One of the most interesting things about SD-WAN is the level of real differentiation between the different vendors that has actual business outcomes.
Let me explain, most SD-WAN vendors are using overlay networks to bypass the restrictions and limitations of IP routing. A few of the features in common are:
- multi-path networking
- dynamic and temporal path selection
- monitoring and analytics of traffic flows
- flow based QoS
- Encrypted VPNs
But SD-WAN vendors have built from this base to focus on different aspects. To pick a few features: Viptela is focussed on scaling to very large WANs, CloudGenix is analytics-driven for application inspection, Talari is focussed on flow operations, Velocloud uses a cloud-centric operational model and SilverPeak is offering protoocol optimisation and acceleration.
While each vendor overlaps the other to a lesser or greater extent (and will probably converge over time on core features), I see that each vendor has a different story to tell on SD-WAN with its own strength and weakness. Compare this to data centre or security where each product is 95% identical, with similar feature and performance. Really, most of the time its just a case of who we like the best.
The EtherealMind View
One of the things that gets me excited about SD-WAN is that its different. In January I predicted that SD-WAN is going to be big and so far, I’m still interested. I haven’t moved on to something else yet (networking is a BIG market). One of those things is the real differentiation in these products.
The Packet Pushers Podcast has recorded several shows with SD-WAN vendors where we discuss the technical content in detail. You can find a full list here as we publish them (there are more to come) but here are the SD-WAN podcasts published so far:
Tech Field Day
TechFieldDay has also seen a number of SD-WAN vendors present on their solutions. I have selected 15 minute sessions where the vendors have explained this uniqueness.