8 Reasons to adopt Gen2 SD-WAN

By: Shobit Joshi

When it comes to networking, software is the new hardware. Software-defined networking (SDN) advances business applications awareness, service consistency and management, and facilitates better user experiences through expanded intelligence levels in network layers. With more flexible, open and cloud-based wide area network (WAN) technologies in the market, many enterprise customers are wondering if it’s time to get a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution.

Why adopt SD-WAN?

Adoption, though currently low, is expected to rise due to an increased focus on cloud delivery models. That’s because certain features in the second generation SD-WAN (Gen2) help eliminate or minimize first generation SD-WAN (Gen1) barriers. Recent research dives into the challenges and benefits of SD-WAN enterprise adoption and reports that a combined 65% of those surveyed have seen a 10% plus cost reduction.

If you’re considering deploying an SD-WAN solution, here are eight reasons to adopt Gen2 SD-WAN for your enterprise:

Gen2 SD-WAN benefits

As a result of cloud transformation, Gen2 SD-WAN solutions have seen vast improvements:

  1.      Align with multicloud models

With Gen2 SD-WAN, business applications are in data centers, private clouds, public clouds or delivered through software as a service (SaaS), changing the previous requirements that tied customers to specific carriers.

  1.     Deliver self-driven networks in the cloud

Gen2 SD-WAN products are designed to be cognitive, self-healing and self-configuring. They can autonomously adjust the network through business applications analytic insights.

  1.      Support cloud-based security architectures

Gen2 SD-WAN solutions provide enhanced integration with leading cybersecurity vendors and support centralized security solutions.

  1.      Facilitate a new class of monitoring tools 

Tools are positioned externally to the SD-WAN overlay to provide usage and performance insights.

  1.      Offer carrier-neutral colocation capabilities  

These colocations form the new network backbone. Providers offer API-based flex capacity between locations and connectivity types.

Harness the full power of your core business applications

Gen1 SD-WAN barriers

In addition, Gen2 SD-WAN overcomes these limitations of Gen1 solutions:

  1.      Not aligned with multicloud models

Gen1 SD-WAN doesn’t support the movement from data center to multicloud application delivery, which requires application networking.

  1.      Virtually no application awareness

Gen1 SD-WAN products typically can’t identify applications and have minimal understanding of business applications performance.

  1.      External dependencies

Most Gen1 SD-WAN solutions are associated with carriers and are dependent on vendor-specific hardware and software.

Choosing the right SD-WAN solution

Picking the right SD-WAN solution can be intimidating. Another benefit of the Gen2 SD-WAN solutions is that they provide an enhanced level of support for non-carrier-specific service providers and integrators, so you can get help from a service provider who isn’t trying to sell you a particular SD-WAN solution or connectivity.

For enterprises with highly distributed environments and business cases focused on displacing Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connectivity, these service providers or integrators can go much further to help you find innovative, low-cost connectivity options.

Talk to an IBM expert about network services. We can help you choose an SD-WAN solution vendor, and help you craft an SD-WAN strategy tailored to your business. 

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a consultation with an IBM Network Services expert.

Related topic: Software-defined Networking (SDN)

In depth: Software defined (SD) network topics:

IBM Network Services

IBM Network Consulting Services

IBM Services for Software Defined Networking (SDN)

IBM Managed Network Services

IBM Hybrid SD-WAN Services

What is Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)?

What is a software-defined data center and how it can help your business?

SDN vs Traditional Networking Explained

About The Author

Shobit Joshi

Global Offering Manager - Network Consulting and Continuous Availability, GTS