While SD-WAN continues its upward trend, vendors and telcos are fine-tuning their offerings to fit specific business needs. Adtran on Wednesday announced it was joining the SD-WAN fray with its version, which is targeted at businesses and distributed enterprises.
In addition to the first-generation "do-it-yourself" versions of SD-WAN, a large chunk of the upper tier SD-WAN offerings are targeted toward large enterprises.
The Adtran SD-WAN platform is designed to help small-to-medium businesses and distributed enterprises take advantage of cloud-based networking while keeping existing voice and security solutions in place in order to make the transition faster and more affordable.
When asked via email which SD-WAN vendors the company was using, Adtran's Chris Thompson, director of software products and solutions replied: "Adtran uses a variety of open source software, commercial software and technology partners in its SD-WAN solution."
"It is designed as a managed service," Thompson said. "It can be deployed and managed from Adtran’s cloud, or by one of our service provider partners using their cloud infrastructure. The concept is very similar to the way we offer our cloud managed WiFi solution. Service providers can start with Adtran handling everything, and then migrate the solution to their cloud infrastructure when they are ready."
According to a recent blog by Vertical Systems Group co-founder and principal Rosemary Cochran, worldwide revenue for managed SD-WAN, MPLS and site-to-site VPNs combined is currently more than $40 billion. The emerging carrier managed SD-WAN sector accounts for less than 5% of the market.
As organizations undergo their digital transformations, they need to protect their WAN edge, which means a lot of the more recent SD-WAN offerings have improved security compared to first-generation SD-WAN. Unlike some edge-based or next-generation firewall-based SD-WAN solutions, Adtran said its SD-WAN cloud supports active-active WAN links, inbound QoS, single IP failover and a cloud gateway component for control of cloud-based content.
Similar to Aryaka and Cato Networks' SD-WAN solutions, Adtran's SD-WAN offering has multiple gateways across the continental U.S and has its own redundant backbone between gateways. It also features upstream feeds at each gateway, and connections for each customer location to two gateways for failover protection. Service providers also have the ability to move the cloud software to their data centers when they are ready by using Adtran's SD-WAN cloud solution.
Adtran's SD-WAN platform provides both outbound and inbound quality of service (QoS), seamless connectivity and control of cloud applications and voice services. It automatically detects business critical and performance-sensitive traffic without having to manually set up policies. This capability enables all future cloud applications to integrate into the business without manual intervention.
Additionally, the SD-WAN solution delivers end-to-end visibility, measuring each connection from any location on the network, all along its path, to Adtran's gateways at any other location. By identifying application traffic in real time, it can detect and automatically adjust based on the performance needs of the applications currently in use.
While Adtran's SD-WAN platform doesn't fully comply with MEF's recently published SD-WAN specifications, it does follow those guidelines closely, according to Thompson.
Adtran's SD-WAN offering will be available through its service provider channel, MSPs, and select system integrators, although it didn't say when.