Hybrid Cloud Drives Need for Software-Defined WANs in Enterprise

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1 Insight Hybrid Cloud Drives Need for Software-Defined WANs in Enterprise Brad Casemore Rohit Mehra Nav Chander IDC OPINION The wide area network (WAN) will be critical to the success of enterprise hybrid cloud strategies and initiatives. Although WAN optimization and traditional WAN services addressed a broad range of client/server requirements, other capabilities are needed in the context of the 3rd Platform. Fortunately, software-defined networking (SDN) is directly applicable to the hybrid WAN, abstracting and reducing complexity while providing automation, programmability, and orchestration. In addition: As enterprises plan and implement comprehensive cloud strategies, the WAN architecture should be considered alongside datacenter infrastructure because of the need to fully integrate cloud-sourced services into WAN environments that ensure workload/application performance, availability, and security. Although SDN initially addressed keenly felt requirements in cloud datacenters, SDN's clear abstractions, automation, analytics, and overlay-based network virtualization are profoundly relevant to the WAN as enterprises seek to address hybrid cloud and mobility. Various vendors are seeking to provide hybrid cloud WAN solutions, including WAN optimization providers, router vendors, established and new network virtualization players, and start-up companies offering SDN-WAN technologies. At the same time, communications service providers (CSPs) are modifying their services to address market needs. IDC believes that the requirements of enterprise customers and the scale of the market opportunity will drive major vendors to address software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) functionality gaps through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity and strategic partnerships. IN THIS INSIGHT This IDC Insight offers an analysis of how the 3rd Platform, and particularly hybrid cloud, is driving a need for SD-WAN capabilities and solutions. SITUATION OVERVIEW The 3rd Platform has become an undeniable technological foundation for business process improvement and also for improved business outcomes. Cloud and mobility have been key pillars of December 2014, IDC #253167

2 the 3rd Platform and have generated opportunity as well as disruption across a number of wellestablished enterprise IT markets. This has been true for the datacenter network, and it is now also true for the WAN. As the hybrid cloud, in particular, is adopted by a growing number of enterprises, the need for a accompanying hybrid WAN, supported by SD-WAN products and technologies, is emerging. Although much discussion has ensued regarding the datacenter implications of virtualization and cloud, the consequences for the WAN also are hugely significant. As hybrid cloud takes hold, WAN performance becomes absolutely critical for latency-sensitive workloads and inter-datacenter business continuity. Accordingly, as enterprises plan and implement comprehensive cloud strategies, WAN architectures need to be considered alongside and in conjunction with datacenter infrastructure. Moreover, as enterprises move mission-critical workloads and business processes to the cloud, there is a greater need to fully integrate cloud-sourced services into WAN environments to ensure workload/application performance, availability, and security. Unfortunately, enterprises might lack awareness of or visibility into WAN public cloud usage. Therefore, enterprise IT organizations need to analyze the volume and nature of incoming and outgoing traffic flows to determine whether new network architectures are warranted to improve application performance and to provide end-user access to cloud-based SaaS offerings such as Microsoft Office 365 and salesforce.com. "Software Defined" Comes to the WAN The requirements associated with cloud computing already have reverberated through datacenter networking, with SDN arising as an architectural approach that provides the network with the agility and responsiveness through automated provisioning, programmatic management, and integration with cloud-orchestration platforms that it lacked previously. Now the focus is turning to how the WAN must be modified to accommodate the dynamic requirements of hybrid cloud computing. In fact, the WAN is an increasingly critical foundational element in the realization of hybrid cloud. Enterprises adopting hybrid cloud must give careful and thorough consideration to a WAN strategy that offers the same sort of operational efficiencies and business agility that they seek to derive from SDN in the enterprise datacenter and the campus. An SD-WAN provides the complementary missing piece or capstone for hybrid cloud application delivery. Indeed, SDN's clear abstractions, automation, analytics, and overlay-based network virtualization are tremendously relevant on the WAN as enterprises grapple with hybrid WAN and mobility. What's more, the WAN often is an easier place to implement SDN in many enterprises, for both business and operational reasons. SDN in the datacenter, for example, can be a political minefield for many enterprises as virtualization and network virtualization blur traditional boundaries in siloed IT departments. The WAN, on the other hand, remains the preserve of the networking department and networking professionals. The networking group, having identified a need and potential solutions that address problems on the WAN, has the mandate to make decisions and to take action. The challenge comes in deciding what to do. Although WAN optimization sufficed to address issues relating to the delivery of legacy and client/server applications across the WAN to branch offices, mobility and hybrid cloud complicate the picture. WAN optimization remains relevant, but it now serves as an integral component in a broader solution set IDC #

