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Blog · 07 Jul 2021

How to meet evolving SD-WAN requirements in a changing world

Is the market really listening to what organisations want from a SD-WAN solution? Here’s the view from a leading market vendor’s perspective.

Cross Portfolio Marketing, Nokia Cloud and Network Services

As so many companies move towards an office and working from home hybrid set-up, they’re coming up against a whole new set of network challenges – and the most pressing is the need for flexible connectivity that supports business as it wants to operate today.

Only 18 months ago, the focus was mainly on connecting physical branches with data centres, the public cloud, and software-as-a-service. Now, global enterprises want to add in employees working from home, teams who are on the road using mobile access, eco system partners and a growing range of applications and unified communications platforms dispersed across both public and private cloud. Bandwidth demands are going through the roof, and IT systems are creaking under the strain of supporting trusted applications and delivering the performance the business needs.

Introducing a Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution to securely connect users to applications and intelligently direct traffic across an expanded WAN, optimising performance, can transform the situation. But what if to achieve this you had to abandon the MPLS you’ve been using and move completely over to internet broadband? I know that would be a big ask and risk for many larger enterprises and, possibly, a deal-breaker. And what if the SD-WAN solutions on offer were closed, single vendor offerings that dictated which other products you could use?

This is the reality many companies are facing. So, what should the market be offering to meet evolving SD-WAN requirements? 

1.      Organisations want their choice of SASE

Recently, we had two large manufacturing and distribution customers that both required a global SD-WAN solution that could integrate with their chosen cloud network security system. They were looking to adopt a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture, to protect critical applications and data wherever employees were connecting, using a single, centrally managed security service to protect from edge to edge. But they’d found it difficult to find an open SD-WAN solution that had the flexibility to integrate their specific security requirements.

2. Organisations want brownfield compatibility

One of these companies also wanted to continue using the MPLS network infrastructure as part of their SD-WAN solution, mixing and matching traffic between internet broadband and MPLS to optimise flow and network responses. They wanted to be able to choose their own pace of network evolution and, to a certain degree, sweat the assets they’d invested into.

3. A global, agile SD-WAN solution

Having recognised the true needs of the market, we partnered with BT to create a unique SD-WAN solution. It uses our Nuage Networks from Nokia technology to create an intelligent, flexible and programmable universal network fabric that’s overlayed onto BT’s WAN, connecting all workloads through a single platform. It meets your network where it is, and can incorporate existing network infrastructure. Plus it’s an open solution that can support your organisation’s unique needs.

The foundation of Nuage SD-WAN with BT is that it can connect anyone to any application, anywhere. It was conceived and designed with that flexibility in mind, to cope with organisations’ requirements for network evolution. And it’s definitely proved its worth over the last 18 months of turmoil, supporting wide-ranging transformation for complex businesses, many operating across 100 countries with options for another 80+. 

There are lots of great resources about Nuage SD-WAN here. Why not check it out and find out more about how we can support your business? 

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