by Steve Woo
At the macro level, new innovations in wide area networking (WAN) are being triggered by at least four broad-based trends:
- 1. Migration of business-critical applications to the cloud (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.);
- Increase in the number and distribution of
branch offices, the number of mobile workers, and the speed of deployment
- Expectation by employees that they will have
high-quality anywhere, anytime access to enterprise and cloud applications,
with high bandwidth; and
- Concerns about security by IT administrators who are losing visibility and policy control over network traffic being routed over public broadband links.
Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have been touted as new ways to address these macro trends. Although often used in conjunction with one another, SDN and NFV are not joined at the hip technologically; they can be applied independently. For the vast majority of enterprises, however, SDN and NFV—separately or together—are not sufficient to adequately address the trends pressuring today’s distributed enterprises.