As enterprises seek more effective solutions for cloud enablement and application-oriented connectivity, Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is quickly replacing legacy network architectures, creating a more transparent and cloud-friendly environment.
Recently, Samir Desai, Director of Managed Services at GTT, gave a presentation, “SD-WAN as a Driver for Network Cloud Transformation,” at LAYER123’s SDN NFV World Congress 2017. During the session, Mr. Desai explored how SD-WAN is equipped to tackle common enterprise IT challenges such as network complexity, cloud connectivity, fragmented security and expensive bandwidth by adapting existing networks to better support business requirements around application performance.
“Smarter WAN is essentially a marketing term used for SD-WAN,” said Mr. Desai. “It describes how we use this technology to enhance the network from a traffic and application management point of view with more efficient bandwidth utilization.”
Elaborating upon this idea, Mr. Desai explained that there are three key features typical to an SD-WAN package, including overlay networking over any WAN transport, dynamic traffic steering, and efficient network management. This combination of features helps enterprise IT managers to optimize their networks to their application environment through enhanced performance visibility and control.
Until the recent advent of SD-WAN, hybrid WAN architectures that incorporate internet access were popular among enterprises seeking effective network connectivity. Though it has been adequate thus far, hybrid WAN still leaves much to be desired for enterprises seeking a more agile and responsive network to support their business environment.
“The hybrid WAN story has been a good one so far. It’s taken corporations away from the traditional ‘spaghetti bowl’ mess of network connections to a more coherent network approach,” shared Mr. Desai. “However, now the next stage in evolution is how we then use SD-WAN to provide true enterprise agility and visibility for IT managers.”
According to Mr. Desai, from the SD-WAN perspective, integrated connectivity is paramount. However, enterprise customers will be hard-pressed to find private-line, broadband, Ethernet over Copper (EoC) or cable connections from a single provider. This is where GTT can help.
“From the GTT perspective as an aggregator-based reseller, it makes sense to us to continue what we’ve always been doing,” Mr. Desai stated. “We take our ability to source and provide a wide range of network connectivity options and make this available within an SD-WAN-enabled environment.”
“Looking ahead, SD-WAN isn’t the end game,” he added. “This is just the first step in the journey towards more efficient enterprise networking.”