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 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.
Paul Diamond, Markley
Chris is a great asset to any company. His dedication and drivefor results makes him a consistent high achiever.
Henry Yu, tw telecom
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.
Andy Fisher, Myriad360
Chris is an excellent worker with a driving pulse for new technology and leading the industry. His work ethic is second-to-none and his teaming with others always ensures fantastic collaboration with positive outcomes. I am confident that Chris will continue to drive new technology evolution in our industry.
Mike McNamara, tw telecom
Chris is a consummate professional. Motivated, expressive,talented in everything he attempts. His skills in making thingshappen for the better are top notch.
Mark Woodworth, CableLabs
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.
Connie Kendig, Internet Society
Chris is a strong team player with tremendous attention to detail. His approach was always well thought out with solid backing tohis ideas. His role and growth in the company were key to itssurvival. He was also very willing and able to wear multiple hats and was a flexible asset to have on hand.
Mikael Rasmussen, WavMax Broadband
Working with Chris has been a real pleasure. He is open, friendly, intelligent, discreet, skilled, productive, driven, resourceful and trustworthy! Our organisation has really benefitted from Chris’s skills and knowledge.
Howard Baggott, Internet Society
Chris is a really hard working person. Very smart technically &could handle issues very promptly. Was very nice working with him.
As Chris’ Editor for Exploring IPv6, a Day One book, he kept tohis schedule, output exceedingly lucid prose, and gave a sense ofinstructional design to an extraordinary tough technology todeploy. On time, better than could be expected, and executed with grace.
Patrick Ames, Juniper Networks
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.
Rick Kenney, Myriad360
Chris is a focused individual, willing to go the extra mile to helpcustomers, and do the job correctly. He is a great teacher, and a smart man.
Tyson Schaetzle, Tikkom Wire
He would always be available as a sounding board for complex issues and provided me with amazing insight on long term planning and ways to scale up teams and business processes.
Alex Tief, Myriad360
We appreciated his work ethics andclarity of thought. His mind was always on the “next step” and kept us all on our toes.
Ed Partch, American Tech Support
Together we conquered many challenges, won impossible battles in the vendor industry and created a unique security practice. He has an interesting set of talents of being an engineer, innovator, and a thought leader, but never mixes any of these roles. That is what makes him successful as a leader. “Never be comfortable” is what Chris would tell me, which is what pushed me to do my first tech talk. I now have dozens behind me within some of the largest conferences known in the security vendor industry. Chris is nothing short of supernatural.
Leo Cruz, Myriad360
I have worked with Chris on several projects over the years. His leadership, cooperation, and execution skills are first class. Chris looks at the big picture, identifies necessary actions, builds a plan, and gets the project done
Richard Jimmerson, ARIN
Chris is one of the most brilliant technologists and charismaticspeakers I’ve met in a long time. He’s an absolute creative, has amind focused on solutions, and is driven by a deep belief in whathe does. He’s both an inspirational leader and great colleague. I’d work with Chris again any day of the week.
Lia Kiessling, Internet Society
One thing everyone should know about Chris, he always providesnothing less then quality customer service and technical support. His professionalism and skill far exceeds all expectations because he always goes the extra mile.
David Corbett, tw telecom
His intelligenceand wit are only outshone by his friendly and helpful nature. Working with Chris is always a pleasure and a smashing success.
Susan Forsman, tw telecom
Chris has the talent to completely embrace and encompass atechnology and from that drive results. It is obvious that Chrisenjoys sharing his knowledge base and ideas with others. It wasa pleasure working with Chris.
John McQueen, Broadcom
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.
Karen Mulberry, Internet Society
Chris is technically creative, hard working, and extraordinarilyeffective at working with both internal and external technicalexpert communities. A pleasure to have had on the team atCableLabs. I fully expect him to significantly move his organization and the industry.
Tom Lookabaugh, CableLabs
In a wireless organization the network your products operate on needs to be reliable, dependable and operating at top efficiency. Chris made sure that was a reality. Chris was a leader in the day to day operation of our network, on initiating improvement designs for the future and helping out the other departments to close performance gaps. There was never a problem to hard to solve, a solution he was not willing to seek out or a cutting edge idea he hadn’t already researched.
Wayne Gibson, WavMax
I enjoy working with him on a professional and personal level.
