Next-Gen WAN

Connecting People, Places & Things

By: Lee Doyle, Principal Analyst at Doyle Research

A paramount goal for many of today’s leading IT organizations is to enable Digital Transformation (DX) within their business operations. This means companies need to connect more people, places and things than ever before. Today’s enterprise wide area networks (WANs) are decades old in design and technology — and were not built to handle such diverse and distributed requirements. As a result, the enterprise WAN must be transformed to accommodate DX and its underlying enablers, which include cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) — a reality that is challenging companies of all sizes across many industries.

A new set of cloud-delivered and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies, including Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and Software-defined Perimeter (SD-Perimeter), are well suited to meet these next-generation WAN requirements. SD-WAN provides branch and mobile networks with secure, flexible and resilient connectivity utilizing a hybrid of wired and wireless Internet broadband links, as well as legacy MPLS. For mobile users and IoT, SD-Perimeter is a host-based architecture that creates a “dark cloud” over the Internet to connect, isolate and secure mobile and IoT devices anywhere.

As more traffic shifts from private networks to the public Internet, 4G LTE is rapidly becoming the connection of choice for primary and failover links due to its pervasiveness, ease of deployment, and reliability. This trend is expected to accelerate as Gigabit LTE and 5G fixed and mobile services enter commercial availability starting in 2018.

This white paper explains Cradlepoint’s industry leadership in 4G LTE network solutions and new Elastic EdgeSM strategy to deliver next-generation WAN solutions for connecting people, place and things anywhere. The Cradlepoint NetCloud platform powers the company’s portfolio of 4G LTE enabled routers and provides cloud-based management, SDN and virtualized network functions. 

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