- CIO and principal analyst John Burke of Nemertes Research discusses what key considerations to keep in mind when updating your network infrastructure with SD-WAN.
- Plus, explore a Q&A with CIO Matt Minetola about how his teams over at Travelport Mindset underwent a digital transformation journey.
- Don’t forget SD-WAN during your next network infrastructure upgrade.
In this expert e-guide, CIO and principal analyst John Burke of Nemertes Research discusses what key considerations to keep in mind when updating your network infrastructure with SD-WAN. Plus, explore a Q&A with CIO Matt Minetola about how his teams over at Travelport Mindset underwent a digital transformation journey.
Don’t forget SD-WAN during your next network infrastructure upgrade
Software-defined WAN has many upsides for the typical organization with a WAN of sufficient size. The technology can reduce the amount of staff time required to manage the WAN, reduce WAN and site downtime, improve application performance and dramatically reduce costs incurred from increased WAN bandwidth. But IT can’t just drop any product into a network infrastructure upgrade and expect it to succeed.
SD-WAN adoption is spreading surprisingly quickly for such a young technology. But in ongoing studies of WAN economics and SD-WAN, Nemertes Research has seen a familiar pattern: IT deploys SD-WAN when it comes time for a network infrastructure upgrade. Sometimes, refresh is driven by the age of network components or by contract lifecycle. But when the time comes for a network infrastructure upgrade, IT has to decide whether to replace with do-it-yourself infrastructure, a traditional managed WAN or network as a service. No matter which way IT goes, SD-WAN will be central to nearly all plans.
Consider the branch stack when choosing DIY
If IT chooses to go the DIY route, it then has to decide whether to stick with its existing branch stack at each location. This stack usually is made up of three or four devices: the router and some mix of firewall, optimization and wireless LAN controller.
The branch stack may have design principles or security policies that dictate a separation of duties. If those policies can be dropped or relaxed, or if the stack grew over the years without such requirements, then SD-WAN and virtual customer premises equipment platforms allow IT teams the option of collapsing the stack onto a single device or, at most, a pair of devices in a failover or hot-hot configuration.
Managed SD-WAN benefits both enterprises and providers
If IT decides to hand off WAN management, substantially change how its existing managed WAN is delivered or look for a new provider, managed SD-WAN will likely be its No. 1 option. After all, SD-WAN offers enterprises new possibilities for connection paths and technology diversity, cheaper bandwidth and improved WAN performance.
On the flip side, SD-WAN offers managed SD-WAN providers lower marginal costs for managing customer WANs. This is, in large part, thanks to SD-WAN’s centralized, policy based management architecture and to the fact that service interruptions on a given link become less urgent to resolve when multiple paths are available and services can continue uninterrupted.