With so much industry hype around SD-WAN, it can be difficult to know where to start. Coevolve has been working with clients since 2014 assessing and deploying next generation technologies such as SD-WAN. Across all our client projects, we always start by focusing on the business requirements, rather than the technology itself.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN is a practical example of Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies. It is a new approach to delivering cloud-first networks that offer the agility, flexibility, cost and performance that are required for today’s applications. SD-WAN allows enterprises to transition away from a device-centric and circuit-centric environment to a network-wide overlay that is abstracted from the underlying infrastructure.
The goal of SD-WAN is to use multiple physical WAN links of any sort to carry business traffic without the need for complex configuration and network engineering. Implementing SD-WAN can involve many decisions to understand the optimal new design, develop the business case and to deploy to industry best practices.

Enterprises are adopting SD-WAN to deliver improvements in cost, reliability, visibility and security in the WAN.

Industry-wide interest in SD-WAN

It seems like everyone is talking about SD-WAN recently. The topic has seen very rapid growth in overall interest:

Industry analysts including Gartner, IHS, IDC and others have made increasingly bold predictions for the growth of the SD-WAN market. In less than 12 months, we have seen SD-WAN transition from early-adopter environments to mainstream offerings. It is now part of almost every WAN refresh discussion in the industry.

How to get started?

The first step in adopting SD-WAN is to focus on the business case. This can help quantify the benefits the technology can deliver. Once this is complete, focus on technical architecture and security integration. Finally, consider the operational model, including managed services.