Organizations of all sizes are starting to make a rapid transition to software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) as part of a concerted effort to reduce their networking costs and inject some additional agility into their operations. CA Technologies is now extending the reach of its SD-WAN performance analytics tool to include support for IWAN offerings from Cisco in addition to Viptela, a provider of a SD-WAN that Cisco just acquired. CA Technologies will support the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) framework as well.
Tim Diep, director of product management at CA Technologies, says the latest release of CA Performance Management already supports SD-WANs from Versa and CloudGenix, in addition to various types of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) software.
Rather than backhauling all network traffic from the edge of the network, IT organizations are employing SD-WANs to route much of that traffic directly to the cloud application providers over standard internet connections. That approach eliminates the need to lease MPLS lines from carriers while at the same time improving overall application performance.
“We’re seeing a lot of activity in our customer base,” says Diep. “The WAN has become a bottleneck.”
Diep says the challenge that presents is that SD-WANs introduce an overlay on to the network that while abstracting away the network underlay also introduces additional complexity that is invisible to network performance monitoring tools. Because of that issue, CA Technologies has been steadily adding support for multiple SD-WANs to CA Performance Management, says Diep.
The emergence of SD-WANs doesn’t necessarily mean the need for expensive leased MPLS lines will go away any time soon. But the existence of SD-WANs does give IT organizations a lot more options that generally result in the deployment and management of hybrid SD-WAN deployments spanning multiple internet and MPLS connections. The next big challenge is figuring out how best to manage all those multiple connection options.