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What Is SD-WAN?
Sep 30, 2019

We’re living in the era of software-defined. The new(ish) style of network management is permeating IT infrastructures everywhere and is commonly being applied to wide area networks (WAN), giving us SD-WAN. SD-WAN marks a shift in the way networks are deployed and managed, as it supplies existing wide area networks with many new capabilities for the automated and rapid deployment of equipment and services while enhancing application performance with better economics. SD-WAN creates this dynamic application experience by simplifying the management and operation of a WAN through the separation of the networking hardware from its control mechanism. Given the AI-driven visibility, analytics and automation associated with SD-WAN, networks underneath this design tend to be secure, reliable and scalable.


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With SD-WAN, communication service providers (CSPs) can enhance their portfolio with valuable new managed services. That’s because it helps organizations looking to diversify their branch and multicloud connectivity options simplify and streamline service delivery, protect their customers, reduce costs and monitor and report in a way that ensures service-level agreement (SLA) compliance. What’s more — with SD-WAN, these CSPs can expand their service footprint and obtain new revenue faster using centralized orchestration in conjunction with distributed end-to-end delivery. 


With all these benefits at play, it’s not surprising that SD-WAN adoption has blossomed. Back in 2016, Gartner estimated that around 500 enterprises have already adopted SD-WAN in almost 25,000 branches worldwide. Mind you, adoption is widespread among businesses of all sizes, but just may vary per the type of organization. Large enterprises commonly leverage MPLS/VPN and integrate SD-WAN, while some small to medium-sized businesses may choose that approach or employ a complete SD-WAN overlay approach instead.


Any long-term strategy for SD-WAN requires security and integration with existing WANs for the holistic management of branch connectivity and eventually SD-branch services. That’s precisely why organizations need to leverage a solution such as Juniper Contrail SD-WAN, which is a simple, secure multitenant, multisite and multicloud SD-WAN and branch offering. By leveraging an agile management solution such as this, organizations will have the freedom to focus on what matters most to the business.



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