I’m going to say something you may not want to hear, or you may already know: implementing SD-WAN is hard. Among the promise and hype of automation, dynamic path selection, zero-touch provisioning and a cloud-ready WAN, lies a trail of failed SD-WAN projects, with many others struggling on life support. For many, the WAN of the future has failed to manifest into anything more than another hard-to-manage, costly IT project that has failed to deliver on its promises (or, has failed to live up to your expectations), but why?
The problems SD-WAN solutions address are not incremental change or gradual evolution, they are the result of industry megatrends that have upended the way we consume applications and connect our users, all in a very short period of time. These megatrends, such as Digital Transformation and the move to SaaS, IaaS and Cloud have placed new demands on network infrastructure, IT staff and application owners; requiring a complete rethink of how they are connecting locations, delivering applications and services and securing their networks. The sheer gravity of these changes, and scope of what needs to be done to support them, cannot be undertaken in an additive approach. Rather, they must be tackled as transformative projects that require a complete rethink of enterprise WAN design and strategy.