Thinking SD WAN? 4 Features You Need on Your Wish List
If software-defined WAN (SD WAN) technology isn’t currently a part of your organization’s networking strategy, give it a little longer and it likely will be. That’s the takeaway from a pair of predictions from leading industry research firms Gartner and IDC. Each believes that, within just a few years, SD WAN technology is going to play a much-greater role in connecting geographically-dispersed business locations.
Let’s start with Gartner, which predicts that by the time 2019 comes to a close, 30% of businesses will leverage SD WAN to knit together their branches and offices. What makes that figure especially notable is that, by the end of 2015, only 1% of businesses could make a similar claim. That’s a fairly sizeable jump to make in only a few years.
IDC also looked at the growth of SD WAN, although it took a different angle to reach a comparable conclusion. IDC predicts that, by 2020, businesses will invest roughly $6 billion in SD WAN solutions as their confidence in the technology increases. What, in particular, will be driving that rising level of acceptance? IDC’s team looked into that as well. It found that the three most popular motivating factors behind SD WAN adoption were:
- a more consistent approach to security (36%)
- more reasonable pricing (35%)
- reduced management complexity (31%)
With a plethora of vendors occupying the increasingly in vogue SD WAN space, it could prove a challenge for organizations to find the right solution to address those needs and others.
4 must-have SD WAN capabilities
Every organization’s needs are unique. Still, here are four table stakes features and capabilities organizations should look for as they shop for an SD WAN solution:
- Application performance control – Do you know what’s using your WAN? Network managers must have the ability to monitor, adjust, and automate traffic flow across their organization’s WAN to ensure applications and data are traveling the correct path based on performance and availability needs.
- Centralized network management – Rather than travel back and forth among a company’s different locations, network managers should be able to execute routine tasks, such as implementing patches from their preferred base of operations. Beyond reducing travel, a solution should free up time – and reduce the potential for human error – through automation.
- Connectivity that doesn’t sacrifice security – Businesses can’t afford to compromise on security, yet – with the proliferation of the cloud and remote workers – they must also deliver unparalleled connectivity. Their SD WAN solution should be able to juggle that connectivity while integrating formidable defenses – such as firewalls, intrusion detection, etc. – to keep data and apps secure as they traverse the corporate network.
- Hassle-free scalability – The demands organizations place on their networks are routinely in flux – as such, it’s essential for an SD WAN solution to have the ability to scale along with them. Solutions should include the ability to automate the management process, allowing branches, cloud, and more to scale as the company’s needs do.
Next Steps: Dig deeper into SD WAN
The above abilities only scratch the surface of what businesses must demand from SD WAN vendors. One solution that addresses all four of these needs – and others – is Cisco’s IWAN. This SD WAN solution promises the secure and highly-available experience necessitated by today’s cloud-centric business environment.
Want to learn more about Cisco’s IWAN? Join us on June 8th for the third annual Arraya Solutions Tech Summit! This free event is committed to exploring the latest technologies as well as addressing the challenges faced by today’s IT professionals in a full day of deep dives. Each of the day’s instructional sessions will be presented by the members of our technical team, guaranteeing an event that is truly “by techs, for techs.”
One such session is “Real IWAN Case Studies: What to Do & What to Avoid.” This session will leverage the real life experiences of Arraya engineers to illustrate a best practice approach to architecting and deploying Cisco’s IWAN – as well as shining a light on potential pitfalls.
The Tech Summit is free; however, registration is required. Please visit: https://events.arrayasolutions.com/ to secure your spot today! Stay in the know about our latest Tech Summit news, industry insights, and future learning opportunities by following us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.