Drivers of the Growth in SD-WAN Deployments
The use of devices offering cloud services is highly common nowadays. With the increasing demand, the number of devices using cloud services will only go up. The rising number of the cloud services signify that the demand for wide area network (WAN), security, and bandwidth, will also rise. In addition, the rising demand has led to changes in the enterprise network architectures and has created new challenges in network setup to allocate bandwidth. The need for fast and secure access to the cloud applications, demand for agility in apps and services. Also, the desire to leverage the internet connectivity is boosting the demand for Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), which has better flexibility and lesser complexities than the traditional WANs.
Business enterprises have tried for long to redesign their WANs in order to make their systems, more reliable, more predictable, easier to manage and cost effective when compared with the WAN. The traditional MPLS WAN is expensive and has limited flexibility in the system. It also takes more time to provision and has no leverage with the telecom companies. All of these reasons hold back the traditional WAN network from rolling out bandwidth-intensive or cloud-based applications. SD-WAN is, comparatively, a better and cost-efficient solution to further the growth of the cloud based devices.
With the rapid surge in the adoption and use of the SD-WAN, there is a need to look at the causes behind the rise of the Software defined network. Below we highlight 3 reasons for the increasing popularity of the SD-WAN.
- Greater demand for bandwidth:
Applications such as VoIP and video conferencing as well as the devices accessing these services, generate excess of traffic which pass through the WAN networks and necessitates more bandwidth in the process. This growing demand for bandwidth cannot be met with a flat supply of network resources. This can, instead, be achieved with the SD-WAN combining numerous different WAN connections into one logical network. SD-WAN can be used to control the bandwidth costs and can also minimize the amount spent on the MPLS connections.
- Altering basic requirements at branches:
In the modern cloud era, business enterprises face problems with remote sites. As MPLS is an expensive commodity, the bandwidth gets limited. And due to the lack of an adequate number of IT personnel on site, it becomes difficult to ensure the reliability of the WAN, thus making it hard to manage. In an ideal situation, the management and orchestration needs to be done on a centralized scale and not on each device at the branch.
With the introduction of the SD-WAN technology, it has become possible to augment or replace the MPLS connectivity with cost effective internet connections and maintain the network reliability and application’s performance-predictability at the same time. SD-WAN enables branch architecture as well as device consolidation, without sacrificing the application QoE. Due to the ease of centralized authorization and management, it becomes possible to apply network changes instantly.
- Cloud services and uncertainty of MPLS connections:
Business enterprises have become increasingly interested in moving a majority of their products and services over the cloud. However, a majority of these businesses work with traditional MPLS technology, which is not suited for cloud-centric workflows. Many organizations have tried to change their WAN infrastructure and tried to upgrade to SD-WAN. But the existing MPLS links represent significant investments that would be wasted if we are to discard them altogether.
Fortunately, it is possible to combine the existing MPLS architecture with the SD-WANs along with broadband internet, cellular and sometimes even satellite links as a part of one complete network system.
SD-WAN, when appropriately introduced, can help to address the major issues that plague the MPLS WAN technologies and succeed in providing MPLS-class high availability and application’s performance-predictability. SD-WAN is also able to leverage inexpensive internet connections to augment or replace the expensive MPLS infrastructure. All of these factors help to explain the popularity of SD-WAN and the growth in SD-WAN deployments across business enterprises all over the world.