The Future of SD-WAN

 In Networks, Technology

Prior to the pandemic, many companies were considering SD-WAN solutions to replace MPLS technology, as it was widely expected to become the dominant networking technology. It’s not hard to see why: SD-WAN solutions are incredibly varied and have a lot to offer, especially in terms of flexibility as well as add-ons such as traffic route optimisation, allowing users to get the most out of any available internet connection.

In 2020, 61% of UK enterprises had claimed to have commenced SD-WAN rollout. However, by mid-2021, only 36% had continued deploying SD-WAN, due to lockdowns forcing many organisations to pause their plans.

In 2022, the trend seems to now be moving towards software-oriented and cloud-based solutions, likely due to the unprecedented amount of people working from home or diverse locations. However, this doesn’t leave SD-WAN out of the mix, and indeed SD-WAN solutions are more important now than ever: as more distributed and complex network infrastructures are required for remote working, we cannot expect MPLS to continue meeting this increasing demand. SD-WANs can offer far more flexibility, such as central management services and “cloud-native” work environments, as well as provide network security. We can fully expect SD-WAN adoption to pick back up in the coming years and become more sophisticated, with major growth around security and automation.

Trends

With SD-WAN technology being as flexible as it is, there are many opportunities for growth and innovation. According to Tech Target, the “end-goal” of SD-WAN solutions will be network-as-a-service, outsourced and all-encompassing solutions that can offer intelligent add-ons such as policy-driven route optimisation and traffic prioritisation.

In the future, we may also expect to see AI-infused SD-WAN offerings. AI has the potential to provide troubleshooting, better policy definition, and even improved security and monitoring for network infrastructures. AI technology may also be used to achieve network automation, simplifying networks through automation such as through APIs.

There’s lots to look forward to, but still plenty of innovative solutions to be found in the present state of SD-WAN. For example, Tech Target claims that we can “expect to see huge increases in the use of wireless links for last-mile connectivity within an SD-WAN”. This in particular has been a core focus for Onwave in the last 8 years, with over 75% of our managed SD-WAN estate using cellular as the last mile.

Conclusion

At Onwave, we are confident that SD-WAN solutions are the future of networking technology, far outmatching existing MPLS services.

Onwave offer tailored and fully monitored user solutions for different scenarios to impose the necessary levels of security for your staff, with multiple hardware and software solution options to design a bespoke but managed service to deliver to your strategic goals. With ISO 27001 security processes in place to ensure your solutions are cyber secure. We hold over eight years of cellular-first remote edge experience, with deployment across thousands of locations in the UK, EU and Wales.

We currently provide on-net SD-WAN solutions, which provide extra security and traffic optimisation options on private circuits – all the benefits of MPLS without the cost. What’s more, we provide SASE-based security solutions, combining your network and its security into one convenient service. You may also want to consider Onwave’s WWAN service – a cellular first end point using multiple mobile networks in each router to deliver unrivalled uptime.

Onwave offer:

• Multiple connectivity options from Tier 1 wholesale providers
• Multi-vendor options – one-size does not fit all in this marketplace, from cellular first to fibre first options depending on your needs
• Next-Gen Firewall options to keep your edge and networks secure
• Remote user solutions to allow corporate security to be enforced at any edge
• Multi-factor authentication for all entry points to your systems
• Zero-trust solutions enterprise-wide

To learn more about what Onwave can do for you and your business, click here to contact us today.

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