SD-WAN is a potential game-changer for wide area networking—on the same level as server virtualization, which transformed data centers over the last 10 years. SD-WAN combines the use of multiple active branch links, intelligent direction of traffic across those links, and centralized, policy-driven management of the WAN as a whole.
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.
The Wide Area Network (WAN) is the backbone of the business. It ties together the remote locations, headquarters and data centers into an integrated network. Yet, the role of the WAN has evolved in recent years. Beyond physical locations, we now need to provide optimized and secure access to Cloud-based resources for a global and mobile workforce. The existing WAN optimization and security solutions, designed for physical locations and point-to-point architectures, are stretched to support this transformation.
SD-WAN at its core helps enterprises achieve dynamic alignment among business and IT strategy, application policy, and WAN configuration. In other words, it enables the WAN to provide the application experience (reliability, availability, performance), and application security demanded by business users, and the operational simplicity that IT and network admins yearn for in the current paradigm of rising IT complexity. We further explore these three key value drivers of SD-WAN adoption below:
Today, digital business is no longer an abstract concept—it’s a reality. As more applications move to the cloud, business users increasingly rely on them to do their jobs. From virtual meetings to file-sharing to collaboration through tools like Skype, Slack, and Office 365, including voice and video traffic, they require consistent, high-quality bandwidth, all the time.
Until recently, corporate networking has been a fairly stable component of enterprise IT. Its return to prominence goes hand-in-hand with changes in computing-infrastructure delivery.
SD-WAN analyst predictions around market growth have been smashed as trials have transformed into deployments. As businesses across sectors and geographies continue to digitize, SD-WAN offers enterprises a straight-forward evolution of the WAN. And it’s an evolution that is increasingly urgent:
Cato Cloud enables a significant WAN transformation for many of our customers, one that addresses a longheld wish for a simpler, more agile infrastructure. A single secure, global network connecting and protecting all offices, resources and users anywhere and managed by a single set of policies — it’s a networking dream come true.
At the same time, networking teams are often concerned about incurring too much risk or disrupting existing MPLS operation while changing their WANs. Cato Cloud was engineered to be deployed incrementally, minimizing risk. Customers address immediate pain-points today while providing a framework for a complete WAN transformation tomorrow.