Posts Tagged ‘IT Organizations’

Highly-Distributed Organizations Should Consider Managed SD-WAN To Accelerate Adoption

There is no company too small or large to take advantage of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).  The only requirement is the obvious one that the business be multi-site in nature and is running a WAN that connects the locations together.  However, not all WANs are created equal.

Earlier this week I wrote this post on the reasons why it is important for network managers to embrace automation. My argument revolved around the fact that network changes can be made much faster and far more efficiently through the use of automation vs. trying to manage the network a device at a time. This is particularly important for the WAN as the network endpoints are located all over the globe and errors can result in lengthy outages. SD-WANs change the networking paradigm and make automation a reality.

In the popular comic strip Peanuts, Linus was always seen carrying his blanket.  Clearly, the blanket gave the young lad a sense of comfort and security even in the face of his sister Lucy calling it a “stupid blanket” and constantly urging him to ditch it.  To Linus, knowing the blanket was there was far more important than any kind of common sense that might make him consider giving it up.

The networking industry is in the midst of a transition to the digital era. The network plays a critical role in the success of digital businesses as many of the digital building blocks, such as IoT and the cloud, are network-centric. This is one of the reasons why there is currently so much focus on network evolution. Technologies such as SDN, SD-WAN, WiFi, segmentation are currently red hot.

However, before moving forward, it’s critically important to go through the exercise of establishing a network baseline. In actuality, setting a network baseline will provide value regardless of whether the network is being evolved or not. Understanding the current state of the network can have many benefits, including planning for growth.

The enterprise WAN has always been challenging to manage. It can be complicated, slow to reconfigure, lack security and many applications perform poorly over it. High service costs, capEx and opEx while performance and manageability remained an issue – a regular lose-lose. But then along came the software defined WAN – the solution to all problems. Or is it?

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) continues to pick up momentum as organizations look to evolve their networks to meet the demands of digital transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), and other trends. But how does one know that the business is ready to make this shift? An SD-WAN is significantly different than a legacy network and requires new ways of doing things.

Many businesses, small- to mid-size ones in particular, strive to consolidate the number of vendors they use. Going to a single network, server, or storage provider creates “one throat to choke”, simplifies purchasing, and makes supporting the environment easier. It’s often normal to give every employee the same computer with the same software image on it that’s preloaded with every application that everyone across the company needs because that’s easier than trying to juggle numerous ones.



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