There's a lot of room for new Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) deployments, and many businesses are getting ready to start one. A market survey reported that 84 percent of respondents consider the technology either "important" or "critical" to automating operations and reducing costs. Businesses are concerned about keeping the transition costs down and having a sufficient business justification for them.
Wide-area networks (WANs) based entirely on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) links depend on dedicated connections. They can run into data rate limitations — or cost a lot to upgrade to the necessary capacity. Applications move more data than ever before, including audio and video. They require regular attention to their configuration, and an error can break the connection or open a security hole. An SD-WAN is simpler to maintain and configure.
In addition, SD-WANs are easier to expand than WANs based on dedicated connections. It may be necessary to upgrade an Internet connection to the necessary speed, but that's easier than upgrading or adding label edge routers (LER).
Addressing Today's Network Needs
Networks are no longer as easily delimited as they once were. Cloud services are a big part of business operations, telecommuting has grown more popular, and branch offices need to participate in the network. SD-WANs provide the configuration flexibility that businesses need in the modern world.
The Path of the Future
As the technology matures, businesses' remaining concerns about the SD-WAN will diminish. Adoption rates are all set to take off in the next few years. Researchers predict that by the end of 2019, 30 percent of enterprises will be using SD-WAN technology, compared with less than 1 percent at the beginning of 2016.
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