Diane Turley, tw telecom
Through the several tasks that we spent together in a professional environment, I have seen Chris accomplish things that many would consider impossible – both as a professional and technically – and neither has been a disappointment. Chris is a calculated risk-taker. He has an uncanny way of determining what the target market needs and has the capability of tweaking his designs and implementations accordingly. As a pragmatic leader and a realist, he can grasp ideas in a holistic manner and still pay attention to minor details. Chris has a well-deserved reputation as someone who is diligent and personable – two qualities that define him completely. As someone who is a creative thinker and possesses a can-do attitude, Chris is a pleasure to work with.
Kyle Smith, Markley
Chris isvery knowledgeable, is always willing to explain and discuss, andis great at pulling together everyone’s input and moving things forward. Working with him has been a great experience.
Lisa Ruby, Motorola
Chris was the driving force behind the creation of the ISOCColorado chapter. I appreciated his leadership and technical skillsand his determination. I enjoyed working with Chris on this project and I am looking forward to doing it again.
Yannis Konstantopoulos, Lumen Technologies
Chris was always on top of current technology and how thistechnology would fit into his current network environment. Chriswas a pleasure to work with and will be an asset to any organization lucky enough to hire him.
Steve Braden, Streakwave Wireless
Chris was one of the go-to guyswhenever there were complex problems. He has the knowledge,desire and potential to advance in any position he chooses. It was a pleasure working with him.
Ushesh Desai, Virtela Communications
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.
Kaelyn Bowman, Virtella Communications
Chris was an amazing colleague to work with. I admire his ability to understand very technical concepts as well as business and market driven ones. He has amazing stakeholder management skills, and has the ability to build relationships and manage working groups and teams. He is a true leader who is very passionate about whatever he is working on. His desire for framing strategic direction and leading execution would be an asset to any organization. I would welcome any opportunity to work with Chris again.
Rupal Patel, CableLabs
It was a pleasure to work with Chris. Chris possesses verydetailed technical knowledge and solid experience, but neverlost sight of his strategic and business goals when using that knowledge and experience.
Graham McKinley, Overture Networks
Chris is a talented technologist with a keen eye for marketing. This combination of skills has been a powerful asset in his role. Over the course of the 4 years that I worked with Chris, he presented at numerous events & conferences, and was a thought leadership partner. He was pivotal in honing Myriad360’s mission and developing a cohesive strategy for the company. Chris earns my highest recommendation.
Kirsten Gonzalez, Myriad360
We hired Chris with high expectations. He quickly proved to be agood choice as he grasped new concepts exceptionally well andshowed an aggressive personal learning regimen, surpassing his peers. I would highly recommend Chris in his future endeavors.
Ryan Privette, Virtela Technology Services Incorporated
Chris Grundemann was among the most energetic and competent members of our Council throughout his time as an elected member. I found(find) Chris a most thoughtful man who brought insight and experience to the role, but was also always a genuine and professional member exerting leadership with tact and good humor. I think highly of Chris both as a technical professional and community leader, but also as a trusted friend.
Bill Darte, ARIN Advisory Council
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.
Scott Perricone, Myriad360
Chris is one of the most professional individuals I have ever worked with. His dedication to the success of our organization was paramount. I always relied on him to engage in intricate troubles knowing they would receive appropriate attention and follow through. Chris is an immediate asset to any organization and is most certainly.
Jim Meslovich, CenturyLink Business for Enterprise
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.
Joey Padden, CableLabs
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.
Duangthip Chomprang, Internet Society
Chris is a superior problem-solver withgreat people skills and ability to ask the really hard questions. Ateam player who is engaged and approachable, I expect Chris will have significant impact in the tech industry.
Deb Gerring, CableLabs
Chris is extremely knowledgeable and, more importantly, readilyshares that knowledge with his peers to promote better overall understanding and improvement.
Dan Zumar, Virtela Technology Services Incorporated
Chris is an exceptionally energetic individual, a talented thinkerand an accomplished public speaker. He is a very rewardingperson to work with due to the level of organization he brings toevery project. He has vision and probity, a rare combination. I has been a great privilege to work with him.
John Springer, ARIN Advisory Council
Chris is highly technical and has excellent organizational andfollow up skills. I assigned Chris several initiatives whileassigned to my team and his performance was exceptional. He isself motivated and has extensive technical knowledge.