MPLS vs. SD-WAN: A WAN Speed Test

If an SD-WAN and an MPLS connection have the same bandwidth, which offers better performance? The prevailing wisdom is the MPLS connection since it’s managed, but that’s not necessarily the case, as we learned from one customer. Internet performance has improved so much in the past two decades that its performance can rival and even exceed that of private WAN […]

SD-WAN Security: How Gartner Got it Wrong

A new Gartner report accurately identifies the major macro shift in the SD-WAN market —  the transition from pure networking architectures to one intimately tied into broader SD-WAN security designs. It’s a shift we’ve been speaking about for some time. But while Gartner got the basic market change correct, it’s in the details that the report was mistaken. […]

Supplier Management Disrupts SD-WANs – Here’s Why

In a recent blog on Network World, I spoke about the impact SD-WANs have on supplier management. It’s a pressing issue that anyone evaluating SD-WANs must consider. John Spiegal, the IS/Communications Manager at Columbia Sportswear, just sent me a recent SDXCentral article that pointed out a few additional alternatives Multiple Paths: The Key to SD-WAN Availability One […]

No More Routing

A customer of mine and I were chatting over lunch the other day, and our conversation turned to what was going on with his network.  His routers were coming end-of-life.  I asked him what his plans were, and he looked at me with a blank stare and said: “Upgrade them, of course.”  I do not […]

SD-WAN, Hybrid WAN, and MPLS: What’s the Difference?

We’ve been discussing using the Internet as part of your overall wide area network (WAN) strategy. One of the questions I get asked with some frequency is something along the lines of “Steve, how does a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) differ from a hybrid WAN and how’s that different from what I’ve been doing until now?” Let me […]

Cato Networks Hits $2.5B and Breaks Speed Barrier

On reading about Cato Networks announcing its $2.5B valuation, I couldn’t help but think back to a recent performance test we ran on the Cato backbone. I think it encapsulates why investors and enterprises have such high hopes for this company. A manufacturer came to us looking to move away from its MPLS service. Their […]

Palo Alto SASE Platform: Plenty of Security, But What About Networking?

When buying a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution, comparing features is the easiest part of a SASE acquisition process. A well-designed table and a bit of vendor honesty (or, more likely, head smashing on your part) will get you the capabilites provided by various SASE vendors. No, the bigger challenge in selecting a SASE […]

Cisco’s SASE Vision – Is it the best approach for enterprises?

If there was ever a question about enterprise networking and security moving to the cloud that was answered last month at the Cisco Live conference. Here you had Cisco the preeminent proponent of appliance-based architectures, talking about how the future of IT infrastructure lies in the cloud.  Through slick slides, Cisco laid out a compelling […]

From SD-WAN to ZTNA to SASE: Don’t Lose Sight of What Matters


It wasn’t that long ago that SD-WAN was the next great frontier. It was the technology to displace MPLS and to give enterprise networking teams what they wanted for years – freedom from the tyranny of carriers with their overpriced capacity, long deployment times, and dysfunctional support.  In short, it seemed like SD-WAN was the […]

Alternative Private Backbones for SASE and SD-WAN

private backbones for SD-WAN

Part of the premise behind secure access service edge (SASE) and global SD-WAN services is to replace the MPLS services that long anchored enterprise networks. But to do that, they first need ways to overcome the unpredictable and high latencies of the global Internet. Enter global private backbones. Whether they’re independent backbones, like Azure Virtual […]