The wide area network (WAN) is the key determinant of application
performance, user experience and other key IT success measures. According to Forbes, 83% of workloads will run in the cloud by the end of 20201. Yet, most current WANs were never designed to support the volume and types of traffic destined for the cloud—much less to meet the demands for application performance and the daily operations of today’s businesses.
What began more than 10 years ago with server
virtualization, has manifested into the move to a next-generation WAN
environment—the migration of compute and storage resources to a
The concept of using software to describe resources has
become the standard approach and the future of IT for all three aspects of the
infrastructure (compute, storage and networking). The first step to deploying a
cloud-ready WAN is moving away from legacy WAN processes and technologies to
services that can support the challenges of a cloud-driven IT environment.
Utilizing a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)
can solve many problems that legacy WANs present. Much as hyperscale cloud
service providers (CSPs) are already reaping the benefits of virtualization
when it comes to compute and storage resources, expanding this approach to the
WAN further optimizes end-to-end application experience for business users and
yields many benefits, such as:
To further explore the benefits of software-defined networking, check out this whitepaper: “SD-WANs enabling the move to a cloud-centric world.”
Mike Frane is the Vice President of Product Management for SD-WAN at Windstream Enterprise, where he is responsible for the company’s overall SD-WAN strategy, as well as the network and security service portfolios. Since joining the organization in 2008, he’s overseen the launch and lifecycle of services including LTE wireless, Ethernet and MPLS IPsec access elements, Secure WiFi & Analytics, Application Performance Optimization, IPsec VPN and Unified Communications. Prior to Windstream’s acquisition of EarthLink, Mike led the launch of EarthLink’s SD-WAN service; their most successful product introduction in over a decade. Mike has a BS in Genetics and Cellular Biology from the University of Minnesota and was involved in gene therapy research at the Institute of Human Genetics before entering the telecommunications industry.
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