The 5 Best SDN Solutions of 2018

1 min. read
Juniper Networks
Arista Networks


As most network engineers and IT managers are getting ready for the summer holidays, we dive into the five best SDN solutions of 2018 so far. We’re halfway through the year, and software takes center stage in networking as customers demand more programmable, agile and lower cost network solutions.

The increasing adoption of cloud-based services and need to reduce data center complexity is driving sales for technologies such as software-defined WAN and intent-based networking. The global software-defined networking solutions and services market is projected to increase 54 percent on a compound annual growth rate over the next several years, according to a research report by Global Market Insights.

Infradata breaks down five of the coolest and most sought-after software-defined networking technologies in the market so far in 2018.

Juniper Contrail SD-WAN

Juniper Networks Contrail SD-WAN delivers a multi-cloud solution that enables customers to automate the WAN edge across virtual cloud endpoints and on-premises firewall or CPE platforms. The solution uses Juniper's Contrail Service Orchestration to design, secure, automate and run the entire service life cycle across Juniper networking products such as routers, gateways and other network platforms.

Juniper recently enhanced Contrail SD-WAN capabilities to add support for fine-grained Application Quality of Experience (AppQoE), offering visibility and management in individual application performance for more than 3.700 apps, including Microsoft Outlook and Skype for Business. Customers can now tune application performance to and from the branch using Contrail's orchestration managed policies.

Riverbed SteelConnect SD-WAN

Riverbed was selected as a winner for its innovative, industry leading, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and cloud networking product, SteelConnect. With its focus on simplicity, power and agility in the cloud era, Riverbed is a leader in SD-WAN, NFV, hybrid networking, and infrastructure visibility and security.

Riverbed SteelConnect is a simple yet powerful software-defined WAN solution that delivers Riverbed’s application-defined approach to networking for enterprises and service providers going to the cloud. The solution uniquely provides an intelligent, simplified approach without manual, error-prone CLI-configuration for designing, deploying and managing distributed networks for today’s cloud-centric world. With SteelConnect, Riverbed has integrated software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) capabilities with its industry-leading WAN optimization, enterprise-class scalability and security, and end-to-end visibility for hybrid WANs, remote W/LANs and cloud networks.

Forcepoint Secure Enterprise SD-WAN

Forcepoint’s network security products combine latest in software-defined wide-area networking (SD‑WAN) with the industry’s top-rated next generation firewall (NGFW) security, all managed at enterprise scale from a single policy-based console. It is used by organizations of all sizes in retail, hospitality and financial services around the globe.

Forcepoint is depended upon by distributed organizations around the world to safely and efficiently connect and protect their remote stores, branches, and office buildings. Forcepoint's SD-WAN technology enables sites to seamlessly use multiple connections from different ISPs, secure each of those links with the industry’s top-rated security, and manage all of it together from one console.

Arista Networks Software Driven Cloud Networking

Emerging SDN technologies complement data center switches by automating network policies and provisioning within a broader integrated cloud infrastructure ecosystem. Arista defines the combination of SDN technologies and the Arista Extensible Operating System (Arista EOS®) as Software Defined Cloud Networking (SDCN).

Arista SDCN combines the principles that have made cloud computing the unstoppable force that it is: automation, self service provisioning, and linear scaling of both performance and economics coupled with the recent trend in Software Driven Cloud Networking that delivers: network virtualization, custom programmability, simplified architectures, and more realistic price points to the table.

This combination creates a best-in-class software foundation for maximizing the value of the network to both the enterprise and service provider datacenter: a new architecture for the most mission-critical location within the IT infrastructure.

Cisco Intent-Based Networking

Cisco has been investing heavily in its one-year-old intent-based networking platform in 2018. CEO Chuck Robbins recently stated that Cisco's intent-based strategy -- which uses software to automate network policy and management -- is shifting more toward an open, software-defined architecture.

The networking giant from California is making DNA Center, the control and management plane for intent-based networking, an open platform to allow partners to develop custom applications and offer more SDN solutions for customers. Cisco also launched two new software systems, Network Assurance Engine and DNA Center Assurance, in 2018 to boost the platform's SDN capabilities.

Now let's wait and see what the second half of 2018 will bring us. Enjoy your summer!

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