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SD-WAN takes on security as we all work from home

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SD-WAN deployments are becoming security-centric, say speakers on Capacity’s WAN Wednesday series of webinars

Security, especially during this Coronavirus era of working from home, has become an important feature of SD-WAN implementations.

“You need to start thinking about SD-WAN and security together,” says Mahesh Bommareddy, senior director of product management at Juniper Networks. “And customers have the ability to apply the right security for the traffic. How do I get better economy? Can I use multiple providers? How can I connect to clouds with security policies? SD-WAN lets you do that.”

Lloyd Noronha, head of SD-WAN marketing at Cisco, agrees. SD-WAN deployments have transformed over the past few years from being solely network-centric to being security-centric and applications-centric, he says.

“The first deployments were very traditional, by the network team,” said Noronha. They focused on centralised management, “but now we’re seeing a transformation, and it’s not just network-centric.”

Bommareddy and Noronha were both speakers in Capacity’s series of free webinars, WAN Wednesdays, in which prominent executives from across the industry talk about how SD-WAN is becoming an important service during lockdown.

Make sure you have a secondary path to your SD-WAN devices to ensure resilience – it’s critical, says Todd Rychecky of Opengear, in another WAN Wednesday presentation. “Remote access is critical now to keep business going.” But crises are “how innovation occurs”, he added.

In the 2008-09 financial crisis, “I was able to meet customers, go to trade shows,” he said. Not now.

Business is relying on telcos and carriers, he added. “They’ve done an outstanding job. They are keeping the economy up and transacting for us.”

Michael Martin, senior enterprise architect for networking and security infrastructure for global consulting firm McKinsey, covered the hidden challenges of SD-WAN in his WAN Wednesday session.

With extensive experience in network stack virtualisation, hybrid network technologies, SD-WAN and SDN overlay network architecture and distributed content delivery and global file systems, Martin dug deep into how open networking is progressing within SD-WAN.

Domestic connectivity and the local central office are going to be two of the biggest challenges for home workers, says Greg Bryan, senior manager for enterprise research at TeleGeography, in another WAN Wednesday webinar. People should not be over-confident because the bandwidth people get in their urban or suburban homes is bigger than available in offices.

“I might pay for 100Mbps from my broadband provider, but if the central office is used by my neighbours, I’m not going to see anything like that,” says Bryan.

But the domestic Wifi router would also come under strain, he says. “I’ve worked from home for eight years but now my children have been sent home from school and my wife is working from home. My wifi router has multiple devices connected.”

 

There’s a new WAN Wednesday every Wednesday afternoon (UK time). All are available via Capacitymedia.com and WANSummit.com. WAN Wednesdays from mid-May are also available on Spotify. 

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