SD-WAN, the concept of SDN applied to WAN connections allowing enterprises to leverage a combination of transport services, has the potential to redefine businesses. Though it is undoubtedly one of the hottest technologies of present times, challenges are abound and the rate of adoption has not attained the expected levels. How will it fare in 2019? We had a discussion with noted communications industry veteran, visionary, author and columnist – Rich Tehrani on how companies can seamlessly embrace SD-WAN in 2019. Check out his key insights on this interview!
The SD-WAN market continued to be in the maturing state in 2018. Many enterprises did not feel they were ready to manage and monitor SD-WAN deployments. What do you think were the major roadblocks behind the lack of adoption?
The term SD-WAN is new to some degree and like any new technology, companies take time to implement. I actually wrote about one of the earlier companies in the space, Talari Networks back in 2014. We didn’t call their tech SD-WAN back then. They are now part of Oracle.
SD-WAN benefits are so great in terms of enhanced security, greater business continuity and rapid ROI that these challenges will be overcome.
How can these challenges be addressed?
Time and education. Companies come to our ITEXPO and collocated SD-WAN Expo to learn about real-world implementations of the latest technology. They meet with leading companies, their peers and others deploying the technology.
Since it is a transitional phase, there seems to be no clear-cut strategy on how to transition from traditional WAN to SD-WAN. Most of the enterprises are adopting a hybrid approach. What are the factors that organizations should consider before zeroing in on an approach?
The first step is to determine what the goals are, the budget and the partners who can best deploy the technology. Now that the big players in the market such as Oracle, Cisco and VMWare are all heavily invested in the space through acquisitions, the final question is which of these companies make sense. And if not these very large providers, what about the carriers providing the service – perhaps it is best to work with them. Some of the newer players have great solutions to consider as well.
Companies should do a trial – see if the tech meets their expectations and then deploy. Like I have said – we have been covering the tech for many years – it works great and solves numerous problems at once.
Do you think existing monitoring tools would help enterprises get complete visibility of SD-WAN deployment?
Some have been upgraded to handle SD-WAN – others will soon. Product enhancements aren’t too difficult to pull off.
What should be the key factors of consideration while evaluating SD-WAN vendors in 2019?
Companies should determine if they want to go with a hardware vendor of significant size or a carrier or start-up. Factors such as vendor lock-in, openness and extensibility should be considered.
Other considerations are cost, ROI and chemistry with SD-WAN vendors as well as the installers – perhaps an MSP or systems integrator.
Do you think 2019 will be the year of SD-WAN? What would be the major trends that would give SD-WAN a major push in 2019?
Adoption will continue to grow. The buzz in the market is there and companies are continuing to deploy new solutions. From our perspective, every year is the year of SD-WAN 🙂!
Is there a scope for a universal SD-WAN solution in 2019?
As long as there is strong competition in the market – with different hardware and protocols, there will be islands of SD-WAN.
Thanks for those key insights Rich!
Thanks for the great questions! I’d like to personally invite your readers to SD-WAN EXPO on Jan 30-Feb 1st, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Rich Tehrani is an IP Communications industry expert, visionary, author and columnist. He founded the first magazine focused on VoIP in 1998 and, as President of TMC, is the owner of the registered trademark for the term Internet Telephony. He is the founder and chairman of INTERNET TELEPHONY® Conference & EXPO, founder of TMCnet and the Group Editor-in-Chief of Customer Interaction Solutions (CIS) Magazine. A well-respected voice of the communications industry, he has served as an expert witness and been quoted frequently in such prestigious publications as the Economist and New York Times.