As workforces have become more geographically dispersed, the WAN has become increasingly important to maintaining high levels of productivity and customer service. The WAN connects branch locations and remote workers with critical business applications and allows them to securely share data, regardless of location.
However, the WAN has become more difficult to manage. Organizations are now relying on applications and services from multiple public and private clouds, so many branch locations are connecting directly to the Internet. This creates a fragmented, complex WAN with a high risk of downtime. Administrators have limited visibility across disparate WAN links, making it difficult to identify internal and external issues that cause performance problems and even downtime.
The mission-critical nature of the WAN and the need to simplify management and improve visibility are driving adoption of the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). By applying the software-defined model to the WAN, organizations can centrally manage and monitor various types of WAN connections across the extended enterprise.
The top use cases for SD-WAN are to simplify WAN infrastructure and aggregate multiple connections to improve performance and availability. Bandwidth optimization, consistent application security, and improved automation and self-provisioning were identified as the top reasons for considering SD-WAN adoption.
Know more: advantages of SDN
However, in a recent SD-WAN survey conducted by IDC, nearly three in 10 respondents said network outages remain a top WAN concern. The same number say that improvements in visibility and analytics are required to reduce the risk of outrages and better manage application and WAN performance.