- Jim Metzler, Ashton Metzler & Associates
- Distinguished Research Fellow and Co-Founder
- Webtorials Analyst Division
Until recently, there hadn't been a fundamentally new WAN technology or service introduced into the market for over a decade. Driven by the lack of viable alternatives, over the last ten years the vast majority of network organizations implemented a branch office WAN based on each branch office having either a T1 link or a set of bonded T1 links that provide access to a service provider's MPLS network and having one or more higher speed links at each data center. In this design, it is common to have a variety of dedicated appliances in each branch office and to also backhaul all or some of a company's Internet traffic over the MPLS network to a data center before handing it off to the Internet.
I recently published The 2015 Guide to WAN Architecture and Design, which I encourage each of you to read. In that WAN report I described a hypothetical company called NeedToChange (NTC) which runs a traditional WAN and I had the sponsors of the report describe how NTC should evolve its WAN. As the responses from the sponsors indicate, network organizations today are facing a large and growing set of WAN architectural alternatives that they need to evaluate and determine which makes the most sense for them.
What I am now going to do is to start a 6 week long discussion of WAN architectures with the sponsors of the WAN architecture report. More specifically, I will post a series of three question to the sponsors and give them two weeks to respond to each question.
Readers are encouraged to join the discussion below by clicking on the "Reply" link at the end of any comment. For background, please see The 2015 Guide to WAN Architecture and Design.