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Inside Research: Evaluating SD-WAN

Johnny Baltisberger

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In his recent Key Criteria Report, respected analyst and author Chris Grundemann explores the criteria needed to understand and evaluate software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solutions and how they are transforming the performance of traditional wide area networks (WANs).

The report, “Key Criteria for Evaluating SD-WAN,” explores this fast-developing area of network solutions. It outlines the key elements that define an SD-WAN, including centralized management, network virtualization with encryption, the use of multiple circuits, and path measurement. These features are the basic set of requirements for an SD-WAN and help give it the qualities that set it apart and make it a useful networking technique to simplify and improve WANs.

Chris outlines how those looking to incorporate an SD-WAN solution into their organization can differentiate between solutions and how different features and criteria can boost the capabilities of a network. These features include:

  • Routing and forwarding capabilities
  • Network security
  • WAN optimization
  • Cloud integration
  • Application awareness
  • Flexible deployment

All these elements show how the right SD-WAN solution can transform the capabilities of a network and help redefine its operation. Chris shows how these features should be examined and evaluated before choosing an SD-WAN vendor.

In the final section of this Key Criteria Report, Chris outlines several cutting edge features that set vendors apart—features that Chris believes are set to define the SD-WAN space over the next few years. These include software-defined perimeters that Chris describes as a next-generation VPN that provides “zero-trust network access with identity-based access management, whether or not you are at a branch or on a mobile client.”

The report shows how the increasing shift to cloud-based applications is accelerating the need for and adoption of SD-WANs. It will help organizations understand the key elements of SD-WAN that will benefit them.

Learn more about the full report, “Key Criteria for Evaluating SD-WAN,” here.

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