Yes, you really can touch the clouds

SD-WAN deployment on the increase


Even small businesses are achieving a global reach, and the need for wide-area network connectivity is pressing as companies ranging from small startups, to global enterprises maintain data centers in multiple locations. A cloud-based, software-defined WAN represents an enormous step forward in achieving this connectivity and has moved into the mainstream. Gartner predicts that 25 percent of users will manage their WAN via software within two years – underscoring the reality that you don't need appliances or on-premise hardware to have a strong, scalable and secure WAN. In fact, you may be better off and more secure without the on-premise hardware on several fronts.

Although there is an obvious cost savings in a software-based WAN, cost alone is a minor consideration compared to the added flexibility, faster deployment, and rigorous security this type of solution affords. Leveraging a cloud-based backbone delivers added security over a proprietary system, adding the all-important Service Level Agreement – and simplifying deployment by passing management to the cloud provider. The so-called "fallacy of direct control" is the basis of common objection to cloud-based systems – that is, the false assumption that, "If I can't touch it, I can't control it."

The outdated insistence on direct control may be practical for very large enterprises which have the resources at hand, ability to constantly invest in updated equipment, and access to top talent – but the majority of companies are in reality at a disadvantage when it comes to maintaining their own WAN, networking equipment and data centers. Small to medium-size businesses in particular may suffer from a serious skills gap, especially as the complexity of the WAN becomes a vexing problem. In a recent Cato Networks report, a survey of 700 IT professionals found that rising complexity was one of the most frequently reported issues – and over half of the survey respondents indicated that the primary solution being considered for simplifying the WAN was to move to an SD-WAN model.

In fact, the cloud is rapidly becoming as tangible as appliances, and security concerns over the cloud are outdated. The first SD-WANs were built to address the higher costs of MPLS, but suffered from a narrow security focus, the main purpose of which was to encrypt the SD-WAN overlay tunnels over the Internet. It quickly became evident that Internet-borne threats would have to be addressed, which was initially done with partnerships between SD-WAN providers and network security vendors, which offered some security, but still had a major flaw in that security and networking remained in separate silos. Another early limitation was challenges in heterogeneous connectivity. While MPLS soundly addressed the "last mile" of connectivity, it wasn't until later that SD-WAN providers including pure-play SD-WAN vendor Cato Networks pioneered optimized last mile connectivity by leveraging tactics including application and link-aware policy-based routing, hybrid MPLS/Internet WAN support, and Forward Error Correction. In addition to pure-play vendors like Cato Networks, some incumbent vendors like Cisco and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise have also been rolling out SD-WAN products. The substantially lower cost has not been lost on the industry, which now has an entirely new market of small to medium-sized businesses available to them.

Understanding SD-WAN deployment

Companies looking at SD-WAN have high expectations in terms of reduced complexity, increased security, scalability and lower costs. The big question in deployment though, is whether the SD-WAN provider is up to the task. While the SD-WAN does simplify the network, if additional appliances are required as part of the deployment, part of the advantage of SD-WAN is being missed. Many SD-WANs do not provide native protection against Internet-borne threats, which adds back some of that complexity by requiring an external security appliance to be integrated with the SD-WAN. In addition to the security consideration, support for a multi-cloud deployment model.

On the skills gap point, companies without access to highly specialized talent overcome that gap as the SD-WAN abstracts the underlying network connections, simplifying network operations and shifting the complexity away from the corporate user to the SD-WAN provider.

A company considering a move to SD-WAN should examine their expectations, deployment requirements, as well as their existing physical and human resources assets, as well as considerations such as future growth and the need for rapid scalability – the latter of which might otherwise require significant capital expenditures using traditional WAN strategies.

We are firmly in the midst of a new era of the cloud. Common objections which once caused some companies to resist are now outdated. The cost advantage of the cloud is clear, but the biggest advantage is access to better equipment, more talented engineers and uptime guarantees in the form of rigorous SLAs. In many cases, the move to SD-WAN is going to be the obvious choice.

More Stories By Dan Blacharski

Dan Blacharski is an IT thought leader, advisor, industry observer and editor of "NewsOrg.org. He has been widely published on subjects relating to customer-facing technology, fintech, cloud computing and crowdsourcing. He lives in South Bend, Indiana with his wife Charoenkwan and their Boston Terrier, "Ling Ba." Follow @Dan_Blacharski

Latest Stories
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.