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BrandPost: Customers will see many upsides to new SD-WAN services & features

The early days of offering a managed SD-WAN service that provides basic network connectivity are drawing to a close. There is clearly burgeoning demand from customers to manage the network providers and network types that make up the growing mix of SD-WAN bandwidth options.As customers see the value of having different network providers and networks to improve reliability and overall cost per megabit for bandwidth, service providers increasingly will be needed to manage those networks and providers. This is one of the basic tenets for revenue opportunities from SD-WAN services. And with many providers, those revenue opportunities may include the use of wholesale agreements to improve the margin of network services along with the revenue inherent in managing multiple providers for customers.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Silver Peak 2018 CEO Predictions

Enterprises adopt cloud-first WAN architecturesToday, most WAN traffic, to and from branch and remote sites, is destined for the cloud, either to SaaS services or applications hosted in an IaaS environment. The traditional WAN was architected for branch-to-data-center traffic flows, not to efficiently support new cloud-driven traffic patterns. Starting in 2018, most enterprises will adopt a “cloud-first” SD-WAN architecture designed to efficiently and effectively support the ongoing evolution in their application mix.The new WAN edge replaces the traditional branch routerTraditional routers are no longer the default choice for branch deployments. Routers are burdened by three decades of complexity and a cumbersome “CLI-first” device-by-device configuration paradigm. With SD-WAN as a foundation, a new class of centrally-orchestrated, application-driven WAN edge devices will replace traditional routers in the branch.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Irresistible Appeal of Open Source

The telecom industry is racing toward a software-defined networking (SDN) world, but needs to go beyond traditional cooperation on standards to actually sharing software code, in order to keep pace with innovation.Telecom companies have always cooperated in development of standards. It’s essential for interoperability – otherwise each company’s customers would only be able to interact with its other customers. But there’s a difference between agreeing on standards and sharing software.“The telecommunications space has conventionally used proprietary hardware and software to deploy solutions from various vendors,” writes RCR Wireless staffer Nathan Cranford. “Using multiple vendors enabled telecom operators to open source some network functions, but not to the extent usually fastened to open source software.” But, he contends, “Open source software is indispensable to a faster, more malleable communications network.”To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Deciphering the SD-WAN buzz and predictions

We were excited to participate in the November MEF 17 conference in Orlando, one of the industry’s most informative service provider events of the year. There is a lot of buzz and interest in managed SD-WAN services. It was a key focus area of MEF’s new SD-WAN initiatives and for this year’s conference agenda.Silver Peak Founder and CEO David Hughes delivered a CEO perspective: “SD-WAN From Software-Defined to Self-Driving.” David presented a vision for how SD-WAN technologies that leverage AI and automation can further accelerate the development of managed, customized SD-WAN services. David’s presentation also explored the future of SD-WAN and its impact on the broader software defined networking space.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: SD-WAN: Why DIY + Co-Managed Approach is a Win-Win

The SD-WAN market continues to experience phenomenal growth. A September 2017 IDC SD-WAN survey highlights that 75 percent of U.S. enterprises plan to adopt an SD-WAN solution in the next two years. Enterprises are eager to embrace and deploy SD-WAN solutions because they provide many important benefits such as improving network and application performance and availability, reducing branch office complexity, lowering bandwidth and operational costs, and improving the performance of directly connecting users from branch locations to cloud-native applications.Today, enterprises implementing an SD-WAN solution can choose between a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach or selecting a managed SD-WAN service from a managed service provider (MSP). The DIY approach is appealing to enterprises that have in-house expertise in managing their WAN network environment and have invested the time to evaluate and select an SD-WAN solution that addresses their connectivity requirements. In this model, enterprises procure, own, deploy and manage the SD-WAN equipment, software and network connectivity in-house.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Putting VNFs to work

Network functions virtualization (NFV) makes it possible to replace traditional dedicated customer premise equipment with software in the form of virtual network functions (VNFs), running on standardized hardware. Despite the confusing acronym overlap of NFV and VNF, the technology is intended to vastly simplify enterprise wide area networking.Virtualization and Cloud Review describes NFV as a younger cousin to software-defined networking: “Like SDN, NFV is fundamentally about the shift from proprietary hardware-based solutions to more open, software-based substitutes,” David Ramel explains.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Where Do you Rank? IDC Lists Top Drivers for SD-WAN Adoption

