Right now the IT industry is buzzing about software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), and this technology isn’t just having a moment. Between pressure on IT departments to deliver reliable, high-quality links for cloud applications at the core of their companies’ day-to-day operations, and industry-wide excitement about a cost-effective way to meet this demand – the market for SD-WAN is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years.
Unfortunately, hype attracts crowds and vendors are staking their claim in this emerging tech market, making bold statements about their solutions’ capabilities. For those considering the benefits of new SD-WAN deployments, it’s important to understand what the technology is and what it isn’t. That’s why our VP of Product Management, Brendan Patterson, has published an article in Help Net Security to help cut through the noise.
Here’s an excerpt from Brendan’s column outlining the essential characteristics to look for in any SD-WAN solution:
- The use of software to manage connections over different link or connection types – MPLS, cable modem, DSL, 4G and links from different ISPs. Every SD-WAN service should offer dynamic path selection between these different links based on predefined policies set to align with business priorities. They should test circuit performance in real time, measuring packet loss, latency, and jitter to determine if the line meets the acceptable level of quality for its application traffic.
- Traffic management for applications. For example, be able to guarantee 10 Mbps for all Salesforce traffic.
- Secure VPN capabilities for site-to-site tunnels with full IKEv2 level encryption or TLS level transport. When internet connections are used, businesses need to ensure that all data is private and none of the traffic can be viewed by third parties.
- Zero-touch deployment options that allow SD-WAN appliances to be delivered to remote locations and configured automatically by simply powering on and connecting to the internet. This ease of deployment aspect is critical, as technical staff and network engineers are scarce, and businesses need to quickly deploy cloud solutions as they roll out new hybrid WAN architectures to distributed sites.
For more expert insight on what to consider when embarking on an SD-WAN deployment – and how the right solution for your business might already be in your network – read the full version of Brendan’s article on Help Net Security. To keep your finger on the pulse of all the latest cyber trends and concerns your business should be planning for, stay tuned to Secplicity.