3 New Technology and Service Options Nature abhors and vacuum, and a number of vendors have emerged to address the need for SD-WAN capabilities. Interestingly, these vendors are coming at the problem from various perspectives. IDC notes that WAN optimization vendors including market leaders Riverbed and Silver Peak are adding advanced analytics, real-time intelligence, policy-based application control, intelligent path selection, and security capabilities to their product portfolios. At the same time, router vendors including Cisco, Juniper Networks, and Alcatel-Lucent are investing their platforms with greater support for network and security services for WAN application delivery. Alcatel-Lucent's Nuage Networks has gone a step further and extended the capabilities of the company's network virtualization overlay from the datacenter out to the branch, providing infrastructure consolidation and cost savings while creating an elastic enterprise network that abstracts operating complexity in the process. In addition, several start-ups Glue Networks, viptela, CloudGenix, and VeloCloud have defined cloud-centric approaches to tackling the WAN application and performance issues for the 3rd Platform. Vendors such as Dyn, particularly after its acquisition of Renesys, are bringing sophisticated WAN performance assurance and visibility technologies to the table, while other SDN start-ups such as Pertino Networks and Aryaka are providing cloud-based VPNs and cloud-based CDNs, respectively. WAN-cloud connectivity requirements are creating new challenges and opportunities for CSPs. Today, a number of service providers offer a variety of VPN/WAN extension service choices to securely connect WANs to private cloud. These managed services support enterprise cloud apps because these types of internal back-end systems are already on the WAN and these applications tend to have steady-state bandwidth requirements, which typically do not require extremely high-throughput connectivity. In addition, transaction-heavy workloads that tap into private cloud databases and customer records (i.e., credit card processing for Web retailers and electronic health records) benefit from private connectivity's bandwidth capacity and QoS features. Furthermore, the inherent traffic engineering and class-of-service (CoS) capabilities of MPLS-enabled Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs facilitate assigning different priorities to different types of network traffic and dynamically allocating bandwidth among the different CoS designations. Here are several examples of SD-WAN services: VPN/WAN extension. Customers use their existing MPLS/VPLS networks to directly connect to public cloud services. The network service provider maps the physical location of a cloud provider's platform to the customer's WAN and extends the VPN to the carrier's routers colocated at cloud providers' designated meet-me points. In this deployment model, the network service provider handles the tasks associated with setting up peering, routing, and handoffs between the customer's VPN and the cloud service provider. Once the process has been completed, the customer's cloud services become just another site on the corporate WAN. The cloud service choices depend on a particular service provider and its MPLS extension agreements to cloud service providers such as MSFT, IBM, salesforce.com, HP, Oracle, and SAP. Examples are AT&T's NetBond, Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect, and Level 3's Cloud Connect. Cloud exchange providers. Equinix Cloud Exchange is an example of a new cloud exchange marketplace that is emerging. This service offering for enterprises provides virtualized, private direct WAN connections to multiple cloud services and that bypass the Internet to provide 2014 IDC #

4 better security and performance with a range of bandwidth options. The Equinix Cloud Exchange portal and APIs simplify enterprise IT staff with the process of provisioning and managing connections to multiple cloud services and networks. Enterprises can use this approach to get to multiple clouds and also add additional services, such as security services from a Fortinet network firewall, across multicloud environments via this cloud exchange. Cloud-based WAN services. Traditional service providers are also evaluating other new SD- WAN offerings that may be hosted in their cloud or a partner's "cloud" such as the Cisco Meraki WLAN service or a cloud VPN service that can use pubic Internet access to connect to a cloud gateway and access VPN, firewall, and other WAN services hosted by the service provider or a partner from a cloud. This type of managed service is attractive to enterprises that want to reduce IT expenses associated with managing their own WAN. NFV-based WAN services. In 2015, traditional service providers will begin launching commercial SD-WAN services that are based on implementing virtualized CPE and virtualized appliances at enterprise WAN locations. Service providers will leverage a new generation of programmable intelligent edge routers and switches including those from Cisco, Juniper Networks, Ciena, Alcatel-Lucent, Brocade, HP, and Huawei to host SD-WAN services and leverage x86-based hardware appliances. As a result, CSPs will be able to turn up new virtualized WAN services such as VPN, firewall, and WAN optimization within hours compared with weeks and months. FUTURE OUTLOOK As hybrid cloud affected the WAN, the SD-WAN was inevitable. Just as in the datacenter, SDN addresses limitations and shortcomings of conventional WAN architectures and technologies and facilitates a more application-oriented approach to delivering applications from disparate datacenters to mobile users. There's no question that SDN's move to the WAN has unleashed a powerful WAN of creativity and innovation. Established vendors and start-ups are aggressively developing new products and adapting older ones to meet the needs of the 3rd Platform. That said, the SD-WAN will be disruptive to existing markets, such as WAN optimization. Enterprise customers might also find it difficult to assess the relative merits of the wide range of products and technology that vendors are putting forward as solutions to the hybrid WAN challenge. IDC believes the clear need of enterprise customers and the scale of the market opportunity are likely to result in efforts by major vendors to consolidate SD-WAN capabilities within their product portfolios. While some players will do so organically, through internal R&D initiatives, at least a few will seek to close gaps and add value through partnerships or through M&A. In fact, IDC believes the situation is ripe for the latter, with a wide range of combinations and scenarios within the realm possible, if not probable, in the near and intermediate term IDC #

5 About IDC International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make factbased decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Global Headquarters 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA idc-insights-community.com Copyright Notice This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Please contact the IDC Hotline at , ext (or ) or for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. Copyright 2014 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.

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