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The Future Of The WAN

The adoption of cloud resources, coupled with increased bandwidth requirements to support rich media, interactive communications, and other bandwidth-heavy applications, has created interest in deploying hybrid WAN topologies at remote locations (e.g., a combination of MPLS, Internet, LTE, etc.). While multiple transport technologies increase capacity and reliability, they also increase complexity and create new challenges for network managers. Software-defined WAN solutions can help to alleviate these challenges, enabling organizations to capitalize on the benefits of hybrid WANs while increasing overall agility and operational efficiency of the network.

Adoption Of Cloud, Rich Applications, And Mobile Users Are Top Strategic Priorities

To compete in the digital age, businesses depend on technology solutions to deliver high-quality, differentiated services to customers and internal users. This reality has accelerated the adoption of many bandwidth-heavy applications, creating new imperatives for network managers.

  • Higher capacity at branch offices is a priority.
  • Cloud usage will continue to rise. Adoption or expansion of cloud applications is a top strategic objective.
  • Mobility support for employees is key.


Hybrid WAN Architectures Increasingly Dominate Today’s Network Topologies

To connect to distributed assets, enterprises often leverage four or more connection technologies, with the resultant network being a heterogeneous mesh between multiple remote offices, cloud deployments, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, data centers, and mobile workers.

Most WAN Architectures Don’t Meet Top Technology Priorities

Network managers place high importance on security, high bandwidth capacity, and reliability, but their current WAN architectures fall short. Hybrid WAN architectures exacerbate the problem of ensuring consistent security and performance in a cost-efficient manner. Deploying new applications and delivering highly available connectivity are also key challenges.

CIO’s Seek A Solution For Centralized Provisioning, Management, And Monitoring

As network managers juggle a variety of new applications, cloud deployments, and connection technologies, they seek new WAN management capabilities to combat their challenges. To create a more secure, reliable, and cost-efficient WAN, they want to be able to centrally monitor WAN links, manage traffic between link types, and remotely provision branch offices. Remote provisioning will ensure that remote branch office networks are launched with standard configurations, using best practices to achieve consistent performance.

Network Managers Are Looking To Evolve Their WAN Using A Software-Defined Approach

A software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution refers to one that provides the ability to consolidate and virtualize remote WAN connections and functions into a single abstracted layer, with centralized policies to ease the complexity of deploying and managing complex WAN topologies.

Network managers see many potential benefits from software-defined WAN, including:

  • Lower total cost of ownership.
  • Increased flexibility and agility.
  • Improved utilization of WAN resources.
  • Increased security.

Adoption of SD-WAN is set to rise to 50% by next year.
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