SD-WAN’s Role In The Software Defined Data Center

When software-defined technologies first emerged, many were confused and hesitant about these solutions. However, now that systems like software defined WANs are becoming increasingly vital for enterprises, the technology is now more accepted and deployed more often than ever before.

One discussion that comes up frequently in this conversation concerns the software-defined data center, especially as that market continues to grow. According to MarketsandMarkets, the SDDC sector will likely expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 28 percent through 2020, expected to reach a value of over $77 billion by the end of the decade.

But the big question here is, how do these facilities and the SD-WAN connect and overlap?

Inside and outside the data center

IHS researchers found that these solutions are being seen as hugely beneficial both inside and outside of the data center.

“Within the data center, raw speed with support for software-defined networking and virtualized workloads are the top requirements for fabrics among companies participating in our enterprise data center study,” said Cliff Grossner, IHS research director for data center. “Meanwhile, outside the data center, SDN-led transformation is taking hold in the WAN optimization market. There’s a shift from optimizing application traffic flows over a single point-to-point WAN link to automated and dynamic load balancing of application traffic over multiple link types – MPLS, broadband, internet, cellular, etc.”

Cloud bursting: Can’t have one without the other

One instance that definitely demonstrates the connection between software defined data centers and SD-WANs is cloud bursting. Network World’s Jim Duffy noted that this is because of the streamlined consistency that is needed to effectively make use of cloud environments in an enterprise setting. Without an SD-WAN in place, traffic traveling between the WAN and the data center would not be governed in the same way, causing application performance to suffer.

“If enterprises are passing workloads between private and public clouds, they’ll want the same policy to move with that workload as it leaves the data center and enters the WAN,” Duffy wrote.

This is particularly important due to the highly customizable nature of SD-WAN solutions. SD-WAN works by measuring an array of critical network traffic metrics, including latency, jitter, packet loss and availability. Using this information, the technology can respond proactively to real-time network conditions, selecting the best path for each data packet.

SD-WAN solutions also enable users to create custom policies for different types of traffic. For instance, a business could establish a policy to prioritize the data packets associated with critical applications like VoIP over other, less important activities like general Web browsing. When an SD-WAN is operating in conjunction with a software-defined data center, these custom policies carry over from the company’s internal network to the computing facility. In this way, processes at the data center are more effectively aligned with the business’s needs.

The cloud touches nearly every part of a business - and software defined technologies can help support and improve all of these processes.
The cloud touches nearly every part of a business – and software defined technologies can help support and improve all of these processes.

Overall visibility: WAN to Cloud

As enterprises increasingly migrate assets to the cloud, it becomes even more critical to have visibility into all the activities associated with these environments – from the business’s own WAN to its public and private cloud instances at the data center.

Talari’s WAN to Cloud solution is a unique technology that offers the transparency and visibility today’s companies need. As software defined WANs and data centers become more important parts of enterprise networking and infrastructure, a solution like Talari’s WAN to Cloud is essential.

WAN to Cloud extends to WAN into the cloud, enhancing IT teams’ ability to view, manage and better control the totality of their traffic. In this way, the connection between the data center, each office and every cloud environment is strengthened, streamlined and secured according to the firm’s specific policies.

To find out more, view a demo of the solution, or request a custom demo today.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), WAN to Cloud


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