The incredible success of Pokémon Go has made headlines everywhere. Most are about the game as a cultural phenomenon. Dig a bit deeper, and there is an important message for people who run enterprise networks and applications, and about the fundamental and immediate need for the kind of network and application visibility and control you get with a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).
This may not be apparent on the surface, but the success of Nintendo’s megahit augmented reality game, which in its first few days blew the doors off the game business, is indicative of similar changes taking place today in the enterprise, which will become even more pertinent tomorrow.
I’ll note here that for the most part, Pokémon Go isn’t likely running over a lot of enterprise networks – an exception being those offering public WiFi in places where Pokémon/people looking for them congregate. It is after all, a mobile app designed to be played by people on the move. What’s more, despite appearances, it doesn’t use a lot of bandwidth since it doesn’t use live video.
Look out Pikachu, the enterprise is watching…
Despite all of this, the game’s massive success hasn’t gone unnoticed by the enterprise. HR is keeping an eye on it, as are security execs who point out risks via mobile devices with enterprise access. So as you’d imagine, there’s talk among IT people about being asked to block it.
But there’s more to it than that. The game’s popularity and functionality are clear indicators of a new wave of innovation to come which will most certainly impact enterprise networks. “I’m starting to think the repercussions could spread pretty quickly,” said Rob Powell of Telecom Ramblings. While he was speaking more of telcos, the impact of AR, VR and innovative, fast growing applications will be felt everywhere.
SD-WAN and the visibility to control it all
If the buzz around what Pokémon Go means to computing is even partly true, the enterprise will feel the impact sooner than you may think. Which brings us to the significance of SD-WAN, which can prepare networks for the future of enterprise apps in numerous ways, most notably:
- SD-WAN offers the visibility to see it all: You can’t manage what you can’t see. Since the majority of network managers lack visibility to see what apps are running or how much bandwidth they use, they lack the ability to effectively control their network or applications. Imagine what an unsanctioned, breakthrough, rogue enterprise app with momentum like Pokémon Go might do to such a network. Now imagine nobody realizes it until the impact is felt by your people and your customers.
- SD-WAN offers the ability to control it all: SD-WAN consolidates intelligence currently dispersed across your network and centralizes it to deliver unparalleled control to your network team along with unparalleled ROI from your network. Managers can then create business policies to dynamically optimize and prioritize application performance by location, user or any number of variables. Such a policy could be created in real-time if an app like I mentioned above suddenly shows up and creates bottlenecks that inhibit the flow of more mission critical applications and data.
While SD-WAN may not turn you into the next Ash Ketchum of the enterprise network world, it will help prepare your organization for everything happening now, and whatever great innovations come next. Enabling you to deliver a superior application experience to your users, and a superior customer experience to those you serve. Getting started won’t be hard, SD-WAN is an evolutionary technology leveraging hybrid WAN infrastructures you may already have. A good place to begin is by talking to your network service provider about planning your journey to a network that can deliver whatever kind of applications you’re using now, and importantly, whatever comes next.
Image credits: Yahoo Finance and Jeffrey Grubb/GamesBeat
The Path to SD-WAN Starts with Hybrid Designs
While SD-WAN will bring major change to the enterprise, the path to getting there is more evolutionary than revolutionary. For most organizations, the best place to start can be with Hybrid Networks combining the predictable performance of MPLS, the cost efficiency of IPsec VPNs, and the visibility and control of software defined technologies for application performance optimization.