The Year of No-Worry SD-WAN

by Adam Gervin

A few months ago, David Hughes, CEO of Silver Peak, wrote a piece titled "2019 Predictions: the Year of SD-WAN."

I read the article and liked it so much that I snatched it back and held it with my GTD (shout out to Todoist, and Buddy Guy) for a future blog. Thanks, David!

This is that.

If 2019 is the year of SD-WAN, and also the year to bet your career on Mode, we are going to have a wild ride. Mode was built to help SD-WAN achieve its ultimate potential, after all.

Your Network Is Showing

The article begins with a bit of a wet blanket: "... despite experts estimating that up to 70 percent of applications have moved to the cloud, the transformational promise of the cloud has fallen short of the hype and expectations ... 85 percent still say they are still years away from fully realizing the benefits of the cloud, citing monthly cloud application disruptions and networks that can't keep pace with demands."

Sounds like the world needs a better network between SD-WANs and clouds, not just a better SD-WAN.

Edge control — the kind delivered by SD-WAN — is great, but it was only a matter of time before promises and expectations met reality: if the core, or backbone, isn't reliable, isn't predictable, isn't secure, and isn't adaptive, SD-WAN devices on the network edge can't deliver the kind of WAN CIOs need. Why? Application disruptions. Networks that can't keep pace with demands. Mode was built to enhance any SD-WAN by addressing what others had neglected — the majority of the network: the core. Bringing incredibly fast, autonomous control to the core. That's the name of the game.

But it doesn't end there. Let's continue with a few more of David's 2019 predictions:

SD-WAN Market Consolidation

Sixty SD-WAN vendors, and counting. This is, perhaps, the most obvious of his points. Folks are making their choices — Cisco bought Viptela and Meraki. Oracle grabbed Talari. And so on. It's musical chairs with only a few seats left, and … hasn't that song has been playing for a while now? How about making your SD-WAN stand out? Future-proof it with a reliable SD-CORE. Make reliable, secure, flexible high-performance HA WAN a lot easier to achieve. Think about it.

Basic SD-WAN Solutions Fall Short

This is a bit of a corollary to the previous point. The basic SD-WANs that lack a rich feature set or (hint) a reliable SD-CORE — that ensures end-to-end zero trust security, MPLS+ guaranteed performance, and a business internet price — are likely to be the ones left standing alone when the music stops. Don't be that guy.

Enterprises Shift to a Business-first Networking Model

Now things are getting interesting. Business-first sounds a lot like intent-based networking. I actually like Business-first better (thanks David). Sure, it's aspirational, but it's clearly where things are going. The network needs to conform to the needs and speed of business, not the other way around. And this has certainly NEVER been the case. Ask any CIO about the carrier train and how much they'd like to get off it once and for all. And while a great SD-WAN can get you part of the way there, you need a great SD-CORE working with it to really make this happen. Why? Because a great SD-WAN connecting to apps, clouds, sites, etc. through rigid MPLS or Basic Internet, or even Optimized Internet, isn't going to be good enough. For end-to-end security. For application performance, in particular those using real-time protocols. For fast, hyper-segmented private global network creation. And for dynamic bandwidth needs featuring wild, instantaneous swings. The dream of Business-first can only come true when affordable, reliable network performance is able to turn on a dime before that business intelligence is out of date. Mode SD-CORE is the only SD-CORE with control changes made at every node, in parallel, every 150ms. No global network on earth can react faster to the changes expected of it. That was always our intent.

SD-WAN and UCaaS Come Together

Voice. Video. Grand daddies of real time. Lag is a drag. If SD-WAN customers, as David writes, "expect [that] the quality, availability, and reliability meets or exceeds their traditional telephony solutions" those UC sessions had better be using something other than BGP-backed Internet or even Optimized Internet for long-haul transport. Almost all of the UC providers have already learned this. That's why many of them have been forced to become something they never wanted to be: network operators, burdened with building their own global backbones. That's tremendously bad for time-to-market and margins. There has to be a better way: a private global network as a service that's ready to take any application based on real-time protocols up to — and beyond — "traditional telephony solutions" performance levels. For a fraction of the cost of any of today's private networks. All possible because of the efficiencies derived from autonomous control. Perfect Network Control™. Only available in Mode SD-CORE.

WAN Segmentation — Key to Securing the Enterprise

If segmentation is a key to Enterprise security, Mode has you covered (working with your SD-WAN of course). First, we feature a low attack surface global backbone, based on underlay networks from Ericsson and nearly 100 large service providers. Mode SD-CORE allows the spin up of a global private network with HA, MPLS+ performance, and a granular MPLS+ SLA, in under a minute. You can create a separate global private network, in under a minute, for each and every application you run on your WAN. Most importantly, if you're a compliance-sensitive organization where highest-level security is paramount, Mode is a Zero Trust Network. We don't decrypt your data, ever, to achieve our performance gains. Unlike others who apply WAN optimization at the POP, we don't. Also, keep your security keys under the exclusive domain of your Enterprise. We don't need them. We don't want them. WAN Optimizations and then encryption occur on the business premises via our SD-WAN CPE partners, with encrypted traffic traversing a hijack-immune Mode SD-CORE, and eventual decryption done safely at the end, on the customer's premises. So while we agree that one key to enterprise security is hyper-segmentation, we also believe the other is a core network that delivers all its performance gains without the need to trust us, your service provider, or the Internet. Of course, if the enterprise requests Mode SD-CORE to direct traffic to a trusted cloud security service, for example, we can — but we leave that choice to customers, rather than force it upon them.

A Unified SD-WAN Platform for Multi-Cloud Deployments

Mode makes HA, high-performance, secure, affordable multi-cloud and hybrid cloud easy. Mode SD-CORE provides turnkey, reliable access to both your data centers (with SD-WAN) and today's SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, cloud solutions — at a business-internet price point. That is a lot different than the "free to store, expensive to retrieve" model common among the leading cloud providers. While a good SD-WAN can help provide a certain degree of last-mile and path redundancy, improving cloud access performance, it's no substitute for discrete software control of a global SP backbone that holistically flows towards an optimal solution every 150ms. Cloud with confidence, my friends, with Mode + your SD-WAN.

David Hughes, I really want to thank you for your excellent article. I believe it's fair to say that Mode and Silver Peak share many elements of the same vision for SD-WAN. And that only makes sense, since Mode is one of the best things (we think the very best) you can do for your SD-WAN in 2019. And probably for quite a bit of time beyond that, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

We're hoping your curiosity is at least piqued here, because ours most definitely is — and Mode SD-CORE is our product! Reach out to Mode with your questions or to learn more. We are here for you in the Year of SD-WAN.

We are pleased to announce our upcoming webinar:

Featuring: Andy Gottlieb CMO and Co-Founder, Talari Networks/Oracle
When: Wednesday, March 20th, 10:00 a.m. (PDT)

Make sure to mark your calendar and learn about failsafe SD-WANs and turning your Enterprise WAN into a No-Worry Network.