As we described in the last section, the SD-WAN market developed from several different directions, including a spate of pure-play Cloud Networking startups founded to disrupt the WAN status quo, the evolution of traditional WAN products to incorporate software-defined technology and the major carriers incorporating SD-WAN and NFV into their core architectures, sometimes using custom-developed software, as well as several legacy network product categories including routers, WAN optimization devices, firewalls and other security products.
Each vendor has its spin on what constitutes SD-WAN and why they’re incarnation is best. Certainly, the vendor’s roots and legacy helps determine where they are particular strong (e.g. firewall vendor vs WAN optimization vendor turned SD-WAN solution). Here at SDxCentral, we’ve often described this as a shuffling Maslow hierarchy of SD-WAN capabilities and requirements. An example of one such hierarchy is presented below, with a rich set of functions attempting to be fit into the pyramid of core SD-WAN requirements.
The reality is that the right hierarchy is based on each enterprise’s business needs and there is not a single Maslow SD-WAN hierarchy that addresses all enterprise needs equally. Nevertheless, in talking to most enterprises and solution providers, we’ve seen that most of today’s SD-WAN solutions share most of the following attributes. These include: