SD-WAN is the “Killer App” for NFV Services

I’ve just returned from attending Layer123’s NFV World Congress 2017 in San Jose, an energetic and engaging 3-day conference with a focus on NFV technology, solutions and services. It was exciting to see how strong the interest and buzz is around SD-WAN. As one tier 1 service provider speaker in their presentation noted, “SD-WAN is the Killer App for NFV.”

I couldn’t agree more with this simple assertion about SD-WAN, which continues to be one the most-talked about VNF use cases being deployed globally today. SD-WAN as a VNF on vCPE was a central theme throughout the presentations in the “SD-WAN and Business” track, including speakers from service providers, networking vendors, system integrators, industry analysts and semiconductor vendors.

In fact, Telco Systems and Silver Peak announced an Open vCPE solution for SD-WAN that enables service providers to select a best-in-class vCPE platform with a best-in-class SD-WAN VNF that easily integrates into a service provider’s NFV infrastructure.

The new joint SD-WAN vCPE solution enables service providers to quickly bring new tiered, high-performance, virtualized services to market. This open solution also enables telcos and managed service providers to deliver on the ultimate promise of NFV to be an agile, open and flexible service delivery platform that supports any VNF service in parallel to or as part of a service chain with SD-WAN services.

What is even more impressive, is that many of the vCPE vendor speakers also acknowledged that SD-WAN VNFs are driving more demand for their vCPE solutions and proof-of-concept projects. Service providers can deploy an EdgeConnect SD-WAN VNF on their choice of vCPE platforms from any of our partners that include: Juniper Networks, Telco Systems, Ciena, or ADVA.

IHS analyst, Michael Howard, validated this trend by noting in his keynote that SD-WAN and vCPE are the highest priority NFV services based on a recent survey of service providers from 35 companies.

NFV World Congress 2017During the SD-WAN track, I presented “SD-WAN-Monetizing a New Generation of Cloud-enabled Services” which covered examples of how service providers can leverage SD-WAN to create value-added service tiers. An SD-WAN solution that enables tiered services provides exactly the kind of flexibility service providers are seeking as they build and execute their managed SD-WAN and virtualized service strategies.

Service providers that visited our booth viewed a live demo of our Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution and were also impressed with our ability to integrate an optional WAN optimization performance pack, Unity Boost, into the solution. It is faster and easier for service providers to integrate an SD-WAN vendor solution that can support a SD-WAN VNFs and a WAN optimization VNF on the same SD-WAN platform as part of a virtualized managed services strategy.

The Value of Tiered WAN Services
The Value of Tiered WAN Services – click to see full size

Offering tiered, managed SD-WAN services, enables service providers to quickly drive new routes to monetize connectivity and optimize application performance across any WAN environment. The Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution can serve as a foundation for service providers to capitalize on these new business opportunities and deliver new tiered managed SD-WAN services.