Points to consider when selecting an SD-WAN solution include WAN/LAN branch architecture, deployment and service provisioning, and centralized management.
Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) uses the concept of Software Defined Networking (SDN) to distribute network traffic over a wide area network (WAN). SD-WAN automatically determines the most efficient way to route application traffic between branch offices and data centers based on pre-configured policies.
SD-WAN is managed by a central controller that sends policy information to all connected devices. The software allows network operations teams to remotely program network edge devices using zero-touch or low-touch provisioning. This minimizes, and in some cases eliminates, the need to manually configure routers in branch offices.
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is a network architecture model designed to virtualize network services that have traditionally run on proprietary, dedicated network appliances.
With NFV, functions like routing, load balancing and firewall access controls are packaged as virtual machines (VMs) or containerized processes delivered on commodity hardware -- the two most popular virtualization technologies available today. Individual virtual network functions (VNFs) are an essential component of NFV architecture.
Multiple VNFs can be added to a standard x86 server and then monitored and controlled by a VM hypervisor or container host. NFV's mission to use commodity hardware is important because network managers no longer need to purchase and manually configure dedicated appliances in order to build a service chain that links certain functions to perform a desired sequence.
MEF provider survey finds great revenue growth in SD-WAN and SASE expected in the year to come, yet obstacles will need to be addressed.
Many enterprises are turning to or exploring SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to provide their increasingly distributed workforce with access to corporate resources in a manner that protects users, data, and the company.
Delivery of the services is dependent on cloud and service providers cobbling together a variety of software and hardware solutions to deliver SD-WAN and SASE services to businesses. Understandably, bringing together multiple point solutions to enable complex service deployments can be challenging and lead to problems.
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