IDC concluded a worldwide survey in September 2017 to learn and report on the key factors driving SD-WAN deployments for enterprises. I’m pleased to see the alignment in the findings with what I wrote in my previous article, SD-WAN Delivers Real Business Outcomes to Cloud-first Enterprises back in September. The results of the survey identified the following top four drivers for deploying an enterprise SD-WAN solution:To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Enterprises and Carriers in Sync with NFV

Historically, there’s always been tension between enterprises and carriers over equipment and servicing issues. But network functions virtualization (NFV) is providing more visibility into the network, giving enterprises greater confidence in what they’re paying for.Back in 2009, a survey by consulting firm EY found deep skepticism among enterprise users regarding telecom service providers. More than half of those surveyed at that time would not consider telcos for IT help desk, business consulting or cloud services.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Network Outages? Unacceptable. How to Ensure Availability

The rise of cloud applications has been well documented. The cloud era kicked off with a handful of SaaS applications, such as ERP, CRM and HR systems. Today, businesses are buying almost everything cloud-related — from compute services, contact center software, unified communications to anything else you can think of. These apps and services may look somewhat unrelated, but they all have one thing in common: They are highly dependent on the network to perform properly.Consider a consumer example. We pay Netflix a certain amount of money to watch a movie, but we are entirely dependent on our network connections to enjoy the experience. It doesn’t matter how much more money we pay Netflix; if our network connection performs poorly or is unavailable, the viewing experience suffers.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: SD-WAN Vision vs. Acquisition

The migration of applications to the cloud is motivating enterprises to rethink how they architect their WANs, and this in turn has created the SD-WAN market category. The recent acquisition of VeloCloud by VMware, and of Viptela by Cisco earlier in the year, represent attempts by two of the bigger players in IT to stake a claim in this fast-growing new market.While it’s convenient to place products into categories, there are many approaches to SD-WAN, each focused on a different use case or customer base. It was not unexpected to see Cisco go for Viptela. Of all the SD-WAN solutions, Viptela is arguably the one that most closely emulates a traditional router, including conventional device-by-device CLI-based configuration, with a limited amount of central orchestration. It certainly represents the least disruptive approach for Cisco, and gives them an angle to extend the life of the old Swiss army knife known as the ISR.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: MPLS, SD-WAN Not an Either/Or Scenario

Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology is providing enterprises with greater flexibility and agility over WAN connectivity, but is being used to supplement rather than replace existing implementations of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) WAN circuits.That may be a surprise to many who are wowed by the fast pace of SD-WAN adoption. “In the classic engineer’s formulation, ‘You can have it cheaper, faster, or better…pick two,’” writes John Burke, CIO and Principal Research Analyst - Nemertes Research. “From time to time new technology comes along and, by changing the basic assumptions underlying existing solutions, manages to be cheaper and faster and better all at once. SD-WAN promises to hit the trifecta.”To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: SD-WAN Puts Traditional Routers on Notice

SD-WAN with its benefits of improved bandwidth economics, application prioritization, and centralized management, is rapidly reshaping the branch network architecture.SD-WAN technologies are becoming mainstream as distributed organizations experience the benefits of plentiful internet bandwidth, prioritized access to critical applications, and the ease of centralized management. Leading IT organizations are deploying SD-WAN solutions with software-based routing and displacing traditional branch router architectures. Over time, Doyle Research expects significant disruption of the branch router market with SD-WAN becoming the primary platform.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: FlexWare: Year Two

It’s been over a year since AT&T introduced its FlexWare offering. It was positioned as the next big thing in enterprise networking, and in the intervening months, AT&T has rolled out a number of important virtual network functions (VNFs) that run on its x86-based FlexWare devices.Those VNFs essentially replace proprietary boxes that historically have been costly to operate and replace in terms of time and money.Light Reading’s Carol Wilson said that AT&T’s venture into “white box services” is “a clear signal to traditional telecom suppliers that the gig’s up on closed system sales.” That’s cheery news to enterprises that have long chafed over the relative inflexibility of on-site equipment solutions.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: Integrating SD-WAN into the Enterprise

