What is SD-WAN
Software-Defined WAN aka SD-WAN has burst on to the tech scene lately as the go-to alternative to MPLS. Over the last decade, MPLS was the preferred Wide Area Network option for most organizations that sought to route their critical data and voice applications over privately routed networks. MPLS has been great to the masses, is still in production today and will be for some time including net new deployments.
However, with the advent of Hybrid Cloud Deployments especially when companies require at least one connection to IaaS provider (think AWS, Azure, Google Cloud), tying in SD-WAN has been the preferred topology. SD-WAN allows an organization to connect their traditional Colocation Data-Center workloads & Footprint using cheaper Internet Access circuits to said Cloud providers. The savings just from a telco local loop and time to deploy perspective changes quickly.
Michael Cooney from Network World posted a great article this week titled Multicloud, security integration drive massive SD-WAN adoption covering the CAGR of SD-WAN growth along with the driving forces behind it.
Gartner has taken notice to the SD-WAN market and has even added SD-WAN as part of their coverage into the Hype Cycle focus, you can access more here if you are subscribed. This is good news as the early pioneer days of SD-WAN go to market felt like this was more of a pipe dream than a reality. However, we all remember VOIP would become the TDM killer in a short-time yet we still work with clients utilizing the latter to support their business. Our prediction there will be a Hybrid Industry where MPLS or SD-WAN natively will be the two options in global WANs. There is of course the ability for more complex operations and fault-tolerant requirements to implement a MPLS + SD-WAN architecture and if so, you really should have an excellent network planning and implementation engineering team to execute flawlessly.