Top 3 Reasons Why Companies Should Consider SD-WAN
APJ Sales Business Development Manager
Technology, Enterprise Networking, SDN
At Cisco, Software Defined Wide Area Network, or SD-WAN, is a topic that continues to escalate in our conversations with customers. It’s matured greatly in the last 5 years and it's a booming solution that promises to reshape the way businesses manage and operate their Wide Area Network (WAN). Given the transitions and consolidations that’s taking place in the industry, now is a great time to visit the top reasons companies would choose an SD-WAN solution.
Perhaps the most obvious added value of SD-WAN is the simplification of orchestrating and managing a Wide Area Network. Think of any business with various branches, such as a retail chain. When it’s time to set up a new site, such businesses now expect that to be just as simple as using their smartphones – at a click of a button.
SD-WAN makes that possible through a controller that delivers automation, allowing businesses to onboard a new site with a few clicks, change the WAN policy entirely or even extract real-time analytics. The implications from a time and resources perspective are transformational. If it’s simple, it’s also much faster to set up and manage a WAN, with less resources and overall investment, including in training.
The other great thing about SD-WAN is that it can be extended to third party products and solutions through the use of API's. These API's offer a simplistic scripting interface without requiring full time software engineers, often reducing tasks that would take months to just minutes.
The power of simplification through user interface and automation, and the operational efficiency that results from that, is why simplicity is our number one reason to choose an SD-WAN solution.
Got a small IT team? No problem! SD-WAN is all about empowering IT to respond to the business needs with more agility. Let’s say there’s an update to the application of quality of service that needs to be made. With SD-WAN, IT is able to autonomously orchestrate end-to-end policy changes, simply through the SD-WAN controller. Traditionally, this would take weeks, if not months.
Probably the most important part of control is the empowerment of last-mile carriage choice. SD-WAN strives in providing transport diversity, whether that is a cellular 4G interface, xDSL or simply Ethernet hand off. The connection can be a Direct Internet Attached (DIA) circuit or it can be a private cloud, VPN circuit or all of the above. The choice is literally yours, you can choose a lower cost circuit and take the savings, or provide more capacity out to the branch and be more efficient with its use, creating incremental business services.
Then, there’s experience. And SD-WAN promises a great one. This is because SD-WAN allows businesses to implement end-to-end WAN policy that can secure, prefer and assure business critical applications whilst automatically routing guest Wi-Fi traffic via the most cost-effective connection available. In essence, SD-WAN prioritizes and picks the best path for the top applications. Think of when Google Maps, halfway through the journey, alerts you for an alternative route because the first one has become congested. It’s the similar with SD-WAN, automatically and real-time.
This capability is key to providing remote sites with increased bandwidth and better user experience. This way, businesses can deliver additional services in such locations, such as guest Wi-Fi or video marketing, with better quality and in the most cost effective way.
The assurance of the application, its performance and security requirements are key deliverables for an SD-WAN solution today. But innovative services to both customers and staff are mandatory these days, and that is why experience rounds out our top 3 reasons you would choose SD-WAN.
SD-WAN Market set to grow
Of course, there are many other reasons why customers should consider a technology like SD-WAN: segmentation of multiple networks over common infrastructure or acceleration and path enforcement for specific applications, just to name a few.
SD-WAN is a hot topic for Cisco and we fully expect this trend to continue. Various reports have suggested the SD-WAN market will grow at 90% CAGR for the next few years to well over $6B by 2020. Also, we've just completed our acquisition of Viptela, the industry’s leading SD-WAN solution, which complements our portfolio and will enhance our position in this segment.
Stay tuned to learn more about what this integration will bring!