As enterprises adopt more cloud-based services, they’re finding that their WANs aren’t up to the job. Traditionally, enterprises built their WANs using multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services, and backhauled Internet traffic from their branch offices through their corporate data centers. While backhauling enables organizations to centralize Internet security, it creates performance problems with cloud-based services.
The rise of the cloud has contributed to the rapid growth of the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) market, which IDC expects to reach $8 billion by 2021. IDC recently published the results of an extensive global survey of current and future enterprise plans for SD-WAN adoption. The study examines the relationship between SD-WAN and cloud services, WAN management and operational requirements, and the potential impact SD-WAN will have on overall enterprise IT efficiency.
IDC surveyed more than 1,200 midmarket and enterprise organizations worldwide to determine their needs and priorities for SD-WAN. The study found that SD-WAN enables these organizations to optimize their cloud applications and create a dynamic and secure WAN across branch locations. Enterprises said they are using SD-WAN to simplify WAN infrastructure, use multiple WAN providers and to offload non-critical business apps to broadband Internet services.
The top driver for SD-WAN adoption is “bandwidth optimization,” cited by 36 percent of survey respondents. Organizations are also looking to SD-WAN for “consistent application security” (31 percent) and “improved automation and self-provisioning” (28 percent). Faster deployment, operational efficiency and reduced IT complexity also ranked high as motivational factors for enterprises considering SD-WAN.
Small Business and SD-WAN
But what about small businesses? They have many of these same needs, and generally lack the IT resources to implement and support complicated networking equipment. Their ideal SD-WAN solution would be a plug-and-play appliance that integrates seamlessly with their existing infrastructure. Trouble is, most SD-WAN solutions are designed for large enterprises, with complicated configurations, policy definitions and management.
InSpeed is different. Plug it in, turn it on and it automatically begins streamlining the Internet, creating a self-driving WAN that eliminates management headaches. InSpeed enables organizations of all sizes—and even home office workers—to optimize interactive and cloud-based applications without breaking their budgets.
The IDC report also notes that SD-WAN allows organizations to take advantage of multiple connectivity options. The centralized controller that’s core to SD-WAN technology makes it possible to leverage a hybrid WAN that incorporates broadband, 4G/LTE and satellite services. A software overlay abstracts the complexity of the underlying networks, and application and network visibility enable intelligent path selection across WAN links.
This flexibility is a godsend for locations that lack access to reliable Internet services, as well as for temporary sites and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Multiple connections also provide a hedge against service provider outages, improving business continuity.
Of course, making all this work properly is immensely difficult. Enterprise SD-WAN solutions typically provide administrative interfaces so that network engineers can implement failover policies and control each connection. Some vendors have introduced so-called “edge” solutions that are less complex but also have fewer capabilities.
InSpeed works with any WAN connection, and makes routing decisions inside the InSpeed cloud. It adjusts to the bandwidth that’s available, ensuring top performance for voice, videoconferencing and cloud-based services.
Whether your with a small business or a large enterprise, our experts are happy to answer all your questions about SD-WAN.