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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘WAN Optimization’

As someone who has been following enterprise WAN architectures for decades, I find their evolution fascinating, especially the number of new technologies that have been deployed in isolation. For example, WAN optimization and SD-WANs are often discussed as separate solutions.  From my perspective, I can’t fathom why a business would deploy an SD-WAN and not implement WAN optimization as part of it.  If you’re going to go through the work of modernizing your WAN architecture, then why wouldn’t you integrate optimization technologies into your deployment right from the start?

Another New Year’s Resolution for Network Managers: I Will Embrace Virtual Network Functions

In my blog near the beginning of the year, I urged network managers to make a resolution to not stick with the status quo when it comes to evaluating and selecting an SD-WAN solution provider, as it will ultimately prove a bad decision for the company and potentially the engineer’s career.  Another resolution network managers must make in 2017 is to embrace the concept of virtual network functions (VNFs), particularly for branch office and remote locations.

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.

Disaster recovery is certainly an interesting topic. Prior to my analyst days, I was in corporate IT and was part of a number of disaster recovery (DR) teams. It’s my sense that most organizations are very effective on the planning side but not very effective with executing on those plans. I say this tongue-in-cheek but there is some truth to it. One of the reasons why disaster recovery is so hard to execute is because keeping the backup environment in lock step with the production environment is very difficult to do in any cost-effective way. SD-WAN can make that easier.

A few weeks ago I presented on the state of Software-Defined Networks (SDN) at this years Open Networking User Group (ONUG) conference. During the section on SD-WAN I made a comment that I thought that hybrid WAN was an unnecessary step on the journey towards a broadband WAN. It appears I touched a nerve on that topic — the minute I stepped off the podium I was inundated with people asking to me to explain myself further — so I thought I would give more details.

One of the quotes that Albert Einstein is credited with is: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If that is indeed how insanity is defined then there is no part of IT that is more insane than the corporate WAN. I’ll explain why I say that below.

In June I posted a blog urging the incumbent telcos to accept the fact that the era of SD-WANs is here and to embrace it instead of fearing it. The topics of SD-WAN and broadband WAN have been red hot of late, but almost all of the early thought-leadership has been driven by start-ups like Velocloud, CloudGenix, Glue Networks and Viptela. As far as mainstream infrastructure vendors go, Silver Peak has been the most aggressive regarding the topic of WAN evolution, and Cisco has recently oriented its IWAN solution to being aligned with SD-WAN. However, other WAN vendors such as Juniper and Riverbed have been non-existent when it comes to SD-WAN.



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