8 Reasons to adopt Gen2 SD-WAN
When it comes to networking, software is the new hardware. Software-defined networking (SDN) advances application 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.
Gen2 SD-WAN benefits
- Align with multicloud models
With Gen2 SD-WAN, 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.
- 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 application analytic insights.
- Support cloud-based security architectures
Gen2 SD-WAN solutions provide enhanced integration with leading cybersecurity vendors and support centralized security solutions.
- Facilitate a new class of monitoring tools
- Offer carrier-neutral colocation capabilities
These colocations form the new network backbone. Providers offer API-based flex capacity between locations and connectivity types.
Gen1 SD-WAN barriers
In addition, Gen2 SD-WAN overcomes these limitations of Gen1 solutions:
- Not aligned with multicloud models
Gen1 SD-WAN doesn’t support the movement from data center to multicloud application delivery, which requires application networking.
- Virtually no application awareness
Gen1 SD-WAN products typically can’t identify applications and have minimal understanding of application performance.
- 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.
Related topic: Software-defined Networking (SDN)
In depth: Software defined (SD) network topics: