At this year's SD-WAN Summit in Paris, SD-WAN vendors and service providers commingled to discuss the challenges that both parties face in adopting software-defined architectures, as well as the shift in the relationship between enterprises and CSPs in orchestrating SD-WAN network functions.
For enterprises, switching to SD-WAN often entails a migration to hybrid WAN that utilizes public Internet as well as MPLS from their service provider. While in many cases this will require the enterprise to rely less heavily on purchasing megabits per second (Mbps) from their CSPs, larger businesses will still lean on service providers to help manage the transition from legacy network architectures toward software-defined models.
In order to provide rich WAN service programmability and agile provisioning for businesses, CSPs can trigger SD-WAN network functions as standalone services or as part of a chain of virtual network functions at the WAN edge appliances, e.g. vCPEs. Because businesses have the option to pick-and-choose what services they'd like to adopt from CSPs, providers need to develop “friendly” SD-WAN solutions that embrace a standardized management and orchestration (MANO) global framework to ensure successful deployments.
In this context, the easy adoption of SD-WAN is very dependent on the interoperability of the SD-WAN controllers — the application programming interfaces (APIs) — with top management platforms, including business/operations support systems (BSS/OSS) and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO). Since standardization of service, management and orchestration models for SD-WAN autonomous systems can take several years to deploy, service providers should consider proven internal-interoperability as a crucial factor when selecting SD-WAN vendors to save on the time and resources necessary for adoption.
By moving toward a common SD-WAN framework and workflow, service providers can speed up their own SD-WAN adoptions as well as better apply their skills and methodologies when helping their enterprise customers adapt their network architectures. A global MANO framework for SD-WAN requires an ecosystem of service providers, enterprises and vendors that all have a pivotal role to play in global SD-WAN adoption.
Additionally, any SD-WAN solution should be able to provide sophisticated, software-defined and application-aware network functions that generate a clear ROI, are scalable, cloud-friendly and catalyze end-to-end SLA network/application orchestration. Service providers especially need to deliver proven service model interoperability and a clear vision of management and orchestration frameworks in order to reduce time to market of ongoing and future SD-WAN services.
Learn more about the Application Aware SD-WAN tools and solutions that InfoVista can help service providers and enterprises deploy to grow their network agility using software-defined architectures.