A Look at SD-WAN Developments in 2021

A Look at SD-WAN Developments in 2021

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Advanced SD-WAN edge platforms are market-driven, representing a top-down approach to aligning network capabilities with changing business needs.

FREMONT, CA: With so many exciting developments in WAN edge technologies, including increased IoT adoption, advancements in automation and AI, along with the advent of emerging transport technologies, companies are starting to drive the transition of the network edge. There are various predictions for this year that will make it easier for companies to truly understand the transformational potential of the cloud while driving them toward a vision for a large-area self-driving network.

Advances in Automation and AI Elevate Businesses Toward a Self-Driving Wide Area Network

Growing numbers of companies are benefiting from advancements in automation and AI on the WAN edge to further optimize application management. Advanced SD-WAN edge platforms are market-driven, representing a top-down approach to aligning network capabilities with changing business needs. Innovations in fields such as threat analysis and automated diagnostics allow the network safer and more resilient to disruptions in fundamental network conditions and an ever-expanding threat environment. Network engineers are getting more confident in letting the network on its own, realizing the advantages of spending more time on bringing their companies forward and less on day-to-day administration.

The new Edge Will Grow to Bring Together the Concepts of SD-WAN, SD-Branch, and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)

The edge is the pivot for WAN and security transition and is in the middle of three architectural changes:

• SD-WAN offers cloud-first networking and steering in line with business strategy or purpose.

• SASE offers a better, more straightforward way to connect users to business apps.

• The SD-Branch will become increasingly important in simplifying the branch as IoT adoption accelerates.

• SD-Branch would allow businesses to enforce coherent, role-based policies that connect identity, system, and application together, expand power from the wired and wireless edges to the WAN edge appliance and across the wide-area network. The combination of SD-WAN, SD-Branch, and SASE would dramatically increase protection posture and yield operating efficiencies.

The Software-Defined Enterprise Will Emerge

As witnessed by SD-WAN, where automation and AI have provided a much easier way to execute WANs, the same software-defined concepts are implemented in other areas such as the data center and the campus LAN. In 2021, these software-defined silos will begin to merge into a broader software-defined enterprise architecture. One has seen early moves with SD-Branch, which unifies SD-LAN, SD-WAN, and branch security together in one orchestration system. With VXLAN metadata, dynamic security segmentation can be applied from the LAN to the WAN and the data center or cloud. With end-to-end automation, AI, and role-based policy control continuously across remote locations, campuses, data centers, and clouds, companies will benefit from dramatic improvements in market productivity and agility.

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