The Wide Area Network (WAN) is in the midst of a significant evolution. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is the key factor driving this evolution and bringing along with it many transformational changes. SD-WAN has enabled several new WAN uses cases, such as enabling reliable, secure and high performance support of software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud compute, cloud storage, cloud security and the ability to use non deterministic Internet services to provide business-class transport. The traditional WAN architecture was ill equipped to support these new use cases.
As is usually the case with an emerging market, the first entrants into the SD-WAN space were start-ups. However, given the ability of SD-WAN to support both traditional and emerging WAN use cases, the market has recently been flooded with a range of vendors, solutions and technologies offering varying types of SD-WAN solutions.
While having differing types of solutions provided by numerous suppliers is potentially beneficial, it also creates confusion that complicates the task of evaluating alternative SD-WAN solutions. The goal of this white paper is to cut through the confusion in the market by identifying seven key questions that network organizations should ask themselves as part of evaluating SD-WAN solutions to ensure they are addressing the needs of their business today and identifying solutions which are future-proofed for both known and unforeseen needs over several years.