What makes a good SD-WAN solution?


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What makes a good SD-WAN solution?


The way we consume services has changed significantly over the last decade but when it comes to the Wide Area Network (WAN), the architecture we use to deliver services to our branch users is often stuck back in the 90s.

As new services are adopted, the legacy WAN network capacity often can't keep up with the increased demand, and organisations are faced with a choice. Accept that the user experience in the branch will always be poor due to WAN capacity limitations or, increase the WAN capacity, often at a significant cost, to allow sufficient space on the network for new services. Put simply, Wide Area Networks were never originally designed for a cloud world so it's time to re-think the branch network.

With the promise of better user experience, improved agility and lower network cost, it's no surprise that SD-WAN adoption continues to grow at pace. From start-ups, to established industry giants, there are now over 40 SD-WAN vendors offering a wide range of solutions from basic bandwidth aggregation and traffic management mechanisms, to fully integrated hybrid cloud solutions with advanced security and user experience enhancement capabilities. There's an awful lot of choice so without going into vendor specific data sheets, what makes a good SD-WAN solution?

In this session, Al Taylor from cloudDNA and Mik Stevens from Cisco take a top down look at the principles behind SD-WAN, the typical problems that it aims to solve, the business case to justify the budget and the advanced features that will help you move from a 20-year-old rigid WAN topology to an agile, efficient, cost effective cloud delivery fabric, powered by SD-WAN

In this session, we'll be discussing 

  • What's wrong with the current way we do things?
  • SD-WAN, what does it do and how does it help?
  • How to use user experience as the measurement of success?
  • SD-WAN vs MPLS - The myths, the FUD and the future.
  • From Azure to O365, why SD-WAN is relevant in a Microsoft world.
  • Transport independence.
  • Data plane and control plane decoupling to provide scale.
  • SD WAN and IOT.
  • Embedded security.


Andrew Cleary
Marketing Manager (Moderator)
Digital Transformation EXPO
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Al Taylor
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Mik Stevens
Regional Sales Manager EMEAR Cisco SD WAN
View Biography