The software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is the latest “next generation” way to connect disparate locations in a private network. It is one of our industry’s most successful forays into the software-defined world. SD-WAN decouples the control/management plane from the network hardware, and simplifies global set-up, configuration, and ongoing management.
Organizations with more than one location have always needed some form of wide-area network (WAN). And now enterprises of all sizes and shapes are becoming more and more distributed. At the same time, various forms of cloud services have become more widely adopted. This public cloud adoption often makes traditional solutions for corporate WANs, like managed, private multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks, sub-optimal or even obsolete. More recently, the Covid pandemic and associated social distancing have accelerated the adoption of different network access technologies, including SD-WAN, in smaller home office and home education scenarios.
In addition to these fundamental shifts in the demands on WANs, the modern enterprise is more acutely aware of the need for security. It is more dependent than ever on pervasive connectivity and good network performance. This combination of trends has left IT managers scrambling for a secure method of reliably connecting their users, their data, and their applications. SD-WAN emerged to fill this growing need.
SD-WAN brings key tenets of software-defined networking (SDN) into the enterprise WAN, notably:
- Centralized control can be more efficient than distributed routing in certain scenarios.
- Centralized management can make it much easier to operate a large network than traditional box-by-box management.
We can say that SD-WAN is a concept, not a technology, because there is no single underlying protocol that defines an SD-WAN. Rather, it is an operating model enabled by various vendors’ products in different ways.
While the SD-WAN market is not yet fully mature, many enterprises have chosen to test or deploy SD-WAN solutions already. The primary drivers include hoped-for improvements in network performance, reliability, monitoring capabilities, and security, as well as cost reduction benefits.
When planning for SD-WAN deployment, multiple factors need to be considered, many of which are directly related to the specific SD-WAN product you choose. Others, such as which types of circuits to use for the physical connectivity and whether a do-it-yourself (DIY) or a managed approach to deployment and operation is more appropriate, are typically independent of the SD-WAN technology provider you select.
Chris was an excellent coach, mentor and problem solver. Chris consistently possesses a “can do” attitude while taking on more and more responsibility and taking the time to fully understand, upskill and learn as required for success. Chris is very organized and patient. He is proactive in identifying and addressing risks and issues that could erstwhile derail hard-earned successes. Chris’ list of talents and intangibles is long, but never a surprise once you get the opportunity to work with him.
I’ve never met anyone who worked as hard as he did at learning and absorbing new skills and technologies and then applying them to his work. He’s a very fast learner and an asset to anyone who has the fortune to work with him.
Chris is one of the sharpest minds you will be lucky to come across, whether in a personal or professional setting. His ability to cut through the noise and see the relevant elements and data in any situation is remarkable.
Chris is intensely focused, dedicated, and capable. He absorbs and synthesizes data quickly, finds the leverage points, focuses on what matters, and delivers results. Any high-performing team will get a boost from engaging with Chris.
Chris is a superior problem-solver with great people skills and ability to ask the really hard questions. A team player who is engaged and approachable, I expect Chris will have significant impact in the tech industry.
Chris is always happy to contribute to a discussion or to an issue and is more than happy to lend a hand to both assist team members with their tasks or to lend his expertise in order to benefit the requestor. He is constantly providing knowledge transfer in a peer to peer manner, engaging others to work together to move a project forward or to resolve an issue. Most importantly, Chris is an open and honest communicator about whatever the topic of the moment is, something that is refreshing in today’s world. I could always count of Chris to lend his opinion or his ideas to any subject matter, and this becomes an important contribution for any team. Chris has tremendous talent and is a very hard working, team player. I would welcome Chris to my team at any point in the future.
I count my time working with Chris among my most rewarding professional experiences. Chris is someone with a voracious appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the world around him. While these traits make him an incredible thought partner that excels at introducing new concepts and riffing off the ideas of others…it also makes him a multiplier, someone that helps others sharpen their own thinking by forcing them to be more introspective, to be more curious about what’s possible, and to think critically and objectively about the reality of a situation.
Chris is a tide that raises many boats, not just through his ability to cultivate innovation and promote positive disruption, but by the example he sets. Chris is one of the most accountable people I’ve ever known and consistently demonstrated a knack for bringing order to chaos, prioritizing diffuse – and often conflicting – objectives, and producing positive outcomes in situations where the deck seemed stacked in such a way that that doing so appeared impossible.
Chris is a focused individual, willing to go the extra mile to help customers, and do the job correctly. He is a great teacher, and a smart man.
Chris is technically creative, hard working, and extraordinarily effective at working with both internal and external technical expert communities. A pleasure to have had on the team at CableLabs. I fully expect him to significantly move his organization and the industry.
His intelligence and wit are only outshone by his friendly and helpful nature. Working with Chris is always a pleasure and a smashing success.
We hired Chris with high expectations. He quickly proved to be a good choice as he grasped new concepts exceptionally well and showed an aggressive personal learning regimen, surpassing his peers. I would highly recommend Chris in his future endeavors.
Chris is objective, strategically insightful, sharp and on top of his game. He’s a great collaborator who is willing to change his approach mid stream or whenever, to accommodate others. He’s a very dedicated professional with strong personal leadership qualities as well as being open and willing to inspire and empower others.
Chris is an excellent organizer and leader with vision and energy. He pulled together the Colorado Chapter of the Internet Society, wrote the inital by-laws and saw the process through to the actual chapter formation.
As Chris’ Editor for Exploring IPv6, a Day One book, he kept to his schedule, output exceedingly lucid prose, and gave a sense of instructional design to an extraordinary tough technology to deploy. On time, better than could be expected, and executed with grace.
Chris was the driving force behind the creation of the ISOC Colorado chapter. I appreciated his leadership and technical skills and his determination. I enjoyed working with Chris on this project and I am looking forward to doing it again.
Chris consistently generates and delivers on new and creative ideas both within the guided bounds of a project or team goal as well as when left unbounded and allowed to explore. In addition Chris is a great team player willing to help whenever asked. Chris is also a competent and organized leader with great communication skills capable of managing projects from inception to completion.
Chris is an engineer and leader of the highest caliber as demonstrated by his ongoing volunteer responsibilities within the Internet technical community and his unwavering drive.
One thing everyone should know about Chris, he always provides nothing less then quality customer service and technical support. His professionalism and skill far exceeds all expectations because he always goes the extra mile.
Chris is a strong team player with tremendous attention to detail. His approach was always well thought out with solid backing to his ideas. His role and growth in the company were key to its survival. He was also very willing and able to wear multiple hats and was a flexible asset to have on hand.