Technology always changes faster than we can predict and in often many different ways no one can predict. Not only does technology morph into different versions, it often rethinks itself into entire new form factors. Some concepts come and go but as another colleague has said for many decades now, “There is an infinite demand for bandwidth.”
Bringing all this technology into viable business solutions with professionals to design, develop, deliver and manage can require extensive training and experience that few possess.
For example, a new form of wide-area network (WAN) has captured the imagination of the network technology world. Called SD-WAN for software-defined wide-area networks… It is one of the most exciting innovations today.
Software-defined anything comes from the distant past. Looking back to the earliest concept in digital computing, Alan Turing considered by many to be the creator of digital computer and its first programmer.
It is impossible to study Turing machines without thinking of them as computer programs, with the universal machine as the computer on which the programs are run. It is not difficult to turn a ‘table of behavior’ into the explicit form of a modern program.”
Turing also conceived of artificial intelligence and as AI applied to software you can in the process, “define” new kinds of networks. An SD-WAN “defines” networks in a new way that allows the network to adapt in many new and innovative ways – using numerous consumer-grade internet links instead of expensive business-grade MPLS circuits
First, simplicity is, in our humble opinion, the most important benefit. To understand the simplicity SD-WAN brings to the table, we need to step back for a moment. IP-internet protocol networks were never really designed or provisioned for QoS or quality of service.
Yes, there is TOS-type of service and DiffServ bits but few ever really implemented them. Error-checking and correction, of course, is built into the IP packet and TCP-transmission control protocol provides for error correction. That is, if any data bits or packets are lost, then TCP simply resends it again. However, IP networks were never originally designed for live or video streaming, high-quality audio or anything requiring realtime performance.
SD-WAN with its central management – often called single pane of glass can be centrally managed from the cloud allowing a company to simply apply policies related to bandwidth allocation and security across branches and the entire organization.
Second, in importance for SD-WAN networks is network prioritization critical for the complexity and challenges of changing network use cases. Prioritization is really complex as there are so many “moving parts” like the myriad of smartphones, bandwidth types (LTE, 4G, coming 5G, DSL, fiber, WiFi, satellite, cable, SD-WAN, DIA, MPLS, PRI and others), management policies, security restrictions and more. By creating software-defined policies applications from simple email to complex streaming can be supported more easily and effectively as well as scaled with unpredictable user-demand for the latest sporting event or movie special.
Summary – SD-WAN networks are accelerating the industry like a hurricane. As such, TMCnet is bringing you the best in industry thought leadership content and ideas.
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