The original article can be found here.


Traditional WAN services that use enterprise routers and other networking equipment face new competition: managed services with software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology and traditional WAN services with network-function virtualization (NFV). Hardware suppliers and service providers caught in the fight have much at stake, including a net reduction in hardware sales and a shift in which companies deliver services.


Driving this contest from the demand side is the ever-present desire for companies to reduce cost and the emergence of cloud computing as a complement or replacement to in-house data centers. Operating expenses (opex) drive the biggest cost concerns. WAN connections, such as those relying on MPLS, are expensive and slow, particularly in comparison to broadband services familiar to consumers. Managing these connections, particularly when a company has a lot of them and they’re widespread geographically, is another operating cost. Meanwhile, companies require ever more bandwidth for IT applications and more of this bandwidth is going to the cloud instead of company headquarters as workloads move to the cloud. Other cost concerns include the cost of branch-office networking equipment and the growing amount of equipment needed to operate the office securely and efficiently.

Topics covered:


- Network-function Virtualization (NFV)