SD-WAN: Reclaim your WAN from everything digital

By Dave Chen, Senior Product Marketing Manager
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In the age of mobility and the connected cloud, we are seeing global data usage skyrocket 900% in just the past decade alone (KPCB). Corporate Wide Area Networks (WAN) are seeing IoT and mobile inundate their legacy infrastructure, with new digital workplaces removing the notion of static users. Instead, the WAN is now defined by users who connect to corporate resources from anywhere and across different uplinks because data and services are now delivered dynamically through public and private clouds. In the face of this turbulent growth in bandwidth-intensive applications like Office365, Skype, and YouTube, the challenge for IT is about how to manage WAN performance for a dynamic set of applications and modes of connections, while keeping operational expenses low.

Much like Wi-Fi, the WAN is a shared medium with finite capacity. It requires intelligence to make smarter decisions for data, which is where Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions come in to improve this medium and maximize WAN utilization for additional savings. At the same time, SD-WAN just solves one piece of the puzzle. In order to best optimize the WAN for this new level of digital growth, we must take a holistic approach in understanding what types of traffic are coming in from the edge of the network, and how best to maximize user experience and data traffic from end-to-end. Aruba delivers software innovation that takes advantage of the enhanced context available from the access layer to amplify user and application experience through the WAN and core.

Context is king

Context has innumerable benefits for IT who would otherwise need to manually configure or troubleshoot problems. IT can take advantage of context and centralized policy from ArubaOS 8 and ClearPass to improve data flow and security across the WAN, as well as the rest of the network. This architecture allows IT to intelligently choose what users can access on different devices in a branch or remote site, as well as how much priority to give different applications across the WAN based on network utilization and security permissions. Aruba's AppRF feature provides deep packet inspection (DPI) into over 2,500 applications and application categories and dynamic Quality-of-Service (QoS) to ensure the right business critical applications gain priority over others (e.g. Wi-Fi Calling), even across multiple WAN uplinks such as private MPLS or public Internet.

IT is faced with many up and coming challenges, especially as we have seen such a dramatic rise in data use. It's time to reclaim your WAN! If you want to learn more about Aruba's solutions, take a look at the links embedded above, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.