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The evolution of SD-WAN

When SD-WAN hit the market in 2014 it promised a wealth of new benefits over traditional WAN services. These benefits included the integrated use of multiple access technologies (Internet, MPLS and mobile broadband), application awareness and the ability to prioritize applications in real time, and lastly full visualization on the application use across the WAN. These benefits provided a watershed moment for many enterprises, finally they could select the right access circuits for each branch location and control the application usage across the wide area.

The benefits were strong but there was a cost. To deploy an SD-WAN either the enterprise (DIY) or the Service Provider had to invest in the core service components (policy engines, SDN Controllers and the associated security appliances) that enable the SD-WAN. On top of this was the IT systems and virtual compute that hosted all these network functions and the ongoing operational expenditure to maintain the SD-WAN platform 24/7.

For the enterprise these ongoing costs and heavy IT management burdens forced many to rethink their initial deployments and move back to a managed SD-WAN offering from their Service Provider. This was especially evident as digital transformations took hold and the enterprise utilization of cloud-based IT systems increased which added complexity on the WAN.

Many of the world’s leading Service Providers accepted the challenge and began the process of on-boarding and operationalizing SD-WAN alongside their existing network services. For them this meant resource intensive projects to integrate the new SD-WAN platforms into their legacy OSS and BSS systems. The cost and ongoing operation of these SD-WAN platforms has hindered the feature velocity of their offerings to their markets, as any enhancements need to pass through a rigorous set of internal processes and multi-team signoffs. The result is often a delay in offering the latest feature sets including the emerging SASE and cloud connections that most enterprises need to fulfil their digital transformation.

Managed SD-WAN as a Service

A new method for delivering managed SD-WAN and SASE services is needed, and one that Nuage Networks from Nokia has embraced. Taking the lead from the enterprise IT procurement preference for ‘as-a-Service’ we created a new cloud managed and hosted SD-WAN offering we call Nokia Cloud Managed SD-WAN Service.

Aimed directly at the Service Provider and System Integrator market, Nokia Cloud Managed SD-WAN Service removes all the traditional ‘core platform’ and IT costs with Nokia owning and operating these core components for the CSP/SI and securely hosting them in the public cloud.

For the CSP/SI this removes the hurdle of hosting, maintaining, and operating the SD-WAN platform and costs are aligned to customer revenue. It is a true ‘as-as-Service’ subscription offering, think of it as ‘Network-as-a-Service’ that makes selling SD-WAN and SASE services to your enterprise customers quick and cost effective.
Nokia Cloud Managed SD-WAN Service offers more than just virtualized network services built on our Nuage Networks from Nokia technology as the Nokia operational team have enhanced the service with integrated public cloud connections and validated interworking with several SASE and cloud security solutions including Check Point Harmony, Palo Alto Prisma and Zscaler.

The result is the right service platform for the CSP/SI to offer their own branded Enterprise Cloud Networking service that spans all the way from the enterprise physical locations, be they HQ, regional branches or the employee working at home, right through to the key Cloud IT locations in AWS, Google or Azure clouds or provided by any leading SaaS vendor.

For information on the service capabilities and detail around the customer services cases, please click on the link below which will take you to the Nokia solution page.

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