As business and IT leaders seek to make their organizations more agile, they are investing millions in infrastructure to ensure the data center can support the speed, scalability and flexibility required.
According to ZK Research, that has resulted in infrastructure expenditure in excess of $12 billion. And, it has seen an increase in the growth of cloud computing services from around $46 billion in 2014 to an estimated $116 billion by 2019.
However, the network, specifically the WAN, remains the weak link in the drive for agility. A high-performance network is essential with network-centric solutions such as mobility, IoT and cloud integral to improvements in agility.
ZK Research believes that SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN) is the networking solution that can eliminate the weak link.
Overcoming Traditional WAN Limitations
For businesses migrating applications and services to the cloud, network demands change and legacy WANs are no longer sufficient. The WAN must support different traffic patterns and ensure the highest levels of reliability and security.
It must also ensure the right bandwidth and Quality of Service are available for different applications and services. With traditional WANs, that can pose significant management and resource challenges. In addition, scaling a legacy WAN can be time-consuming and expensive.
SD-WANs overcome those limitations by utilizing software to implement policies that automate network configuration and routing to ensure the optimum path for different types of traffic. This ensures that the network has the capacity, reliability and agility to meet changing business requirements.
An Agile, Cost-Effective Network Resource
With an SD-WAN, it’s no longer necessary to depend on expensive leased MPLS circuits or dedicated VPNs. SD-WANs are vendor- and technology-neutral, enabling them to work with any existing network protocol. They can also utilize existing Internet services as well as other networks to optimize connections to both cloud and on-premise services.
This helps protect existing investments as well as reducing network upgrade costs. For example, SD-WANs can aggregate traffic from existing MPLS and VPN circuits and use any available route, with no need to over-provision the network. And, because SD-WAN is a cloud-based network, capacity can be scaled on demand with no delay or disruption to services.
Greater Control and Visibility
SD-WANs simplify network changes by automating manual processes. The solution uses a process called abstraction to translate complex rules and policies into network actions. The technology optimizes the network so that it can respond efficiently to changing conditions and scale up or down in line with demand.
Reliability improves because SD-WANs choose the best route dynamically to take account of traffic levels and any network congestion or other problems. SD-WAN technology incorporates intelligent path control. This automatically selects the fastest route for different types of traffic and prioritizes mission-critical data or applications such as voice.
With software selecting the fastest and highest-quality path for the application, the result is better user experience for employees who rely on fast, reliable access to cloud applications and services.
SD-WAN will enable data center teams to provide a network solution that supports improved agility, flexibility, visibility and security, while controlling operating costs.