The expression “hindsight is 20/20” couldn’t be truer for software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN). To summarize the past few years: Cloud computing and digital transformation drove companies to re-evaluate traditional WAN technology, which no longer met their growing business needs. That’s when SD-WAN emerged as a promising new technology.
SD-WAN was designed to address the problem of traffic management from physical devices and to enable software-based provisioning from the cloud. Many initial SD-WAN deployments were fueled by the desire to replace expensive multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). Companies were hopeful that it could magically solve all their networking problems. But in practice, basic SD-WAN solutions fell well short on this promise.
Fast forward to the present, and much of the hype surrounding SD-WAN has settled, and early implementations are behind us. Now it’s time to look back on what we learned in 2019 and what to improve upon in 2020. So, let’s dive in.