Which Software-Defined Networking Trends Will Your IT Team Adopt?
by October 20, 2017

Filed under: Industry Insights, Networking Technology

You know what happens this time of year, as Halloween is approaching: It’s time for next year’s technology predictions to arrive. Here, there’s a look at some potential 2018 networking trends around SD-WAN in particular. One that caught our attention was the addition of security features like firewall functionality, and the expectation that antivirus and flexible security feature deployment will soon follow. WiFi controller integration is another area that could be a boon for network engineers. SD-WAN products have already started adding improvements, like support for WAN optimization, but there’s still a lot of growth set to come for this emerging market.

With this continual SD-WAN improvement and predictions of more to come, it’s naturally time to start talking about the demise of SD-WAN devices entirely. A recent ESG analyst study found that more than half of respondents—60%—preferred SD-WAN functionality as a feature of a more comprehensive network product, not a standalone solution. This emerging type of hardware could incorporate SD-WAN along with other stalwart network features like firewalls and WAN optimization. Essentially, it’s a transformation of the way the WAN edge is architected and managed. There’s also a handy list in here as you’re getting started to see what tools you might want for your IT team managing branch offices.

In other forward-looking network and application news, this story looks at the networking trend of IT teams moving data center control to a SaaS model. This concept of central control is extremely important as IT keeps adding more and more services, apps, users and locations to its purview. There are various ways vendors are approaching SaaS and cloud management challenges, such as offering cloud management as a service and other new products and features. These approaches address the trend of enterprises moving lots of important applications to SaaS or cloud models, while keeping some older legacy applications on-premises. Plus, a lot of businesses are now creating new applications entirely in the cloud. (Don’t forget to keep all these apps within sight with performance monitoring, of course.)

Here’s some real detail on how using software-defined networking (SDN) might work best if you’re running a multi-tenant data center. That’s an appealing option, since SDN offers a way to separate tenant traffic from other tenants based on header data. That also means that changing or adding a tenant or device with SDN causes less disruption than the traditional way, so performance won’t suffer. We’re looking forward to seeing more new ways that SDN will improve networks.