Enterprise networking is in the midst of undergoing a dramatic digital transformation.
As networks become increasingly distributed and dynamic, many enterprises are turning to cloud-based applications and infrastructure to better serve the growing demands of customers. Enabling this transformation is software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), which opens up new opportunities by allowing service providers to maximize the value of the cloud through delivering elastic connectivity options and value-added services, rapidly and cost-effectively.
Out with the old and in with the new
Within a traditional static WAN, everything is dependant on physical infrastructure, where different office branches are connected to a headquarters through a Hub and Spoke network design. On the other hand, SD-WAN leverages virtualization and separation of the network’s control plane to speed provisioning and route lower priority traffic over the Internet.
As a technology, SD-WAN is currently experiencing a period of growth. According to a report from 451 Research, one in five U.S. companies are planning to deploy the technology within the next 12 months, while one in 10 have already have already begun to utilize SD-WAN.
Quality is king
With this technology enabling service providers to quickly roll out new services faster than ever before, the ability to assure quality of service has never been more important.
For SD-WAN to be successful, inadequate application performance, insufficient bandwidth, and poor network reliability cannot be an issue. This comes as a result of high quality of service being at the centre of attention in today’s highly competitive market.
In the wake of SDN technology, networks has never been more complex. Along with new technologies constantly transforming processes, service providers must also tend to the astounding amount of data passing through their network. The only way to achieve transformation is to harness this data. However, the issue is most of the data is locked in silos: ticket system, OSS, fault, inventory, etc.
Unlocking the potential of SD-WAN
To assure an SD-WAN network operators need to be able to visualize, monitor, and manage the entire service, end-to-end, in a holistic way. This requires a multi-domain, multi-vendor service assurance solution that de-silos, ingests, and correlates fault, performance, topology, and inventory in a single pane of glass. Through this approach, operators can assure quality of service across not only SD-WANs but also the underlying network services and VNFs.
With a deep insight into network performance and KPIs, service providers can identify root causes of faults rapidly, reduce mean time to repair, and fix problems before calls start. As a result, problems in the network can be mitigated, and more importantly, customers are less likely to be impacted.
It’s hard to discuss virtualization without also mentioning automation in telecoms IT. The cloud offers customers the ability to add and change services at the click of a button. But if these changes to services want to take place in real time, the network needs to be automated. With powerful analytics in place, service providers can automate the completion of routine processes and tasks with recipe-based workflow orchestration.
Delivering digital services through next-gen software-defined computing offers significant benefits including increased network agility, greater service flexibility, and lower operational costs. However, if service providers want to unlock the full potential of these new opportunities they require a single view of the network.