The continued migration by businesses to the cloud has helped drive the growth of the software-defined WAN space as enterprises look for faster, secure and cheaper ways to connect their branch offices and remote sites. That challenge has only increased as businesses increasingly use multiple cloud providers for the workloads and data.
Talari Networks and Nokia’s Nuage Networks this week both unveiled new offerings designed in large part to make it easier for enterprises to connect those offices in multicloud environments. Having such capabilities is important as businesses rapidly embrace cloud-based applications and services, according to Andy Gottlieb, Talari’s co-founder and chief marketing officer.
“As enterprises embrace public cloud computing, SaaS [software-as-a-service], hybrid IT and multi-cloud postures in pursuit of their digital-transformation objectives, they are compelled to overhaul their WAN architectures and management models.” Gottlieb wrote in a post on the company blog. “While most SD-WAN offerings provide some value in providing access to cloud services and SaaS, almost all prior approaches face significant challenges in meeting real-time enterprise business requirements.”
Talari officials are looking to reduce those challenges through the company’s Cloud Connect solution, a multi-tenant platform that ensures that customers get high performance, reliability and user experience when accessing public cloud and SaaS services. Nuage officials are looking to drive similar capabilities through the latest version of their Virtualized Network Services (VNS) platform, which creates a single management interface for delivering IT services across enterprise branch sites, data centers, public cloud services and SaaS provider clouds.
“The industry is on the cusp of a big shift towards SD-WAN,” Nuage founder and CEO Sunil Khandekar said in a statement. “Unlike other vendors that either have basic connectivity solutions, use proprietary hardware or need to cobble together multiple platforms to address enterprise IT needs, we purposefully developed our VNS offer on a single platform to give our customers a powerful, seamless and consistent set of capabilities across the entire network.”
In the broad world of software-defined networking (SDN), SD-WAN is among the fastest growing segments. IDC analysts are forecasting that the SD-WAN infrastructure market will grow 40.4 percent a year through 2022, when it will reach $4.5 billion.
"The emergence of SD-WAN technology has been one of the fastest industry transformations we have seen in years,” Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC, said in a statement.
A survey by integration specialist Teneo found that one in five global companies has implemented an initial SD-WAN project, while 48 percent are evaluating them in a more limited form, including proof-of-concepts. Thirty-two percent of respondents have not yet investigated SD-WAN, though 27 percent said they may at some point.
SD-WAN gives enterprises options in the modes they use to move applications and data at branch offices. MPLS was the dominant method when traffic was primarily between the branch and data center, but with the rise of the cloud and the proliferation of mobile devices, other more modern and less expensive methods were needed, such as the internet, Ethernet and LTE. Established vendors like Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks have built out their portfolios to meet the demand for SD-WAN, which also gave rise to a range of pure-play vendors.
Through Cloud Connect, Talari officials said they are helping customers avoid vendor lock-in when it comes to providers of clouds services like SaaS, unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) and managed network-as-a-service (NaaS). Talari’s offering, which will be available in October, unifies the management of connectivity to SaaS and cloud services through Cloud Conduits, which provide multi-link and multi-path connections between customer locations and cloud service providers’ point of presence (POP) (pictured).
Talari officials also said an array of SaaS and cloud service providers are supporting Cloud Connect, including RingCentral, Evolve IP, Pure IP, Meta Networks and Mode.
Nuage officials said enterprises are demanding better connectivity not only between the branch offices and central data center but also between the branch and SaaS and cloud service providers. Nuage’s latest VNS platform—which officials are referring to as their SD-WAN 2.0 offering—provides customers with easy and secure connectivity to the various cloud service providers that they use, according to officials.
In addition to the enhanced connectivity, Nuage also is enabling users to deploy third-party virtual network functions (VNFs) on the platform, either through hosted x86-based customer premises equipment (CPE) or service-chained in the data center or cloud, a way of connecting network services in a virtual chain. The services can include voice-over-IP (VoIP), next-generation firewalls, WiFi access and the internet of things (IoT).
The SD-WAN 2.0 platform also offers improve security throughout the network, extending policy and data plane controls from the end users in the branch to workloads in private or public clouds.