SD-WAN adoption is sharply accelerating. According to an IDG study, nearly 69% of IT professionals are either actively researching, piloting, or have SD-WAN in production. That’s because SD-WAN helps enterprises gain greater insight and control over the performance of their network, maximizing bandwidth resource allocation and automating many management functions. With the majority of enterprises taking an interest, IT leaders should understand which SD-WAN approaches maximize interoperability and visibility, as edge devices and their configuration play a key factor in the overall performance of the solution. Here’s a quick guide.
SD-WAN devices should be able to seamlessly communicate with other resources on your company’s existing private network(s), but some SD-WAN devices may need to be implemented at EVERY location in order to do so. Depending on how your private network and locations are set up, your SD-WAN edge devices may not communicate well with your private network and other IT infrastructure. Most SD-WAN edge devices communicate either site-to-site or site-to-cloud, which effectively “walls them off” from much of your existing WAN infrastructure. It’s essentially a new component that doesn’t “play well in your current IT sandbox.”
If you think of your corporate WAN as a sandbox, then the analogy of adding SD-WAN would be like adding a separate sandbox inside your existing sandbox. That separate, smaller SD-WAN sandbox is one that none of the other “children” can see or play with.
As a result, you’ll experience these challenges:
Visibility is one of the key benefits of SD-WAN, and buyers can unknowingly undermine the value of their IT investment. With interoperability, visibility, and security at stake, careful design and consideration is important in creating the best solution for your IT environment.
One sure-fire way to maximize interoperability and visibility is to migrate to a single, software-defined network platform where SD-WAN is embedded into the fabric of the network. With these solutions, every SD-WAN instance is working on the same backbone, staying in sync and creating a single unified view of performance. With a unified global network, enterprises receive all the same benefits of an SD-WAN edge device, plus they get the inherent benefits of a network built entirely using software-defined principles:
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