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a hot technology offering today, as enterprises look for faster, more flexible WAN capabilities. When it comes to new remote locations, SD-WAN is a timely, effective option. But when it comes to existing infrastructure, what are the factors that go into determining whether an SD-WAN replacement makes sense, or when to leave well-enough alone?“Enterprises have been using WANs for decades, primarily to connect their remote offices or branches with their headquarters by leasing secure networking capabilities from telco carriers and running private networks over them,” industry analyst and Intellyx President Jason Bloomberg writes in a Forbes.com article. “The underlying WAN protocols have evolved over the years, and the current one is Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS).”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: More SMB Love Needed

By Kevin Jackson In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service Recovery times for SMB are four times faster for businesses using cloud computing when compared to those not utilizing cloud services. For SMB, energy use and carbon emissions could be cut by 90% by using cloud computing, saving the environment and energy costs. These advantages show a strong indication that SMB information technology should be dominated by the adoption of cloud computing services.  Although one of the most prominent of these cloud services is Microsoft’s Office 365 (O365), a recent survey cited by CIO.com suggests that 83% of U.S. small and medium businesses (SMBs) have yet to use any form of O365.  If cloud services can deliver such remarkable improvements, why are SMBs holding back?According to the survey, part of the reason is that SMBs often Continue reading

BrandPost: Network-as-a-Service, Not a Barrier

Enterprises are getting hooked on “everything-as-a-service” and the revolution that ripped through the data center is rapidly encompassing network infrastructure. As more and more IT assets rely on cloud computing, IT decision makers need to make sure their networks aren’t becoming obstacles to achieving business objectives.According to the State of the CIO Survey 2017, “IT investments are being directed toward business initiatives such as improving customer experience (40%), transforming existing business processes (40%), increasing operational efficiency (35%), and growing the business (33%).”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: Your Network. Anytime. Anywhere.

The digital economy never sleeps and it never stops moving. The same can be said for many small business owners who work around the clock to keep up with rising customer demands and skyrocketing competition. The speed of business in the digital economy has required those business owners to step outside of their comfort zone and into the complex and confusing world of small business IT. Although this is a difficult step for many, they can’t deny how important it is to the survival of the company. It’s the only way they can ensure their business operates effectively. A thriving, always-available network is simply the lifeblood of any modern business.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: An SD-WAN Can Cure Your Security Blues

Cyber security remains a hot topic with nearly every IT and business leader that I speak with. In particular, there seems to be an intensified focus on network security. Security is typically deployed in layers (network, compute and application), and I expect that model to continue in the short-term, but given the fact that many of the building blocks of digitization, such as IoT and the cloud, are network-centric, there should be a stronger focus on leveraging the network and network-based security to protect the organization.Nowhere in the network has there been more change than in the wide area network (WAN), so it stands to reason that as legacy WANs evolve into software-defined WANs, it must play an increasingly critical role in securing the enterprise.  Below are my top five recommendations to better secure your organization with an SD-WAN.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: Four Ways To Bridge The Digital Talent Gap

Rapid technological development not only fuels business innovation, but also disrupts traditional business models. In order to keep pace with the latest technology trends, businesses must employ the right professionals who combine technology expertise with business acumen. Unfortunately, corporations often lack this kind of talent to help make the right technology decisions and avoid costly and potentially disastrous mistakes. According to the Global Knowledge 2017 IT Skills and Salary Report, there are significant skills shortages in key ICT sectors, such as, security and cloud computing. These findings highlight the difficulties that recruiters face in times where the demand for ICT talent far exceeds the supply. Scouting, recruiting and retaining talent in such a competitive environment is a challenge; however, the criticality of it calls for a contingency plan to build a pipeline of professionals that can boost the future of businesses and the economy in the digital age.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: When It Comes To SD-WANs, WAN Optimization Should Be A No-Brainer

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?To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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