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Crystal Bedell
Crystal Bedell
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SD-WAN Vendors Making A Splash

Software-defined WAN has suddenly become the hottest topic in networking, due to its potential to save money while improving network performance. Check out the vendors leading the way.
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IT organizations have long been challenged by the cost and complexity of managing enterprise WANs. These problems are only made worse with the continued growth of bandwidth requirements, adoption of real-time applications, and increasing dependency on high-performance networks. Fortunately, advancements made in software-defined networking offer some solutions.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology promises to reduce the cost and complexity of enterprise WANs by automating the ongoing configuration of WAN edge routers and running traffic over a hybrid of broadband, MPLS, and other WAN links. A centralized controller is used to set policies and prioritize traffic. The SD-WAN takes into account these policies and the availability of network bandwidth to route traffic. This helps ensure that application performance meets SLAs while optimizing low-cost broadband links and reducing the amount of traffic sent over costlier MPLS links.

IT organizations are optimistic about these capabilities. According to market research firm IHS, 45% of North American businesses plan to spend more on SD-WAN over the next two years. Enterprises have several technology providers to choose from. While the SD-WAN market is young, several startups are making inroads in the landscape, and legacy technology providers are paying attention. As part of our Top in Tech series, on the slides that follow we've selected providers and technology that are making a splash with SD-WAN.

(Image: Chinaface/iStock)

Crystal Bedell is a freelance technology writer specializing in security, cloud computing and mobility. As the principal of Bedell Communications, she helps technology providers and IT media companies create engaging thought leadership content.

 

Stay on top of the hottest trends in IT with Network Computing and Interop's Top in Tech lists. We bring to you emerging vendors, innovative products, and insightful technology from around the networking and infrastructure industries. View Full Bio

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Jerome Amon
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Jerome Amon,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 7:59:28 PM
Re: SD-WAN
I remember that last time, i was reading a post on SD-WAN, and i learn how Viptela demonstrate its solution  based on DMVPN and compare it to Cisco solution ... This domain is at the beginning, Vendors are lot to demonstrate and to do for get the market  :)
Jerome Amon
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Jerome Amon,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 7:50:40 PM
Re: SD-WAN
With the little i know in the Cisco world of SD-WAN, we can start build something even if we have two links, just put intelligent usage of these links with a set of techno and protocols. It is awesome :)
Jerome Amon
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Jerome Amon,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 7:46:45 PM
Re: SD-WAN
Hi everyone, Great post ! SD-WAN in my opinion is at the begining, more and more vendors are providing their solutions, because the big challenges stay there, yes at the WAN edge, we will need it as some tech/methods like cloud, different type of trafic, multiple connection,... are used or exist. We need intelligent there.  
siegler_mike
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siegler_mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/23/2015 | 6:07:52 PM
SD-WAN Technologies
Nice list, and the SD-WAN Bill of Rights is very interesting. It is a good, holistic view of this emerging technology. I personally like #10, everyone should be focused on a solid Return On Investment (ROI); no new technologies should be deployed unless customers know they will pay for themselves and what performance improvements they will make on your network. We recently released our own proof-of-concept numbers on the impact SD-WAN devices have on organizations that try them over a 60-day time period. Here's where you can see the numbers.
dan_conde
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dan_conde,
User Rank: Author
8/31/2015 | 12:31:00 AM
Re: Cisco
I saw the SD-WAN Bill of Rights and it's quite interesting -- very focused on what the end-user benefits from, as opposed to a set of technical features.  The ONUG list of comprehensive, with customer input (although mostly very large enterprises)

 
dan_conde
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dan_conde,
User Rank: Author
8/31/2015 | 12:04:37 AM
Re: SD-WAN
virsingh211. That's correct -- given the costs of MPLS circuits, people with those lines have a clear ROI.  But I would not rule out all SMB's as a category -- there are cases where it would still make sense for them.
virsingh211
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virsingh211,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2015 | 12:46:53 PM
Re: SD-WAN
I see your point Dan, although i have not seen any SD-WAN at small/ mid sized business operators, and my understanding was that we can only yield good results with MPLS like circuit which can save $$$ for us.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 6:31:29 PM
Cisco
ICYMI, Cisco yesterday issued an SD-WAN "Bill of Rights." Jason Rolleston, a Cisco senior director of product management who heads the company's SD-WAN effort, told me that the list is designed to get people to think more broadly about SD-WAN than the ONUG definition by taking other factors into accounte such as IoT.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 12:29:45 PM
Re: SD-WAN
Good info, thanks Dan!
dan_conde
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dan_conde,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2015 | 12:19:54 PM
Re: SD-WAN
I've met SD-WAN companies who referenced customers who are SMBs and use-cases specific to SMB.  SMBs who purchase these solutions may benefit from buying through service providers.  I.e. When you buy a WAN circuit, the provider may offer some SD-WAN software solution along with the network service.    I've also seen SD-WAN related software packaged for SMB (i.e. for 25 devices) so I think that's in the small-end of the spectrum,

Remember that in some cases -- you can get a turn-key solution (HW/SW) and in other cases, you can combine traditional WAN Software/hardware with some additional software for management and monitoring to get similar results.  There are others who are knowledgable DIY'ers enough to configure traditional WAN software to achieve the same benefits too. It's all a function of the skills sets one has, and the type of support one expects.

Dan
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