What’s next in the evolution of communications networks?
The beginning of open source was more of a rebellion against the giants, those monopolies that extracted unfair value from their customers. Fast forward to 2019, open source brought a revolution in many areas, operating systems, databases and browsers are just a few examples.
The shift from proprietary hardware to general purpose hardware has allowed enterprises and service providers to control and limit vendor lock as well as significantly reduce cost. Today we are witnessing a strong trend of open source in the networking space, tier 1 and smaller service providers, as well as large and small enterprises, place open source as first priority when they come to select their networking solutions.
As it goes for SD-WAN, there are various elements of the solution that are open source and SD-WAN vendors are utilizing them for their products but only to create closed systems that take away the control from the enterprise or service provider and leave it in the hands of the vendor, aka, create vendor lock.
During the last 4 years I have been involved in the SD-WAN market and had the opportunity to speak with large and small service providers and enterprises. The complaints and feedback I heard from them regarding SD-WAN were pretty similar.
“As most enterprises, I have my specific network requirements but with existing SD-WAN solutions I can’t really control the network and the way my traffic is managed.”
“I simply resell an SD-WAN vendor, no way for me to differentiate.”
Given the hype and adoption rate of SD-WAN, service providers don’t want to be left behind and typically opt for a multi-vendor approach but they are concerned with the vendor lock they are in and the lack of control and differentiation.
The writing on the wall was clear to all, there will need be a Second Wave of SD-WAN, it is only a question of time. Since enterprises and service providers lean toward more open systems they will not live for long with SD-WAN solutions that are closed in nature.
Today we are announcing the Second Wave of SD-WAN – Open Architecture SD-WAN Open Source by flexiWAN
Given the feedback I have been hearing, I decided to take on the challenge and start the first Open Architecture SD-WAN Open Source project that will democratize SD-WAN. This project is now coming out of stealth mode.
flexiWAN is currently conducting private POCs and we need to manage the number of those that we run. The first step in getting access to flexiWAN and joining the community is to enter your details on our website and we’ll send you more information right away. [update – as of January 2020 flexiWAN is in production. Visit flexiWAN’s website, open a free account, and join the community.]
- Read about DIY SD-WAN, moving away from the cookie cutter model
- Learn more about the MEF work on SD-WAN standardization
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