The IP network is the lifeblood of every modern digital business. In our world of hybrid IT, decentralized staff and workloads tied to cloud-based applications, the network is vital in helping organisations to adapt rapidly to mitigate challenges or unlock new opportunities. In an effort to get the most out of the network, for the last decade, the use of Software Defined WAN has increased rapidly, with a recent analyst report predicting a healthy growth exceeding 34% between 2020 to 2027. However, use cases for SD-WAN and its core capabilities must change dramatically to address a significant shift in the needs of organizations across every industry sector.
The SD-WAN evolution
The journey to SD-WAN starts in the early 2000s with fledgling WAN optimization designed to squeeze as much bandwidth from circuits as possible . The early pioneers offered rudimentary best-path routing with little application intelligence, Quality-of-Service or value-added functions.
With the emergence of broadband and 4G, what we think of as modern SD-WAN appeared, offering true application awareness, circuit bonding and traffic optimization to improve QoS. However, many of the largest vendors in this space tied the technology to the sales of network routing hardware which forced potential SD-WAN customers to conduct significant rip-and-replace projects to gain these additional benefits with year-long transitions a not uncommon prospect.
More recently, we can claim the innovation of creating the first ‘transparent’ solution that allowed SD-WAN to be deployed on top of existing networking infrastructure that allows organizations to dramatically improve time to value for SD-WAN – while avoiding unnecessary disruption.
However, SD-WAN 1.0, as we should call it, is still tied to the concept of building a rigid solution based on a largely static topology. This is at odds with the flexibility and agility that organizations have demonstrated they require through the growing use of as-a-service and cloud-based technologies.
A new era
This May, we will announce the first SD-WAN 2.0 solution that delivers a set of unique capabilities to the market. This is more than just a ‘feature release’ because with this launch, we shift SD-WAN to a truly on-demand service that can be deployed, consumed, and scaled in a similar way to a cloud or SaaS model. SD-WAN 2.0 means a fully managed and highly automated solution that is pre-integrated with scalable capacity plus a deeper set of cyber security and management functions. To be clear, Infovista is not becoming a telecommunication services provider – we are proud to be a pure technology company that works closely with over 300 of the world’s leading telcos and MSPs – and we have no intention of competing against these long-term partners.
Instead, we have built an API-driven SD-WAN 2.0 platform that is designed to better connect different workloads across multi-clouds, SaaS, owned DCs, hosted, IaaS UC – in fact, every combination that modern businesses require. To deliver the truly software-defined benefits of allowing services to dynamically adapt to the real-time conditions of the network and business SLAs.
This is a pre-integrated stack that is designed for CSPs and MSPs that want to deliver advanced capabilities to their customers without having to engage in complex and expensive rip-and-replace projects or the burden of ongoing management. Customers gain the complete set of SD-WAN benefits via a consumption or ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis within a typical SLA framework. The platform is continually updated to add features that improve resilience and security without requiring multi-vendor reconfiguration projects.
With SD-WAN 2.0, the technology moves forward to address more challenges. Yet at its heart, it is also far simpler for service providers and customers alike: as a single platform, with a single interface, single bill, with a quantifiable set of benefits offering more value as cyber security and identity services are built into the stack – all from day one and not as an afterthought. Yet simplicity does not mean prescriptive. Each CSP/MSP and customer can choose capacity, features, QoS and a whole host of variables that best suit their respective service offering or businesses need.
Infovista’s SD-WAN 2.0 solution offers transformative capabilities including ‘EdgeSentry’, an advanced, cloud-based edge security platform, and ‘CloudMesh’ that delivers automated multi-cloud connectivity – all within a consumption-based model. These capabilities are delivered in partnership with two global technology leaders and a formal press announcement that outlines these strategic relationships will be released over the next few weeks.
We are proud to be first to market with this ground-breaking advancement of the SD -WAN concept. This foundation is part of a longer-term roadmap to help communication providers build more flexible and profitable services, enabling them to utilize more transports methods that will ultimately better serve both large enterprises and smaller businesses through a single end-to-end offering that reduces operational complexity, unlocks more value, and extends product choice.
From today, SD-WAN 2.0 is ready for business!