs, allows for greater agility, and rapid deployment – the software allows you to spin up new environments quickly, so you can respond to your evolving business demands quickly. For example, think about retail pop-up branches gaining secure access to applications and collaboration tools using existing DSL Internet, compounded with a 4G dongle. Or consider centralised orchestration ensuring continuous alignment with business policy across the entire network.
As SD-WAN solutions rapidly mature, innovative service providers – like CommsChoice - will continue to evolve their offering to provide optimised solutions that can deliver a truly competitive advantage to enterprises in terms of reduced CapEx, lower operating costs, improved network performance and game-changing analytics.
In a recent Frost & Sullivan study 51% of Enterprises surveyed indicated that they would deploy SD-WAN in the next 12-24 months. 33% of respondents had either already deployed an SD-WAN solution or had deployment underway