SD-WAN; One Way To Partly Consolidate The Complex Puzzle That Is Contemporary IT

I was recently sent an article by my PR mate Hannah from one of their clients, Versa – a company I’ve met up with and they talk a lot of common sense, far more than their er, so-called president…

The topic (and associated tech) is SD-WAN and, along with many technologies I’ve been associated with since day one (if not zero day), it is more relevant than ever, given the potential, long-lasting fallout of the latest pandemic (and what strains might gang on us later). What is different here is that one of the classic bolt-ons of SD-WAN and its dad, WanOp – security – was actually a fundamental part of the product. From day one -)))  Apart from the obvious potential benefits of integrated security and data in one product from one vendor (i.e. they should be able to optimise the combination), it’s one less security product you need to buy – or is it more than one? That’s been the over-riding question in security now for the best part of a decade – how many different security products DO I NEED?

Ironically, the article makes the point that the same is happening in the SD-WAN world – “There are many different SD-WAN solutions on the market, all offering something a little different. Network managers must be sure that the solution they choose is properly aligned with their actual needs.” Having worked with any and every form of WAN optimisation/security technology since the early ‘90s, I’ve also seen the “jumping on the bandwagon” effect come into being. And here’s the real deal in IT – there ARE too many vendors, too many choices. Maybe one thing that “the COVID-19 effect” will do is reduce those choices, slow the market down – and the perceived progression of IT (given that most of the time it is just the same ideas recycled with a new identity).

IT needs simplifying; yes, the old (ancient?) mainframe-based apps, data and services delivery platform (which is what IT is) was excessively limiting and restrictive, but the revolution it spawned has got well and truly out of hand. Companies such as Versa, by consolidating technologies that actually perform tasks that need performing, are absolutely helping, but as they say “you can’t invest in SD-WAN and expect it to solve everything.” And there are alternatives – lots of them, of course – to Versa, that might better suit the purposes of a given company, or even be complimentary. One example that springs to mind immediately is which brings in the SD VPN option, as well as a significant focus on VoIP optimisation, as well as data. Equally, there’s this limiting factor called “IT budget” and the consequences of “orange man Chinese virus” could severely impact upon what was forecast to be the first significant year of increase in IT spend for some time. Not every company can afford the same solution.

In the following blog, we’ll look at the geo-changes the effect of the pandemic is likely to have long-term, and why everything you need from IT is already in place, tried and tested, including SD-WAN of course…

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