Future-proofing means less replacing, less repairing, and a lot less cost down the line as we scramble to be ready for tomorrow. The future, however, is vague, and knowing what to prepare for can be difficult. Make sure your wide-area network (WAN) is ready for tomorrow with a few fairly simple measures right now.
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) has fundamentally changed networking technology in a host of ways. It's changed so much, in fact, that some think WAN optimization itself is a dead art, lost forever against the greater efficiency of SD-WAN. That's not strictly true, but not too far off. There are still ways to optimize a WAN, thanks in large part to SD-WAN itself.
Is it time to get rid of the wide-area network (WAN)? Some would say it is, but almost as many would say that it's just time for a better WAN. Making a WAN better calls for some fairly serious changes, but those changes can make the system more ready to take on the ever-increasing demands of modern business.
The Very Fabric of WANs Has Altered
More and more networks are getting away from the old standard of multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), a big part of the WAN since the 1990s, and are moving instead to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technology.
Many enterprise users are discovering that business-grade or even some consumer-facing internet connections are offering more bandwidth than standard WAN services. To pass up such options, therefore, would leave businesses at a marked disadvantage.
Though not every business is moving in this direction, many are developing a hybrid WAN environment that calls on both the standard WAN and the overall internet to deliver the best in value.
Changes in the Cloud
The cloud in general is bringing some of the biggest changes to WAN. Greater scalability than ever is now readily accessible, and new options in apps are coming into play.
- Increased scalability. With WAN and cloud systems working together, there's a better ability to take advantage of collocations and remote operations. Small and medium-sized business (SMB) users are particularly interested in this phenomenon, and more and more, the larger data center is pretty much a province of large-scale operations.
- New app options. With increasing cloud-based options coming available, that means new apps available on every front. Using WAN to tap into those new apps opens up options ranging from big data analysis to customer relationship management (CRM) tools and more.
Changes From the IoT
The IoT is also representing a game-changing experience for WAN operations. Thanks to the IoT's nature as what amounts to an internet of interconnected systems, the end result is both opportunity and hazard.
- Greater demand for security. With all this data flowing through a system, and more points than ever requiring access, the data prizes are richer and the means of access that much easier. A greater demand for security therefore, naturally follows.
- Capacity management is almost as vital. New data is likely to stretch demand for bandwidth to a fever pitch. Trying to keep capacity straight will be vital to ensure the network can handle all the demands placed on it, making capacity management crucial.
How Can I Manage All These Changes?
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changes. While IoT and cloud systems will affect the WAN, MHO Networks has expertise in the connectivity that next-generation networks will require. Our experience in offering superior internet will help you take the greatest advantage of these new and powerful systems.
Before the cloud brought about software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), but after frame relay stopped being the standardized WAN technology, most enterprises used multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) to connect to their WAN. MPLS is still the most popular form of WAN connectivity today, but with data- intensive applications on the rise this may be changing.