No more network failure: why SD-WAN is a game-changer

by Citrix
April 2016
Market Guide for Software-Defined WAN

Read the Gartner Market Guide for SD-WAN Download

Software-defined WANs are efficient, resilient and flexible. They can even outwit a slightly crazy CTO attempting to put an SD-WAN out of action, equipped with wirecutters and a sledgehammer. The result, in our view, is one of the best product demos we’ve ever seen.

In this demo, Abhishek Chauhaun, CTO of Citrix networking business, is demonstrating the power of SD-WAN, and how enterprises can expand WAN bandwidth by using economical and flexible broadband connections instead of expensive MPLS capacity. The video underlines in dramatic fashion that it is now possible, with levels of reliability and quality that surpass what’s on offer from traditional WANs.

Ready for a skype video session? Watch it now, and see why he failed:

SD-WAN: a hot solution for a real challenge

If you observe innovation, you’ll know that SD-WAN is a hot new technology in a rapidly emerging market. Gartner, for example, estimates that 1% of enterprises are currently using SD-WAN in all of their branches. Within three years, Gartner expects that figure to rise to 30%.

There are two very good reasons for believing that SD-WAN is a big deal.

The first is that SD-WAN is based on proven technologies orchestrated in a new way. There’s nothing new about hybrid Internet-MPLS WANs. What is new is our emerging ability to exploit both Internet and MPLS simultaneously, and seamlessly. For nearly 30 years, Citrix has specialized in guaranteeing the performance and availability of applications across complex heterogeneous networks. CloudBridge SD-WAN is a natural extension of that work.

The second reason is that SD-WAN isn’t a solution in search of a problem. The problem it addresses is very real. For most enterprises, MPLS-based WANs are a high cost, high-performance solution. We’re seeing so much innovation around SD-WAN precisely because it promises the same (or better) performance at a significantly lower price point.

Strong and resilient: ready for anything

Chauhaun’s wirecutting trick underlines the flexibility and reliability of CloudBridge by highlighting its ability to deliver sub-second failover – from MPLS to broadband to 4G/LTE.

Typically, this is a weakness in traditional WANs, which can take several seconds or minutes to achieve failover, forcing employees to restart sessions. Subsequently, on overloaded backup connections, the performance of critical applications can become seriously degraded.

As Chauhaun puts it: “Today, I need much more bandwidth in my link. It needs to be stronger and much more resilient. Especially when I’m doing business, I need a line that’s going to withstand all tests.”

CloudBridge SD-WAN offers this assurance, and allows enterprises to strike a new balance between expensive MPLS capacity and cheaper alternatives. Specifically, CloudBridge SD-WAN allows you to:

  • Ensure that WAN performance issues do not affect application delivery
  • Get more reliable bandwidth and dramatically reduce MPLS costs
  • Improve application performance while reducing WAN expenses.
  • Respond to network expansion needs in days not months

Gartner’s take: “significant” and “compelling” benefits

Gartner published a guide to the SD-WAN market, which suggested that “the benefits to the enterprise are significant”. Coincidentally, Gartner also highlighted Citrix as a leader in the field.

Why not take a moment to fill out your details on this page and take a look at Gartner’s conclusions? They make for interesting reading.

When you’re done, take a look at how we’ve raised the bar further in the wake of Gartner’s report with the launch of CloudBridge Enterprise Edition.

In a rapidly-maturing market, Enterprise Edition combines control of multiple connections with traditional WAN optimisation technology, allowing a single device to guarantee high-quality application delivery to branches.

We believe this is a watershed moment for SD-WAN. As Karl Brown of Citrix Systems puts it, CloudBridge Enterprise Edition “makes it a no-brainer to move forward with a scalable, enterprise grade implementation”.

Read on to discover more about the benefits of SD-WAN, and why they matter so much to enterprises operating their own WANs.

Market Guide for Software-Defined WAN

Read the Gartner Market Guide for SD-WAN Download

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Watch how a crazy CTO failed to disrupt a skype video call with wirecutters #SD-WAN

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