Original article from networkworld.com
Now that the technology has been with us for some time, interest in and adoption of software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) is heating up. It’s a good time to look at what’s driving organizations to implement SD-WAN and what type of organizations the technology is best suited for.
SD-WAN allows the virtualized network management and control of traffic across a WAN via software, boosting connectivity and security in a multi-cloud environment.
1. Geographic Expansion
When a company is adding to its existing footprint, such as retail or branch locations, it's ideal for the network to be managed through SD-WAN. Mergers and acquisitions also fit this category.
In that case, the acquiring company can retain the existing services employed at the various sites of the acquired company, but use the SD-WAN as an overlay to bring them under the same corporate umbrella and apply uniform policies and security.
2. Optimize Existing WAN Capacity
SD-WAN lets companies use a dual-connectivity strategy that spans public and private network services. IT can use public services to offload some traffic from the private network, thus reserving the private network for applications that need its performance characteristics.
3. Add Resiliency to the WAN
SD-WAN enables a hybrid network environment encompassing multiple network connections to the same site in an active/active configuration. Traffic can be balanced among the services under normal circumstances, but should one connection go down, traffic can fail over to the alternative service (or services).
4. Cloud Migration
SD-WAN is a good fit for the “cloudification” of the enterprise, with companies moving various applications to the cloud. With support for application-based routing, SD-WAN allows each app to use the most appropriate wide-area service depending on its requirements.
With so many drivers, it’s little wonder that interest in SD-WAN is strong. “In network circles, there may be no hotter topic right now than [SD-WAN],” Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research, recently wrote in Network World. “SD-WAN is definitely moving out of the early-adopter phase and into mainstream adoption.”
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