• Demands of innovative collaborative communications and cloud-native applications are placing tremendous pressure on legacy WANs.
• As companies virtualize more and more IT functions and migrate apps to private and public clouds, the resulting network looks very different to legacy static and hub-and-spoke network configurations.
• Corporate networks need to evolve to support greater automation, more self-serve, and better operational simplicity and agility.
• New SD-WAN services are the key to effective control and management of network traffic within disruptive technology domains; such as cloud-native migration, 5G, IoT, big data analytics, augmented reality, and machine learning.
• The new era is identified by networks being applications-led; as opposed to being connectivity-led.
A panel of industry thought leaders gathered at the Vodafone Global HQ in Newbury on October 3, 2018 to address the following questions:
• What does the future of networking look like?
• How will how SD-WANs will make an impact on corporate networks?
• What are the opportunities and challenges in the industry for SD-WAN technology?
The following blog summarizes the main insights and discussion highlights that emerged during the panel debate.
Old Making Way for the New
The majority of existing corporate WANs in use throughout the business world are based on IP/MPLS technologies. In the past several years there has been a strong desire on the part of enterprise buyers of IT and network systems to also leverage Internet VPN, in parallel with private IP VPN services, to take advantage of a far lower cost-base for non-critical corporate data traffic. Continue reading “SDN and the Future of Networking”→
New products, technologies, workflows and architectures used by ISPs as well as IT’s growing acceptance of managed services are laying the groundwork for expansion of SD-WAN managed services.
Competition in the SD-WAN segment will increase as existing MSPs and resellers with MSP offerings enter the market.
SD-WAN is disrupting more than WAN services. It’s also the catalyst for the launch of a new round of managed services, which will have a significant impact on the SD-WAN competitive landscape. The clearly defined choice of how enterprises acquire products – via the channel versus managed services providers – is collapsing as MSPs launch new services based on the very same products being sold through the channel. It’s the rare case where a trend that’s great for buyers because of the flexibility it offers is also great for equipment vendors as they can sell more products, but there is a chance for hidden conflicts in the sales cycle. Continue reading “SD-WAN Competition Between Resellers and MSPs Will Heat Up”→
Successfully deploying SD-WAN means moving from rigid, static policies to dynamic enforcement of your intentions.
Static rules should be a thing of the past and alternative equivalent controls should be evaluated for any lingering static requirements.
Few technologies make me sit up and say, “I want that!” when I see them, and SD-WAN is a game changing technology for organizations that have more than a handful of remote offices and want a better, more efficient way of interconnecting branches and a better, more efficient way to manage them. Regardless of the product you choose, and I discuss them in “SD-WAN H1 2016 Market Update: Vendor Snapshots Show a Crowded, Competitive Field Attempting to Diversify,” the benefits of SD-WAN will seem remarkable, fantastical even, until you see it in action. Implementing the routing, firewall, VPN, link load balancing, application performance, failover, failback, and cost management with traditional branch office equipment is very complex and even more complex to change, including adding new sites. Continue reading “Intentionally Making the Most of SD-WAN”→
As companies refresh branch IT products, it’s a good time to evaluate new architectures for a better fit.
Network function virtualization (NFV) was born in the service provider space, but the basic concept has legs in the enterprise.
Every five years or so, vendors old and new refocus product development on the branch in an effort both to add capabilities in remote offices and to reduce management overhead as well as the number of trips IT has to make to locations for moves, adds, and changes. There’s always been tension between adding even more appliances to a branch office and consolidating down to fewer multi-function appliances. Having multiple single-function appliances improves performance and increases versatility because functions can be swapped out by replacing hardware, but at the expense of increased management overhead and cost; while utilizing consolidated, multi-function devices promises lower costs, consolidated management and simpler networks at the cost of less versatility in swapping out functional components and the possibility of a failure having a greater impact. Continue reading “One Box to Rule the Branch, Yet Again?”→
One key strategy VMware employs is attempting to commoditize infrastructure through abstraction and virtualization.
Cloud providers need to watch as VMware’s strategy unfolds, ensuring they aren’t commoditized as well.
With Cross-Cloud Services, VMware wants to commoditize cloud services just like it sped up the commoditization of x86 servers. During the keynote demo of the tech preview, VMware replicated much of the functionality found in various cloud dashboards, but more importantly, Cross-Cloud Services consolidates the views into a consistent and cohesive dashboard. I think it’s a pretty impressive effort and I’m curious to see the final product, but as impressed as I may be, I can’t help but consider VMware’s endgame as it tries to manage all the clouds. Continue reading “VMworld 2016: VMware’s Plans for Cloud Domination”→
• Your organization may be in the minority that won’t benefit from SD-WAN products replacing your existing WAN infrastructure, but for everyone else, there’s significant upside to moving to SD-WAN sooner rather than later.
• Algorithms in SD-WAN products rationalize competing demands such as current conditions and your pre-defined requirements to optimize application performance. Let go and get on with your day.
There are too many times when I see a technology and think, “Yeah, I want to buy that.” I’m talking technology, not products, in this note. SD-WAN is one of those technologies that I think has so much upside that no matter what product you pick the result will be far and away better than what you have, in particular for interconnecting remote sites. I’m not entirely convinced of the efficacy of SD-WAN for inter-data center connectivity. The key feature is operational simplicity when compared to how inter-office connectivity is achieved today. Continue reading “The Case for SD-WAN”→
Enterprise SDN momentum is still slow to pick up indicating that enterprises are struggling to find relevant use cases or use cases with sufficient benefit.
Integration capabilities industry wide need to improve including technical implementations and go to market tactics that prioritize accessibility.
I dislike yearly predictions. If I could make accurate predictions I’d be rich and living on a beach somewhere pondering my next fruit and umbrella drink. But, I can see what enterprises are asking for from vendors and how various vendors are responding to those demands. The big picture end game that creates a great vision and makes for an exciting keynote on stage pixelates when it comes to practical questions on how products and services can positively impact an enterprise. I think there are three critical changes in the market occurring in 2016.