SD-WAN is the best thing that could have happened to networking according to some industry “thought leaders” and $vendor marketers… but it seems there might be a tiny little gap between their rosy picture and reality.
This is what I got from someone blessed with hands-on SD-WAN experience:
First of all let me be very honest that I’m not the subject expert but a user of SDN WAN technology who happen to work with it on daily basis (suffer could be used interchangeably with “use” as well :)).
My personal opinion is that many vendors have really jumped to this wagon prematurely, in fear of not to miss it. All they did was put together a bunch of programmers who wrote code hoping that it would change the networking world. I must say that legacy networking had a lot of imperfections, however the code along with the supporting hardware was put to the production after a rigorous testing and expected to behave as it was supposed to. On the SDN part, it appears everyone has caught the fire and they must jump into the pool before it’s too late.
We are using an Overlay based SDN solution and with every release it appears that we are opening a new can of worms. SDN and NFV are fantastic technologies but I must say some implementations are way too raw and un-milled (they are not even qualified to be called Beta versions). Industry should have moved a little slower when it comes to offering something for production networks.
Unfortunately this is not how this industry works. For more delightful banter on the same topic listen to The Trough of Disillusionment on Network Collective (including Tom Hollingsworth being aggravated about me calling RADIUS an SDN solution :D)… and if you need more detailed SD-WAN horror stories check out the latest version of SD-WAN security presentation.