SD-WAN is on fire! ...but is it enough to deliver growth?
Jul 4, 2016
Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been the the hot topic within network infrastructure industry for a few years now. We are now starting to see its influence not only in the data center, where SDN originated, but also within other areas such as core networks and enterprise services. Enterprise services is an area where SDN has real potential to impact services for end users.
Historically, this market has been characterized by complex services, taking a long time to provision, and even longer to launch. This is clearly an area that is ripe for disruption. Any disruption must be centered around customer requirements
Rapid service provisioning
Ability to add / remove additional services on demand
Support for multiple services from a single hardware platform
Lower overall service costs
With MPLS revenue forecast to decline service providers are looking for new ways to innovate. The industry is converging around SD-WAN as a solution in this area.
The defining feature of SD-WAN is the ability to route traffic over multiple connections (e.g. VPN, fixed internet, LTE) based upon real time policies that take in to account the connection quality and application type. The use of multiple connections allows enterprises to reduce connectivity costs by minimizing the use of (expensive) VPNs whilst maximizing the use of (lower price) internet access. This is not necessarily a good thing for service providers.
At Juniper we believe that SD-WAN needs to address more than dynamic traffic provisioning. It also needs to help service providers grow revenues, whilst also helping enterprises to use other services in a more dynamic manner. That’s why we’re building solutions around our Cloud CPE solution. In his blog Donyel Jones-Williams discusses the inclusion of SD-WAN within the Juniper Cloud CPE solution.
Growth opportunities for service providers will come from selling other services (e.g. security) on top of a SD-WAN (especially to the under-served SME segment), and these should be delivered using SDN and virtual network functions. By using virtual network functions, it is possible to deliver services:
In a software only model
On-demand as the customer needs them
Via self-service portals
From either the cloud or a small server embedded in the customer CPE
Cloud CPE and SD-WAN also provide growth opportunities for service providers that have struggled in the MPLS based VPN market. It is now easier to offer "OTT VPN" on top of any access connection. This is particularly attractive to regional players with limited coverage.
Only by offering additional services on top of SD-WAN will service providers be able to meet the customer requirements and grow their own business.
Juniper’s Cloud CPE solution enables enterprise services to be hosted as VNFs, rather than requiring deployment of dedicated physical equipment at customer sites. This supports highly customisable user experience, faster and easier service creation and provisioning, and lower cost; laying the foundations for new revenue-generating applications.